Minor A vs St. Vincent's
Sunday, 28th October 2018

Result: 3 11 to 1 14

Minor A Hurling Championship Semi-Final

Ballyboden St. Enda’s V St. Vincents

Páirc Uí Mhurchú, 28/10/2018

This year’s county minor semi-finals were a photocopy of the senior semis and thankfully, the outcomes also matched, with Ballyboden and Kilmacud victorious.  They say goals win matches and certainly Boden’s three today, at crucial times when we needed lifts, made the difference against a St. Vincents side who dominated parts of this game but couldn’t make it tell on the scoreboard.  On a beautiful sunny morning, a fine crowd turned out to support the next generation of Ballyboden hurlers, who deserve top marks for their work rate and character.  Our ‘new’ club pitch was in splendid condition.  Well done to all those great people tasked with having it in perfect order for days like this.

Five minutes in, we led by 3 pts to 1, scores coming from Adam Kelleher and Kevin Desmond.  Vincents were still scoreless from play and all seemed well in the world.  But then our visitors’ only breach of our full back line of Sean O’Donnell (who was only a few hours out of his sick bed), the irrepressible Conor Lowe and the crafty Joe McGrath, resulted in a goal, and we lost control of the scoreboard for the next fifteen minutes.  Under sixteen hurler Eoin Behan and Ciaran O’Reilly chased every ball from the corner forward spots, but the ruthless Vincents’ defence was not in a generous mood.  Our only response during this period was a pointed free from Kelleher.  We struggled to win puckouts and were repeatedly out-fielded by our opponents who dominated the play but managed to hit ten wides in that first half.  Twenty minutes in and a cracking goal from a tight angle by Luke McDwyer lifted the spirits and was soon followed by a beauty from the sideline by Cillian Kirwan.  McDwyer added another point to keep the momentum going.  By now, Enda Cashman had Vincents’ dangerman Mulcahy in his pocket, Jack Kenny was thriving in his new position at midfield, and Pearce Christie was using all his athletic talent to bring their No. 6, Gilroy, on laps of the field.  The final score of the half was another pointed free by the razor-sharp Kelleher.  Getting to half-time level at 1-7 each was a relief.

The second half wasn’t a minute old when Kirwan picked up a ball on the half forward line and headed for goal.  Screams of “Take your point” from Coach Carroll were ignored as Cillian backed himself to stitch it and so he did in style, to give Boden a great boost.  Cian Corcoran joined the fray after a long injury layoff and caused huge problems for the visitors’ defence.  But Vincents would score six of the next eight points and the teams were level again with seven minutes left on the clock.  Malachy Codd defied medical logic and came off the bench to make a big impact.  Following another McDwyer point, Codd converted one of two goal chances he created and we began to smell victory.  Our final score was from another Kelleher free.  Vincents went in search of goals but the calm, disciplined play of our defence frustrated all their efforts.  Patrick Dunleavy (also playing his first game after months recovering from injury), and Fergal Ryan showed great composure under severe pressure in those final minutes.  We held on to win by a goal, mightily relieved again to hear the long whistle.  Selecting the first fifteen for the county final (probably on November 11?), after today’s display, will be difficult but isn’t it great to be in this position.  Thanks to all those who came out to shout for us today.  It made a huge difference.

Boden scorers: Adam Kelleher 6 pts (5f), L McDwyer 1-2, C Kirwan 1-1, M Codd 1-0, Kevin Desmond 0-2

Ballyboden: Jack Lambert, Joe McGrath, Conor Lowe, Sean O’Donnell, Patrick Dunleavy, Fergal Ryan, Enda Cashman, Pearce Christie, Jack Kenny, Luke McDwyer, Cillian Kirwan, Kevin Desmond, Ciaran O’Reilly, Adam Kelleher, Eoin Behan, Cian Corcoran, Malachy Codd, Ciaran McDonnell, Peter Gannon, Cillian Wall.