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Saturday 23 September 2017

Travers return to boost 'Boden

Model man back in fold to help Enda's get back to business

REIGNING holders Boden will be determined to bounce back like champions following their opening night reversal at the hands of O'Toole's.

Even with four out of six to qualify for the knockout stages, they won't want to lose two on the spin going into the break.

It's Kilmacud's first taste of summer. They'll play their back match at home to Faughs this Saturday at home in Silver Park. A good result here would be a tonic.

The Firhouse Road men are likely to be boosted by the return of Wexford's Malachy Travers fresh from last Sunday evening's NHL Division 2 final success with the Slaneysiders.

His fellow countyman, Stephen Nolan, came off the bench against O'Toole's but is a player likely to feature more prominently as their campaign develops.

Crokes have plenty of good hurlers, particularly in defence, but need to find greater consistency in their form.

Up front, Dublin U21 Kevin O'Loughlin is a neat finisher from frees and play, but the Stillorgan men need a greater spread of scores.

Good earnest contributions always come from the sticks of Niall Corcoran, Niall Lillis, Gary McMorrow and Aodan de Paor. James Burke and Hugh Gannon usually pop a couple over. And, against Boden, every crumb will count.

Much interest will focus on whether Dublin U21 footballers, Rory O'Carroll and Barry O'Rorke, take to the field.

The Boden backlash is not to be encouraged. Paul Ryan flourished when he came off the bench last week.

They will be looking for purposeful performances from James Duffy, Stephen Hiney, Darragh Spain, Shane Durkin and David Curtin. Liam Hogan will want to see the kettle beginning to boil. They couldn't have had a more difficult opening gig than travelling to face the Larriers.

Back on home soil, they'll be seeking to make it business as usual. And that means winning matches.

In the past three years, nobody has done that better.

So Far: O'Toole's 3-11 Ballyboden St Enda's 1-14. Kilmacud Crokes v Faughs not played.

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S v KILMACUD CROKES (Páirc Uí Mhurchú, Tonight, 7.0)

VERDICT: Ballyboden St Enda's

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