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Monday 11 December 2017

Brilliant Boden put Isles to sea!

dublin U16 HL Division 1

Ballyboden St Enda's led from start to finish when comfortably overcoming a stubborn Isles of the Sea in their Dublin Under 16 Hurling League Division 1 encounter at Sancta Maria last Saturday afternoon.

In doing so, the hosts completed their third successive league win with their greater cohesion and interplay throughout proving too much for the combined outfit.

Much of the damage was done in their first-half as Boden, playing with the benefit of a strong breeze at their backs, raced into an early eight point lead by the 7th minute with two late goals in the first-half putting too much daylight between the sides.

The margin of defeat was perhaps a touch harsh on the joint Clan na Gael Fontenoy and Scoil Uí Chonaill side as they battled gamely over the hour but their opponents, who secured the league and championship double last year, were always the more composed outfit.

St Enda's were helped by a positive start to the game as Mark McNamee netted clinically in the opening minute following a strong run down the middle from the influential James Madden.

Madden's running from deep was a feature of the contest as the hosts pushed further clear in the 3rd minute after a fine score by full-forward Ben Kelly. Isles were struggling to make inroads in attack, given the strength of the wind in their faces but from isolated possession, centre-forward Robert Kennedy popped over an excellent score to offer encouragement to his side.

However, that score failed to act as a platform with Ballyboden accruing three points in quick succession through Madden, Shane Kennedy and a '65' from goalkeeper Conor O'Donoghue, awarded after Dean Fitzpatrick had produced a fine save to deny Madden.

Although Shane Kennedy added to Boden's lead in the 12th minute, the potency of the home attack suffered for the ensuing ten minutes as they struggled to take advantage of the control exerted around the middle third by their centrefield pairing of Daniel O'Riordan and the influential Sam Lally.

undone

In fairness to their opponents, Daragh Levins was working tirelessly and effectively in plugging gaps down the middle of the Isles defence but much of his good work was undone in the 20th minute as an innocuous looking shot from Thomas Glynn deceived Fitzpatrick for Ballyboden's second goal of the day.

Levins tagged on a free in response to this setback for the hosts finished the half in the ascendancy and after wing-back Karl Reddy had bagged a brace of points towards the end of the half, another piercing run from Madden received its deserved reward as it arrowed into the top left hand corner of Fitzpatrick's net.

The wind softened to a degree during the turnaround, further adding to Isles' woes as the half resumed with Shane Kennedy and Ted Walsh swapping points in the opening three minutes. The hosts were beginning to find numerous gaps in the away defence and although their shooting lacked precision at times, they still managed to extend their advantage through another point by Kelly and Madden's second goal, a cross-shot from eight yards that left Fitzpatrick helpless in the 39th minute.

Isles improved in terms of possession in the second-half but many of their lengthy clearances were being returned with interest by a tidy Ballyboden defence and both Lally and Kelly pointed fine individual scores to push Paul Kelly's side further clear.

Eoghan McKay did land an excellent score for Isles in the 48th minute but that positivity was immediately undone as Boden's wing-forward Jamie Dooney raced through the Isles defence to convert two simple goal chances within three minutes of each other.

To their credit, Isles of the Sea continued to battle until the final whistle and after Levins and Kelly had traded points near the end, McKay was the beneficiary of an unaccustomed slip by O'Donoghue for the visitors solitary goal of the afternoon.

The talented Levins maintained that brief momentum with the final two points of the game and although the twenty two point margin looks massive in isolation, there were some positives for Tommy Naughton and his coaching team to derive from Isles finishing the game on the front foot, against what were a superb Boden team.

Scorers - Ballyboden St Enda's: J Madden 2-1, J Dooney 2-0, B Kelly 0-4, M McNamee, T Glynn 1-0 each, S Kennedy 0-3 (1f), K Reddy 0-2, C O'Donoghue ('65'), S Lally, D O'Riordan, C Fallon 0-1 apiece. Isles of the Sea: E McKay 1-1, D Levins 0-4 (3f), T Walsh, R Kennedy 0-1 each.

Ballyboden St Enda's: C O'Donoghue; E Dennehy, R Wallace, M Normile; K Lalor, T Glynn, K Reddy; S Lally, D O'Riordan; J Dooney, S Kennedy, J Madden; M McNamee, B Kelly, C Fallon. Subs: R McCormack for McNamee (45), R McGarry for Kennedy (48), McNamee for O'Riordan (53).

Isles of the Sea: D Fitzpatrick; S Callan, E Barron, C Ennis; T Walsh, D Levins, C O'Regan; R McKay, S Barry; C Farrelly, R Kennedy, P Duffy; G Gsog, D McGauran, O O'Sullivan Lowry. Subs: D Duggan for Callan (Blood Sub 14), Callan for Gsog (25), K Morgan for McGauran (34), C Ó Briain for Callan (40), A Linnane for Ennis (51), C Barnes for O'Sullivan Lowry (53), T O'Connell for Duffy (55).

Mentors - Ballyboden St Enda's: Paul Kelly, Tom O'Donoghue, David Curtin, Joe Lalor, Pat Normile, Stephen O'Connor. Isles of the Sea: Tommy Naughton, Colm Kennedy, Ciarán Ó Murchú.

Referee: Paul Flanagan (St James' Gaels)

Wides: Ballyboden St Enda's 14 (8+6) Isles of the Sea 3 (1+2)

Conditions: A strong breeze straight down the pitch.

Player of the Game: Sam Lally (Ballyboden St Enda's)

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