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Boden facing big job to earn fiver

A DAY to press the red button. Dublin City FM (103.2) are covering the action live. The sliotar could burst through the radio. Commentator Mick Hanley better wear his helmet.



This is the match the city has been waiting for. Both managers, Liam Hogan and Joey Morris, don't favour hurling under the lights.

And they are both now asking the Dublin hurling public to head to Parnell Park and see the light.

It has been a memorable year for Dublin hurling, and this is a duel that could put another ring in the barm brack.

Due to Dublin's success, it has been a shortened championship. Some feel it has been all the better for that.

For many, straight knock-out is the only game in town. That's a debate for another day.

The only concern for the moment is who will be tops of the town come tomorrow night.

Boden have three obstacles to overcome -- the loss of Stephen Hiney and Conal Keaney, the extra baggage that the Drive for Five brings, and, biggest of all, the Lordly Larriers.

The two clubs have had some compelling clashes. They bring out the best in each other.

The 2009 semi-final between them went to a replay. And last year Boden also overcame O'Toole's in the semi-final.

It's the first time in nine years that the Ayrfield pilots will be wearing their county final suits.



remarkable

They have shown remarkable commitment in their dual duties. Ten of the hurlers played for the footballers against Plunkett's in this season's Dublin Senior Football Championship fourth round tie.

Richie Walker is prepared to go more than the extra yard.

He has been flying back from Germany for every game.

And just like Boden missing Hiney and Keaney, O'Toole's had to cope without the noble Dublin attacker Kevin Flynn, who has emigrated, and Keith Wilson and Keith Horgan, who have retired.

They are hoping that Philip Brennan and the captain, Kevin Ryan, can overcome knocks.

O'Toole's were impressive against Brigid's, as they were against Kilmacud Crokes in the quarter-final.

Boden too have looked competent as they overcame Ballinteer St John's and Lucan Sarsfields. They were expecting a far sterner test from the Sars.

But that's what they are likely to get now as they seek to emulate the feat of Commercials and Garda, the only two Dublin clubs that secured the five-in-a-row.

Gary Maguire is now one of Dublin's famous five. Not before time, sang the chorus. The O'Toole's 'keeper, Brendan McLoughlin, could also have had a couple of All Stars on the mantel piece had he played in a more successful era for the Dubs.

Both are first-class goalkeepers, and they are well protected by defences that believe in the treble-glazing. There will be nothing free for anybody in the audience here.

Michael Carton is enjoying a wonderful campaign. His brother, Peadar, is also throwing good darts.

The Morris lads, Andrew and Graham, will contribute, as will Danny Webster, once a commendable half-back, but now a member of the forward unit, where Liam Ryan's guile at full-forward is worth a few bob in the bank.

Both teams thrive on industry. Malachy Travers and Stephen Nolan would swim across the Slaney for Boden.



courageous

David Curtin is captain courageous. Shane Durkin toils alongside him in the engine room, where they'll be hoping to maintain a steady supply to the bow and arrow men like Conor McCormack, Simon Lambert and the peerless Paul Ryan.

Joey Morris is a big fan of the Boden Boys. He admires their outstanding ability and discipline. Likewise, Liam Hogan salutes the skill and conviction of the Blunden Boys. Both are hoping for a Bank Holiday Arts and Crafts Show.

All eyes and ears will be waiting to see can Boden become the first club in over eighty years to secure the five-in-a-row.

Bring along the headphones. It's a spectacle that could hum like Phil the Flutter's Ball.

VERDICT: Ballyboden St Enda's