Junior B vs Garda
Tuesday, 12th June 2018

Result: 1-09 to 0-11

The one thing that you are guaranteed when you visit Westmanstown to play Garda is a hard game. Never an easy side to play against, indeed we have been on the losing side far too often for my liking on our visits here, but there is a growing confidence in this Boden panel and a dogged determination to roll up our sleeves and win ugly when we have to. Challenges were hard from both sides with some excellent football on display. Boden were behind on three occasions but we held our nerve to come away with a one point win. 

 
This nip and tuck encounter got under way on the stroke of 7.30pm. After a long lay off due to injury, it was great to have Dermot Manley back on the field of play at wing-back. He brings a calmness back there and has a great awareness about him. His timing in the challenge was vital today, no silly frees given away here. Our full back line led by James McTiernan were giving their all one again. One of our minors, Adam Ryan, was in the game of his life. The corner forward he was marking was trying all the tricks in the book but Adam was having none of it. Alex Murphy is an infectious player and after he collected a great ball in from Vinnie, he rounded his man and sent the ball over to get us on our way. Vinnie is another player coming back from injury and he is vital to our attacking play. He has an amazing eye for a pass and can split any defence with that boot of his. He got on the score sheet himself after some great off the shoulder play from the backs found the advancing Vinnie and he calmly split the posts. Cormac Smyth is another vital cog in the wheel for us. His constant running at the Garda defence was creating all sorts of openings for us. Neil Lynch was a player who fed off this when Cormac looped a ball over the advancing Garda defence and Neil Lynch tagged on another point. 
 
We weren't having it all our own way however. We weren't picking up the runners and our defence were under enormous pressure at times. Brian Fitzgerald collected a loose ball at the back and immediately set about  working the ball out. A quick handpass was given to Donal Mccarthy, who in turn offloaded to Manus Coughlan. The Garda wing-forward was on it like a rash and executed a perfectly timed challenge, no complaints this end. Manus went down but thankfully he was just severely winded. No quarter is given at this level but he took it well. Management felt it was best to give him a rest just as precaution. Ian Clarke came on, Donal was moved to wing-back and Ian settled in at centre-half. The JBs were under the cosh and found ourselves behind at half time to a scoreline of 1-5 to 0-9. 
 
Tracey had the oranges ready and everyone took a breather. Get the fluids on board, not a word. Now the time for talking. Our forwards were not working hard enough to pick up their runners. As I said, it's bloody hard enough when it's 6 v 6 at the back but when it's 6 v 8, 6 v 9 what feck'n chance do they have?? It's a simple process, stick with your  man. If it's not your man, pick him up anyway. Don't panic, we can pull this back. 
 
The message was heeded, to a man. The Garda space was closed down, they didn't have that freedom anymore. Cormac set about testing their defence by sending in low balls for Neil who was now gaining a foothold in the scoring zone. He was drawing the foul and Vinnie was capitalising. Expertly setting himself up, he helped himself to three frees in this half. Alan McQuaid was under the breaking ball and some neat one-two's with Niall Bradley were causing all sorts of problems for the opposition. 
 
Adam Farrells quick kickouts were now vital to us, helping to launch the ball into the Garda half-forward line. The game was at level pegging by now with about five minutes left. Dermot took a short kickout from Adam and passed to Clarke who found Donal who in turn found Bradley out on the right wing. Just as he was about to release the ball to Neil, he was fouled just outside the fourteen yard area. Up steps Vinnie, two minutes on the clock, this to win it. With great composure, he sent the ball over the blue spot. But still time for high drama. Garda won the resulting kickout and launched a high ball to their corner forward. Michael Stout had come on for the injured Adam Ryan. Rather than jump in, this young man stood his man up. The Garda player let a shot go, a draw would of been so cruel after all the lads hard work. Somehow Michael got a hand to the ball, deflecting the ball to a Boden team-mate. A brilliant block by Michael. Thankfully the referee blew his whistle for full time. Another win on the road for the JBs. 
 
This pushes us up nicely up the league, we have to build on this now. We have Naomh Fionnbarra next at home, our fortress. These men are a credit to the club and can stand tall after another never say die performance. Thanks again to the minors for coming out and helping us over the line. Go raibh maith agaibh. JBs Abu. 
 
Report by Martin O'Donnell. 
 
 
 

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