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Feile na nGael Division One 2017

[ Wednesday, 3rd May 2017 ]

Div 1 Hurling Feile Match Reports

Silver Park in Leopardstown was the venue for this year's Division 1 Hurling  Feile Group B with Kilmacud Crokes hosting Ballyboden St. Endas, Commercials and Naomh Baróg. Ballyboden went into the tournament full of confidence with an impressive 100% success rate in the league to date.

Match 1: BBSE V Commercials

First up for the Boden Boys were Commercials, who always provide stiff opposition and Boden were not taking their task lightly, targeting the opening fixture as a ‘must win’ game.

When proceedings got underway, Boden started brightly with Captain Rhys McDonnell opening the scoring with a free just a couple of minutes in…he added another from play before Commercials struck an early goal against the run of play and they doubled their advantage with a point soon after. Boden were already into their stride however and bounced back with some excellent play and drew a succession of fouls resulting in three further pointed frees from the skipper to take a one point lead midway through the opening half. Mathew Ormsby then struck an excellent solo effort after a strong run from midfield to extend the lead before Commercials signalled that they were not lying down by retaliating quickly with a score of their own to narrow the deficit to the bare minimum. Boden finished the half stronger despite Commercials adding a late pointed free in reply to scores from Michael McDonald and the lively Cian Kelly and also full forward Jason Dwyer to leave the half time scoreline at 0-9 to 1-3 in Boden’s favour.

With a stiff breeze at their backs in the second half, Boden added two early points from Rhys MacDonnell frees but Commercials did not throw in the towel and struck a goal and a point in reply to make it a one point game and ask some serious questions of their opponents.  Ballyboden would answer emphatically and finally started to pull away with a succession of scores from play and placed balls from the stick of Rhys McDonnell who, having moved into Full Forward for the second half, bagged a personal tally of 2-10 to cap a Man of the Match performance. Commercials managed to add four more points but Mathew  Ormsby iced the cake for Ballyboden with another fantastic solo effort late on.

Final Score Ballyboden 2-16  Commercials 2-8

Match 2: BBSE V Kilmacud Crokes

Next up for Ballyboden was billed as the crunch game of the group against the hosts and fierce rivals Kilmacud Crokes.  Although it would not be an eliminator as both sides had won their opening fixture, neither side wanted to come out on the wrong end of this one and a battle royal was anticipated in a bid to top the Group standings.

Such was the tension following the build-up to this contest, it  almost inevitably proved a little anti-climatic for the purists as it turned out to be a low scoring affair dominated by excellent defences on both sides. The imperious Alex Gavin and David Gannon leading the Boden rearguard, showed their true class in this one repelling Crokes and frustrating the hosts time and again with their energetic and intelligent endeavours. Of course it was more than a two man job and they were ably assisted by Conor Barnes and Oisin Byrne, David Keane, Josh Corcoran and Harry Duff who combined to nullify Crokes attacks. The highlight of the game was a brilliant goal from Boden’s Hugh O’Sullivan at Full Forward, gathering possession from a high ball about 20 metres out before powering past his marker to smash an unstoppable shot into the top far corner of the Crokes net. That score gave Boden a six point cushion at half time and the teams would only score once each in an uneventful second half to give Boden the desired spoils.

Final Score BBSE 1-6 Kilmacud Crokes 1-2

Match 3: BBSE V Naomh Baróg

The final group game pitted Boden against surprise packet Naomh Baróg who had effectively ended Commercials hopes with a victory in their head to head. 

This would prove a much tougher test than anyone had predicted and Baróg settled into the swing of things quicker and raced into the lead with an early goal. A pointed free followed before Jason Dwyer opened Boden’s account with a well taken point before a free from Josh Corcoran closed the gap further. Baróg  converted another free heading towards half-time but the busy Jason Dwyer was rewarded for his high work rate with a goal to draw the sides level at the break at 1-2 each. 

Boden grabbed the first score of the second period to take the lead for the first time in the contest when Hugh O’Sullivan pointed a long range effort almost straight from the throw-in but that was soon wiped out by another Baróg goal to really throw the cat among the pigeons! Cian Durkin then went on a personal crusade and took the game by the scruff of the neck to score a goal and two points and open a three point lead for Boden and it seemed the storm had been weathered. However, back came  Baróg and despite Boden’s resolute defence holding firm, with big performances from Barry Maguire, David Keane, Conor Barnes and David Keogh,  their pressure paid off with two pointed frees to reduce the deficit to the bare minimum. To their credit Boden upped their game again to rally late on and forced a penalty when the industrious Sam Doyle was upended in the box and Rhys McDonnell duly dispatched the sliothar into the Baróg net with aplomb. He then signed off another excellent personal and team performance with the last score of the game from a free to send Boden into the Semi-final as Group winners.

Final Score BBSE 3-6   Naomh Baróg 2-4

Semi-Final: BBSE  V  Faughs

Local rivals Faughs provided derby opposition for the semi-final having finished runners-up in Group A which they hosted at their Tymon Park HQ. Ballyboden knew that if they were to win Feile, they would have to overcome the reigning League Champions at either this stage or in the Final so the view was…may as well be sooner rather than later ! This really was a tantalizing affair and the perfect  stage to renew rivalries with our nearest neighbours. Faughs took the early advantage before Rhys McDonnell equalized from a free. Faughs then scored  the first goal before another Boden free halved the deficit . A short 65 saw Ballyboden’s Conor Casey benefit  as he split the posts with a sharp shot to reduce the gap to a single point.  A rare error in the Boden defence gave Faughs a second goal chance which was duly taken to open a four point gap midway through the opening half. Boden then enjoyed a period of dominance during which Cian Kelly and Jason Dwyer up front, both went close to netting which would have been no less than Boden deserved as reward for their endeavours with David Keogh, Mathew Ormsby and Connell McGlynn getting the better of their counterparts and providing a good supply of ball inside to the forwards. The pressure paid off when after a pointed free, the breakthrough finally came for Boden when Cian Kelly found the net to draw the sides level . However, two further scores  including a converted 65 gave Faughs a two point lead at the break.

The impressive Sam Doyle reduced the arrears early in the second half and that was to be the last score form play from either side as defences tightened up and chances were scarce from then on.  Boden Keeper, Jack Hutchinson’s Goal wasn’t threatened again as Cian Kiely, Oisin Byrne and Harry Duff worked tirelessly to minimize any threat that Faughs would pose around the park but neither could Boden impose themselves at the opposite end despite the best efforts of Thomas Brosnan, Sean O’Shea, Cormac McDonnell and Hugh O’Sullivan up front who were starved of good ball for large periods as the battle waged in the bear pit of midfield and on both flanks where neither side could command control. The hugely impressive Davy Keogh would produce the last score for Boden who ultimately could not close the gap and thus fell  agonizingly  short despite a last ditch effort from a 21 metre free by Rhys McDonnell being stopped short of the goal line. 

Final Score : BBSE  1-7  Faughs  2-7

It was of course a disappointing end to the day after some excellent performances  from both the team as a unit and every individual player, who represented their club and respective families with such distinction and sportsmanship throughout the tournament. The club, coaches and parents can be very proud of all the lads who will now again switch their focus to extending their excellent league form in a bid to wrestle the title from our near neighbours…That indeed would be supreme consolation ! 

Boden Abú ! 

For more photos, see here

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