Enda’s goal blitz breaks resolve of spirited rivals
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S.................4-12
CLAN NA GAEL FONTENOY...............0-16
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S recorded their third win out of four in Group 1 of the Dublin Junior ‘A' Hurling Championship against previously unbeaten Clan na Gael Fontenoy in an entertaining clash at a sun-kissed Ballycullen last Saturday afternoon.
The result leaves both sides in joint second place behind Parnell’s, who have registered four consecutive victories and, given the quality on offer, both teams should be confident of being involved at the serious end of the championship.
Ultimately, it was ’Boden's ability to plunder goals at the most opportune time which settled the lively encounter with Clan's spirited display undermined by their lack of goal-scoring threat. It was the visitors who made the more impressive opening and they drew first blood through a Martin Neville point within two minutes, with their lead doubled soon after as full-forward Brian Bannon hit an excellent point from the right flank.
The hosts replied through a long-range effort from midfielder Daragh O'Gorman in the sixth minute but Cormac Connolly restored his side's two-point lead with another welltaken score from the resultant puck-out.
St Enda's bounced back well to restore parity by the ninth minute through a Tadhg Hennessy free and a glorious solo score from Ronan Cleary before they pounced for an opportunistic goal at the end of the first quarter.
Its origin lay in a wonderful fetch by Naoise Greene, with the wing-forward's delivery batted away by Clan's ’keeper Thomas Neville into the path of the on-rushing Conor Robinson who first-timed the ball to the net from 10 metres.
Greene, despite not scoring over the hour, had a hugely influential display, showing a huge work ethic allied to a wonderful firsttouch and control.
He was central to many of the scores generated by the ’Boden forward line.
Bannon scored his second point of the day on 17 minutes but immediately another long ball caused consternation in the visitors' defence with David Fletcher the grateful recipient as he swept to the net despite the best efforts of Neville.
The Ringsend side continued to show their point-scoring prowess with two superb efforts from Marc Campbell keeping his side in contention as the half progressed but Paul Doherty's ability at the other end ensured Boden enjoyed a significant four-point (2-6 to 0-8) lead at the turnaround.
Clan na Gael enjoyed greater territory upon the restart, but the fact they failed to narrow their deficit was largely due to the excellent showing of ’Boden's half-back line of Darren Lennox, Mick Keville and Aidan O'Reilly, and a 39th-minute Robinson point pushed the hosts five points clear.
Points were exchanged on a tit-for-tat basis with Cleary, Doherty and Aidan Dundon all recording fine scores for St Enda's while Bannon, substitute Jason Redmond and Neville did likewise for Fontenoys prior to the game's defining score on 53 minutes.
The goal reflected the ease at which Boden could generate genuine threepoint opportunities as Fletcher escaped down Clan's left wing to feed Doherty, who finished impeccably beyond a helpless Neville.
Two points from Gary O'Connor handed the visitors a modicum of hope towards the death but they were finally put out of their misery when Robinson fired home from close range in injury-time to secure a welcome eight-point win for Joe Young's charges.