Ballyboden St Enda's2-17 Naomh Olaf1-2
An impressive second-half performance ensured Ballyboden St Enda's defended their Dublin Under 16 'A' Football Championship title following their 18-point victory over Naomh Olaf at Parnell Park last Saturday afternoon.
With just three points separating the sides at the break, the underdogs harboured genuine ambitions of claiming their first 'A' title at this grade but their hopes were dashed by the concession of two goals in the opening ten minutes of the second-half.
The winning margin of 18 points was perhaps unfair on the Balally side's efforts but there was no doubting Ballyboden's dominance, especially after the break as they displayed a greater ruthlessness in front of goal.
A wide tally of eleven in the first-half highlighted Boden's difficulties in front of goal initially but once Ben Kelly netted in the 37th minute, Kevin Walsh's charges displayed greater confidence in attack with eight players in total scoring from play.
In contrast, their opponents only managed a solitary score from play through David Pollard's well-taken goal in the 10th minute and their limitations in attack were eventually punished as Ballyboden pulled clear in the final stages.
There were some superb individual performances for the winners with Shane Kennedy delivering a hugely influential display from wing-forward in terms of gaining possession while Boden's tightness in defence was epitomised by the excellence of Kieran Kennedy and Ryan Bradshaw, who performed their primary duties superbly in addition to sharing three points over the hour.
Ballyboden took early control of affairs with Ross McGarry converting a first minute free after a foul on Ronan Wallace.
With Shane Kennedy garnering a wealth of possession, Naomh Olaf's defence was put under concerted pressure but they performed admirably through full-back Evan Cahill and Fiachra McLoughlin.
However, despite registering a number of wides, St Enda's were able to add to their early advantage through points from Kelly and Shane Kennedy before an innocuous looking delivery from Naomh Olaf's James Grimes deceived the Ballyboden defence, allowing Pollard to gain possession and fire into the empty net.
The goal failed to ignite the Olaf challenge however with McGarry restoring his side's lead at the end of the first quarter before a mazy run from the corner-forward culminated in McGarry's third of the afternoon.
A Seán O'Brien free in the 20th minute stalled Boden's momentum briefly but a brace of McGarry frees soon after ensured his side a 0-7 to 1-1 interval advantage.
Naomh Olaf resumed brightly with Conor McEnerney carrying the fight to Ballyboden but despite some incessant pressure, they failed to add to their tally with Kieran Kennedy kicking a superb point to add insult to injury.
Gaps were beginning to appear in the Naomh Olaf defence as the contest evolved and Kelly took full advantage as he fired home clinically from eight yards from Shane Kennedy's well-timed pass.
With Sam Lally mopping up well for St Enda's, matters deteriorated for Olafs as James Madden cut inside intelligently in the 40th minute before firing an impeccable finish past the outstretched hand of Garret Folan.
McEnerney added a point immediately in reply but with confidence coursing through their collective veins, Ballyboden began to showcase their offensive talents with Bradshaw adding a glorious point from an acute angle to add to further scores by Shane Kennedy and McGarry.
Another superb Bradshaw score highlighted the wealth of options at Ballyboden's disposal with Lally following his fellow defenders lead by joining the attack to point soon after.
With the game increasingly stretched, the closing stages saw a by now rampant St Enda's pull away from their opponents through late points from Rob Donoghue, Madden and substitute Jack Basquel to confirm back-to-back titles.
Scorers - Ballyboden St Enda's: R McGarry 0-7 (0-4f), B Kelly, J Madden 1-1 each, R Bradshaw, S Kennedy 0-2 each, S Lally, K Kennedy, R Donoghue (f), J Basquel 0-1 each. Naomh Olaf: D Pollard 1-0, S O'Brien (f), C McEnerney (f) 0-1 each.
Ballyboden St Enda's: M McNamee; R Bradshaw, K Reddy, S Bobbett; F Keogh, S Lally, K Kennedy; R Wallace, J Madden; J Dooney, R Donoghue, S Kennedy; B Kelly, D O'Riordan, R McGarry. Subs: R McCormack for Dooney (22), R Hester for Bobbett (49), J Kelly for O'Riordan (52), L Bolger for Wallace (53), E McGarvey for Kennedy and J Basquel for B Kelly (55).
Naomh Olaf: G Folan; C Tobin, E Cahill, D Sullivan; G Soraghan, L Doran, F McLoughlin; A byrne, R Watters; C Sullivan, C McEnerney, S O'Brien; D Pollard, J Grimes, O Bent. Subs: S Leonard for Sullivan and R Geoghegan for O'Brien (51), J Breathnach-Kerins for Pollard and C cullinan for McLoughlin (57).
Mentors: Ballyboden St Enda's - Kevin Walsh, Paddy Patten, Frank McNamee, Tony Wallace, Viv Ruddy. Naomh Olaf: John O'Brien, David Burke, Paul Sullivan, Shane Pollard, Cathal Soraghan.
Referee: Andrew Larkin (St Peregrine's)
Wides: Ballyboden St Enda's 14 (11+3) Naomh Olaf 6 (1+5)
Conditions: Idyllic. Very little breeze and pitch in fine fettle.
Player of the Game: Kieran Kennedy (Ballyboden St Enda's)