Under 21 F Football Championship. Semi-Final (Replay).
Vs. Na Fianna
Venue: Pairc Uí Mhurchú.
Result: Ballyboden St. Endas 6.06 Na Fianna 2.09
The pristine sward of Pairc Uí Mhurchú was the venue for the replay between two sides who had fought out an exciting draw two weeks earlier in Mobhi Road.
The continued excellent attendance and great effort at training had again provided the Ballyboden mentors with much discussion prior to selection.
The mild wind blowing across the pitch towards the car park somewhat reduced the need for the usual November thermal clothing among the spectators.
A great start by the team led to two well-finished goals by Cian Durkin following very good lead-up play by Kevin Kirwan and Eoghan Deignan.
At midfield, Richie O’Halloran and Jack Hutchinson were working hard to ensure a good supply to the Boden forward line with Kevin and Daragh Cullen (2), displaying his usual accuracy, scoring good points from play.
The home defence, well marshalled by Joey Donohue and Sean O’Donnell were ensuring that the Na Fianna forwards were getting very limited room on the ball.
Another good forward move led by Enda Cashman resulted in Oisin King finishing to the net and this was quickly followed by Cian Durkin completing his hat trick of goals following an interception on the Na Fianna kick out.
The visitors began to gain more possession at this stage but tenacious defending from Luke Mulligan Lynch and Ollie Brophy ensured that scoring opportunities were kept to a minimum. David Monahan and Míchéal Manning at half-back were working hard to win and retain possession. Two pointed frees and two points from play by Na Fianna resulted in a score of 4.03 to 0.04 when referee, Mark Battigan, sounded the half-time whistle.
The home management team emphasised that the need for the great effort of the first half had to continue for the remaining 30 minutes with a place in the final at stake.
Na Fianna made a determined start to the second half to try and reduce the deficit resulting in two points and a well-taken goal.
A very good save from Eoin Donne relieved the pressure and two well-taken points from Daragh and Enda extended the lead. Kevin Hickey and Conor Barnes made an immediate impact when introduced at this stage.
A good move from the visitors resulted in a second goal to narrow the gap to four points halfway through the second half.
An excellent forward move resulted in a well-taken goal by Daragh and another good passing move resulted in Cian finishing to the net.
Liam Mac Pháidín, Peter Gannon, and Timmy Cleary brought great energy from the bench as legs began to tire from the great effort made.
Another well-taken point by Daragh and two points from the visitors closed out the scoring with the score reading 6.06 to 2.09 at the final whistle.
The win means that the team has qualified for the final against Kilmacud with a time and venue to be confirmed this week by the County Board.
Thanks to our physio, Conor, and to all the supporters who gave great encouragement to the team throughout the match.
Sincere appreciation to everybody involved in the presentation of Pairc Uí Murchú in such superb condition for the match.
A special thanks to Daragh Monahan and Graham Donne for doing the umpiring duties and to Cliona Mellett and John Kirwan for the superb photos.
Hard luck to our Under 21A squad in the final v Ballinteer and best wishes to our Under 21 hurlers in the final on Saturday.
We wish a speedy recovery to our injured players.
Eoin Donne, Ollie Brophy, Joey Donohue, Luke Mulligan Lynch, David Monahan, Sean O’Donnell, Micheál Manning, Jack Hutchinson, Richie O’Halloran, Daragh Cullen, Enda Cashman, Oisín King, Kevin Kirwan, Cian Durkin, Eoghan Deignan, Eoin Duffy, Peter Gannon, Kevin Hickey, Conor Barnes, Liam Mac Pháidín, Fiachra Madden, Fergal Ryan, Conor Cullen, Cian Maher, Daniel Ryan, Timmy Cleary, Cian Corcoran, Daniel Ryan, Aodhan O’Reilly, Senan Dwyer, Thomas Nolan, Darragh Kenny, Edward Phelan.
Thanks to John Kirwan for photos. Click here for more.
Match report by Liam Carter.