Under 12 Hurling League Final
Ballyboden St Endas 4-1 Whitehall Colmcilles 1-8
The saying that goals win game was proven beyond doubt at a sun-drenched Hermitage on Sunday morning as Ballyboden St Endas hit the onion sack at crucial times to claim a narrow two point victory over Whitehall Colmcilles in the Under 12 Div 1b League Final.Although playing with wind and hill advantage in the first half, Boden were slow to settle and Whitehall went into an early two point lead before Tom Hanafin reached high to claim a great ball and smash it to the net . The introduction of Alan McGrath after 15 minutes added a bit of spice to the Boden attack and before long he scored his trademark goal, winning possession with determined tackling and a quick ground stroke to put Boden further ahead. Whitehall fought back with another point, and when the Boden backs failed to clear their lines a great strike by Cody from Whitehall brought them back on terms.
A point from a free from Colm Ó Néill was followed by another quick fire goal by Ciarán Guihan to leave Boden ahead by four points at the interval.
After draining the water bottles at half time Boden knew they had a battle on their hands as they faced the notorious Hermitage hill and a freshening wind. Three excellent points from Whitehall left the game on a knife edge until the reintroduction of Stephen Edwards proved crucial with a super ground strike and a timely goal. From there to the finish it was nailbiting tension as Whitehall launched wave after wave of attack. Two more points from Whitehall saw Boden just about holding on to emerge as narrow victors.
This was a real team effort from Boden. Dara McCarney was coolness personified between the posts and his newly acquired O Connor hurley did the business. Kenneth Wiggleworth continued his brilliant end- of season form with another masterful display at full- back aided by the ever-improving Eoin Giles and James Hamm. Darragh Bolger’s fearless tacking at centre-back broke up the Whitehall attack time and time again. James Madden played despite carrying two injuries and his sideline cuts were a feature of the game.
For the second half Tom Hanafin and Colm Basquel moved to the half-back line and their strength and workrate along with that of Joe Mernagh were vital in cutting out the Whitehall threat. Colm O Neill and Morgan Ryan moved to midfield and their blocking and hooking were a joy to behold. Between them the stats will show that they got in 17 blocks, with Ryan providing his best ever performance in a Boden jersey, leading many of those present to nominate him as man of the match.
Up front Alan McGrath was the pick of the forwards who worked like Trojans, never allowing Whitehall to settle on the ball.
Overall this was a great win for a team which showed huge commitment and spirit throughout the match and their never say die attitude won out in the end.
Dara Mc Carney, Eoin Giles, Kenneth Wigglesworth, James Hamm, Joe Mernagh, Darragh Bolger, Seamus O Donoghue, James Madden, Colm Basquel, Morgan Ryan, Tom Hanafin, Stephen Edwards, Eoin Hennessy, Colm Ó Néill, Ciarán Guihan. Subs used: Alan McGrath, Thomas O Connor, Troy Wardick, Aidan Tannim., Jonathan Sweeney.