Senior vs St. Sylvester's
Wednesday, 4th July 2018

Result: 2-16 to 0-09

Scoring surges in both halves helped Ballyboden’s senior footballers to an emphatic win over St Sylvester’s in Pairc Ui Mhurchu on Wednesday evening. Goals from Sam Molony in the first half and Ryan Basquel in the second proved to be decisive in a game that Ballyboden rarely looked like losing, with the gulf in class becoming apparent early on. Boden were missing a host of key players due to commitments with both the Dublin senior and under 20 panels, but it made little difference. Mercifully, the hot weather of the last two weeks cooled significantly, providing ideal conditions for a game of football, although the playing surface remained rock solid. That surface was perhaps responsible for a sluggish start to the game during which Boden probed without yielding any results, falling two points behind upon the concession of two scoreable frees. Boden’s attempts to get into the game were further inhibited by a lengthy stoppage when a Sylvester’s player went down with a serious looking injury and that meant that a full nine minutes had elapsed before Boden got onto the scoreboard through Aran Waters. In what was a slow burner, Boden would go another five minutes before registering an equaliser when Ryan Basquel pointed from a narrow angle. The game’s crucial moment arrived three minutes later, when Sam Molony capitalised on some lethargic passing from Sylvester’s to fire to the top corner. The Northsiders attempted to work the ball through the middle but were far too slow in doing so, allowing Ryan Basquel an easy turnover. He quickly found Molony who finished with aplomb. Collie Dunne and Barra McGarry (free) further stretched Boden’s lead and a sense of inevitability descended around Pairc Ui Mhurchu.

To their credit, Sylvester’s dug in and reduced the arrears to a goal when they registered their first score from play in the 22nd minute. Points from Barra McGarry and Sam Molony sandwiched a Sylvester’s free to stretch Boden’s lead to four, before Darren O’Reilly, McGarry and Ryan Basquel all pointed as Boden finished the half with a flourish.

Lethargy plagued the Boden team after the restart and inaccuracy crept into their attacking play in the early stages of the second half with several attacks breaking down. Sylvester’s were unable to capitalise, however, and Boden soon extended their lead again through points from Basquel and O’Reilly. The pair then combined to put the game beyond all doubt; O’Reilly was awarded a free in the middle of the park and played a sublime ball over the top of the Sylvester’s defence into Basquel’s chest, Basquel rounding the onrushing ‘keeper and slotted into the empty net with class to put Boden 11 points ahead. The game somewhat inevitably began to fizzle out after Boden’s second goal, with Sylvester’s becoming visibly more dejected and Boden emptying their bench. They still managed to outscore Sylvester’s by five points to two in the final quarter to add a further gloss to the scoreline.

Overall it was a largely encouraging performance, that still leaves room for improvement. Ryan Basquel and Sam Molony in particular were immense in the full forward line, and won nearly every ball ahead of their respective markers which created numerous scoring opportunities for the Boden forward line. They also added 1-4 and 1-1 from play respectively and could have had more. That being said, the quality of ball into them was also of the highest standard and deserves huge credit, while defensively Boden had the measure of Sylvester’s with only two players scoring in the 60 minutes.

Going forward, there is plenty of encouragement and with Boden now sitting (relatively) comfortably in third, a good second half of the season awaits.