Can reigning Senior Football Champions Ballyboden St. Endas fend off of Ballymun in tomorrow’s decider?
Like Senior Hurling Champions Cuala, Ballyboden St. Endas will hope to retain their Dublin Senior Football Championship crown tomorrow afternoon as they face tough opposition in Ballymun Kickhams. Tomorrow’s game should be one of the most competitive finals in a number of years, with both side displaying some serious calibre during this year’s competiton. Will Ballyboden be the last men standing at full time tomorrow in Parnell Park to lift the title for the fifth time in their history?
Ballyboden St. Endas Path to the Senior Football Final
Group 3 Round Robin
Despite a slow start, Ballyboden recovered to overpower a tough Clontarf side in Round 1. The Clontarf men dominated the opening exchanges, and thanks to a quick 2-02 from Kevin Lillis they led by 2-05 to 0-05. But if the opening quarter belonged to Clontarf, the more important closing quarter belonged to the champions.
Boden hit 3-07 in the closing stages to run out 18 point winners. Leading 1-13 to 2-08 with 15 minutes to go, goals from Colm Basquel, Warren Egan and Simon Lambert saw Boden power to a comprehensive victory.
There were more goals in their Round 2 win over St. Vincents, making it two from two. And it was enough to book their Quarter Final berth with a game to spare. They finished the stronger with goals from Donogh McCabe and Tom Hayes, and had led by 2-06 to 0-08 at the break, with Colm Basquel scoring both goals with a 2-03 overall tally.
Vincents had plenty of possession in the early going, but they will have been disappoonted by the finishing. But it was Boden who took their opportunities, finishing 5-11 to 1-17 winners.
Not that Round 3 was a foregone conclusion, but Ballyboden completed their round robin phase with solid 4-22 to 1-10 win over Whitehall Colmcille. That brought their score tally to 13-53 over the three games. Colm Basquel was on the scorecard again, registering 1-06, with Conal Keaney, Brian Bobbett and Tom Hayes also picking up goals.
Quarter Final: Ballyboden St. Endas 2-16 Raheny 0-16 (after extra time)
The champs kept their hopes of back to back titles alive, eventually shrugging off the challenge of a dogged Raheny after extra time.
Level on 1-13 to 0-16 with 5 minutes to go in the extra time session Boden heeded the warning of a saved Brian Fenton goal chance, and scored 1-03 without reply. It was Ciaran O’Reilly who bagged 1-01 late, with Ryan Basquel and Conal Keaney adding points to get the southsiders over the line.
Raheny had forced extra time with sub Sean Grenham converting a mark, then scoring two from play. And a long range score Brian Fenton helped level the game at 1-13 to 0-16.
Semi Final: Ballyboden St. Endas 2-11 St. Judes 1-11
Six minutes from full time Simon Lambert netted a goal to secure another Senior Football final berth for Ballyboden. Introduced late in the game Lambert stole in behind the Judes defence , picked out by Brian Bobbett to fire past Judes keeper Paul Copeland.
Ross McGarry tagged on a point to push Boden 2-10 to 0-10 clear. Judes will rue missed chances and they still search for their first Senior Football title. Niall Coakley had cut the defecit to only two points as the game entered the final minute of normal time, but Tom Hayes scored to regain the three point margin for the champions.
The win was marred for Ballyboden, as goalkeeper Darragh Gogan was red carded, but it didn’t stop Boden from keeping their dream of back to back titles alive, even without Colm Basquel and Michael Darragh Macauley who didn’t feature due to injury.