High work-rate and sharp attack sees Boden Boys home to victory
AN early start at Ballycullen on Sunday morning.The corn-flakes were well milked before the 10.15 throw-in.
"It must be because of the Munster final," quipped one of the players.
Hurling people have a humour all of their own.
Boden had the grass cut. Thurles turf. And they decorated every yard.
This is Boden's third team. The well runs deep on the Firhouse Road.
They were polishing the sliotar from the off. And they were content to take their points. A generous harvest of them.
They hit quality scores from all angles, and all distances.
There's a high mast at the venue. SKY Sport would have embraced the action.
The tempo didn't dip. Blink and you were likely to miss a basket of play.
There were two excellent centre half-backs on duty, Liam McCarthy for the hosts and Feargal Mairtin.
The Olaf's right half-back, Paul Lynch, was one of the best players on the field.
He read the play superbly and his striking was as crisp as a Tayto.
Declan O'Dwyer, the Sandyford centre half-forward, is one of the finest stick-men in the city. He has been cheering Balally for years with his nimble craft.
Olaf's right half-forward, James O'Connor, struck two of the nicest points of the day. He came within inches of adding two more in the second half.
After one of his shots drifted wide at the last second, Boden's Colin Durkin offered him a hard-luck tap on the back.
Boden's Aidan Dundon was sinking the colours, while Naoise Greene produced a tray of treats for the on-lookers.
Both clubs made light of the breeze that blew across the pitch.
In charge was referee, Kevin Donohoe, who decorates Croke Park each year in the Cumann na Bunscol finals.
He had barely blown the first whistle when Johnny McGrath's long strike was bouncing in the back of the home net at the pavilion end.
But crucially Ballyboden St Enda's replied with a goal of their own in the third minute as David Gilheaney stole in on the left and kicked to the sack.
Boden then quickly settled into their groove. Their second goal came on 20 minutes as Rian Cannon's drive sped to the left corner.
Olaf's came close to a second goal, but Niall O'Neill got his angles spot on to deny Cillian Lewins.
Boden led by 2-13 to 1-4 at the turn. Olaf's chiselled away at the deficit.
They were helped when O'Dwyer sent a penalty to the net five minutes into the second period.
Olaf's saw more of the ball. They created pockets of promise. But the Boden backs were firm and focused.
And in attack, the home side were keen to enhance their tally.
That was never going to be a problem with aces like Dundon and Greene in the building.
SCORERS - BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S: A Dundon 0-10 (8f), D Gilheaney 1-2, N Greene 0-5, R Cannon 1-0, E Gorman 0-2, C Durkin, O Cannon 0-1 each. NAOMH OLAF: D O'Dwyer 1-1 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), J McGrath 1-0, J O'Connor, D Hickey (2f) 0-2 each, D Lynch, C Lewins, M O'Connor, R Quinn 0-1 each.
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S: N O'Neill; D O'Sullivan, C Flaherty, A Hand; E Wigglesworth, L McCarthy, D Lennox; C Durkin, C Mallett; E Gorman, A Dundon, N Greene; D Gilheaney, O Cannon, R Cannon. SUBS: G Crowley for Wigglesworth (19); J Mernagh for O Cannon (43); C Kennedy for R Cannon (46); A Carter for Crowley (54); E Wigglesworth for Durkin (inj, 56).
NAOMH OLAF: S O'Connor; C Fleming, J Connors, E Barry; P Lynch, F Mairtin, R Norberg; J McGrath, D Lynch; J O'Connor, D O'Dwyer, G Stapleton; C Lewins, M O'Connor, D Hickey. SUBS: R Quinn for M O'Connor (ht); E Foley for Lewins (50); S McDaid for Norberg (50).
MENTORS - BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S: J Small, A Ryan, J Ryan, A McCarthy, M Glynn. NAOMH OLAF: T Brown, F O'Dwyer, M Brown.
REF: Kevin Donohoe (Naomh Fionnbarra).
WIDES - BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S: 12 (7+5); NAOMH OLAF: 11 (2+9).
CONDITIONS: Overcast. Windy. Chilly early on. Sun then came out.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Aidan Dundon (Ballyboden St Enda's).