Ballyboden St. Endas captain Ryan Basquel is looking forward to this weekend’s Leinster Senior Football Final
In 2015, Ballyboden St. Endas had lifted the County Championship and saw off all comers to be crowned Leinster Senior Football Champions for this first time in the clubs history. They followed that a few months later climbing to the summit and captured All Ireland Senior Club honours.
This weekend, they are on a similar path. They face stiff opposition with Carlow’s Eire Óg waiting in the long grass. In the seven times a Carlow side have reached the provincial decider, only one has lost. That was Ógs back in 1980, but since that defeat they’ve claimed the title five times between 1992 and 1998.
Ballyboden captain Ryan Basquel is not taking Eire Óg lightly. And despite the Dublin side being installed as clear favourites, that doesn’t mean anything.
“Anyone who saw their game against Portlaoise knows the quality they have.” Basquel told the Independent this week.
“They are well set up at the back both in numbers and what they are actually doing, so that will be a massive challenge to break down.”
(Ryan Basquel speaks to DUBSTV following their Semi Final win over Garrycastle)
Leinster competition hotting up in the last few years
With St. Vincents being the last Dublin team to win the Leinster title, and Kilmacud Crokes being beaten last year, there’s certainly a high level of competition in the provinces club game. Eire Óg are Carlow champions now for the third successive season, which doesn’t happen by a fluke.
“It just shows you the quality that’s out there, two years ago Vincent’s lost to the Wicklow champions, last year the Longford champions beat Kilmacud Crokes, so there is quality out there.”
“And a Dublin team haven’t won Leinster in a while so we know the challenge that is there.”
It’s an interesting statement considering Dublin clubs dominated the competition for the larger part of this decade. Vincents of course took three titles, with Ballymun Kickhams, Kilmacud and Ballyboden securing one each. But for the last two years the provincial winners have come from Kildare and Longford.
Having flirted with Inter County football over the years, Basquel would love nothing more than his current run of form to force him back into the cross hairs of the Dublin set up.
“I think every player wants to play county football, everyone grows up dreaming of playing county football.
“But your club is where it starts, your club is where it ends. Look at Dessie Dolan the last day, I’m sure he’ll tell you that the best moments he ever had were with his club for Garrycastle.”