Leinster Post Primary Juvenile “A” Hurling League Champions’ 2017

[ Tuesday, 4th April 2017 ]

The 2017 South Dublin Colleges Juvenile Hurling team had great representation from the ranks of Ballyboden St. Endas. Having seven players on the panel, Don O’Neill at the helm and Johnny Kenny as  “Part-Time Special Advisor”, there was a distinct flavour of ‘The Firhouse Road’ about the collective. With Colaiste Eoin and Terenure College entering their own teams, Paddy Power pushed the odds of South Dublin success way out in the betting.

Not one to “step away from a challenge” (and I mean that in every sense of the word) Don, Cian Waldron and Mike O’Dwyer set about the mammoth task of defeating the odds. Training, challenge matches, training and some more training paid dividends with an opening win against Westmeath, a one point loss to Good Council (Wexford) and a ‘Do or Die’ encounter with CBS Kilkenny. Well, the only thing I can I say about that game is “They did and I died”.  An end to end game led to a one point victory to South Dublin and a Triple Bypass for me.

The reward for coming out of the group was a semi-final berth against the mighty St. Kierans of Kilkenny……..(Did I say Reward!!!!). Bookies favourites from the start, St. Kierans had a swagger entering the field that day. That swagger became an ‘avalanche of confidence’ when they went in at half time 4 points to the good, after playing into a howling wind in the first half. “Ye may shhtart da bushh and get de jump on de trafffik” quipped a Kilkenny parent, much to the annoyance of the South Dublin management. This led to the greatest Turnover since Old Mr. Brennan said “That’s not a batched loaf.”  A real nail biter saw South Dublin score an injury time point to win by the narrowest of margins. Cue the wild scenes of jubilation for the team and unrealistic health insurance premiums for me………

The final was played last Thursday against Good Council (Wexford), who beat Dublin by a point in the group stages. Prepped to the last, the team gave a clinical display of hurling, to run out worthy winners on a score line of 3-19 to 0-7, which my medical team were delighted about.

The lads may be ‘Leinster Post Primary Juvenile “A” League Champions’ but the lessons learned about teamwork, comradery, discipline, work rate, friendship, belief in yourself and others is something that can never be taught. Don and his fellow mentors created great memories for the players that will live long after their medals have tarnished. Fair Play.

He also stuck it to Paddy Power and my central nervous system.

The Boden lads on the panel are: Luke Mulligan-Lynch, Joe Maguire, Rhys McDonnell, Darragh Kenny, Rian Power, Josh Corcoran, Davy Keogh and Hugh O Sullivan.