Under 21F Football Championship. Semi-Final. 12/11/2022. Vs. Na Fianna Venue: Mobhi Road.

Result: Na Fianna 1.11 Ballyboden St. Endas 2.8

The main pitch in Mobhi Road was the venue for the clash between ourselves and Na Fianna last Saturday afternoon. Excellent attendance and great effort at training during the past two weeks meant a larger squad providing the mentors with much discussion prior to selection. Na Fianna played towards the car park goal in the first half and launched several attacks but staunch defending led by Sean O’Donnell, Joey Donohue and David Monahan kept the scoreboard blank. Two pointed frees from the accurate boot of Daragh Cullen opened the scoring for Ballyboden before the home team replied with a point from a free. The full forward line of Oisín King, Darragh Kenny and Kevin Kirwan were all making great runs which were causing problems for the Na Fianna defence with Fergal Ryan and Richie O’Halloran winning good possession at midfield. A very good move the full length of the pitch resulted in a well taken goal by Ollie Brophy following good work by Edward Phelan and this was followed by well taken points from Conor Cullen and Darragh to stretch the lead.

However, the game changed in the 14th minute with the red card given rather harshly to Fergal reducing Boden to 14 men for the remainder of the match. Daragh moved to midfield in the reshuffle as Na Fianna began to increase the pressure with the extra man. Excellent defence from Kevin Hickey, Micheál Manning and Ollie limited the chances with Eoin Donne his usual assured self in goal with very good distribution from his restarts.
A combination of frees and a point from play narrowed the gap but well taken frees from Conor and Daragh saw the scoreline at 1.6 to 0.5 in favour of Ballyboden when the referee sounded the half time whistle.

The Boden management team focussed on the great effort being made by the team despite Na Fianna having the extra man and emphasised the need for a huge effort in the second half. The home team dominated possession for the first 10 minutes after the restart scoring a point which was soon followed by a well worked goal to tie the scores. Cian Maher, Thomas Nolan and Jack Hutchinson were introduced from the bench as legs began to tire from the huge effort made. A point from the home team put them in the lead but this was soon countered by well taken points from Darragh Kenny and Daragh Cullen as Boden counter attacked at pace. Very good use of the extra man in the half back line created a lot of possession which
resulted in two points from play to edge Na Fianna ahead again. Daniel Ryan and Peter Gannon came on to add fresh legs for the effort needed.

In the 55 th minute, an accidental injury to Conor Cullen resulted in play being halted for over an hour while awaiting for the ambulance. Light was now beginning to fade but the referee decided there was time to play out the remaining 5 minutes plus injury time. Na Fianna pointed from a free when play restarted and this was followed by a point from play to stretch the gap to three points as the clock ticked into added time.

A well worked move from the back resulted in Na Fianna conceding a penalty which was slotted home in the bottom corner by the very calm Daragh Cullen to tie the scores. The referee, James Hussey, sounded the final whistle shortly afterwards and to borrow a term from cricket, decided that ‘bad light’ prevented further play (it was almost dark at this stage). The enormous effort made by the entire squad despite the numerical disadvantage and the unfortunate injury to Conor was incredibly uplifting for all the Boden faithful present in Mobhi Road.

A very special word of sincere appreciation to everyone who gave such great assistance and reassurance to Conor on the pitch while awaiting the ambulance especially our physio Eimear, Carina Cashman and many others. Thanks also to the referee and Na Fianna for their understanding and support. A special thanks to Daragh Monahan and Graham Donne for doing the umpiring duties and to Cliona Mellett for the superb photos.

The replay has not yet been fixed by the county board but should be in about 2 weeks. Congratulations to our Under 21A squad on qualifying for the final v Ballinteer. We wish Conor a rapid recovery from his injury and also a speedy recovery to our other injured players.

Squad: Eoin Donne, Ollie Brophy, Joey Donohue, Kevin Hickey, David Monahan, Sean O’Donnell, Micheál Manning, Fergal Ryan, Richie O’Halloran, Edward Phelan, Daragh Cullen, Conor Cullen, Oisín King, Darragh Kenny, Kevin Kirwan, Eoin Duffy, Peter Gannon, Liam Mac Pháidín, Fiachra Madden, Cian Maher, Daniel Ryan, Enda Cashman, Conor Barnes, Charlie Brady, Timmy Cleary, Eoghan Deignan, Senan Dwyer, Jack Hutchinson, Thomas Nolan, Luke Kelly.

More pics on FB here