Ballyboughal 2-16 Ballyboden St Enda's 1-11
BALLYBOUGHAL gave an exhibition in marksmanship as they deservedly overcame Ballyboden St Enda's by eight points in their Loving Cup Final at a sun-kissed Páirc Uí Mhurchú last Wednesday evening.
The visitors amassed 2-16 over the hour, wasting precious few chances on their way with their wides tally of just one over the duration reflecting their accuracy in front of goal in contrast to a less economical home outfit.
That Ballyboughal generated numerous opportunities was largely down to the stranglehold they exerted at centrefield with both Richie Downey and Cathal Flynn gaining a marked advantage over their direct opponents.
All six of Ballyboughal's starting forwards scored from play and with goalkeeper David Downey superbly despatching three points from placed balls, the visitors were a threat whenever they entered their opponent's half.
The hosts started brightly however and they were rewarded for some early pressure when Collie Dunne converted a thirty metre free in the 2nd minute.
It didn't take long for the North County outfit to find their groove and parity was restored in an instant following an excellent score on the run by the influential Eoin McPhilbin.
The centre-forward was already showing his worth in the aerial exchanges and another powerful surge down the middle reaped greater dividends as he passed inside to Ben Callaghan who fired an unerring strike low to Collie Leane's right for the game's opening goal in the 4th minute.
The hosts initially bounced back well from that setback and they trimmed their arrears through a smart score from Ciaran Archbold before James Madden availed of a sublime pass from Dara Kilduff to clip over as Boden enjoyed a brief period of ascendancy.
Despite enjoying generous amounts of possession in the first quarter, St Enda's struggled to reflect that on the scoreboard and a more clinical Ballyboughal regained their control though successive points by Cormac Flynn and Luke Ryan.
The visitors assumed complete dominance for the ensuing ten minutes with full-forward Ciaran Wynne landing a glorious point in the 12th minute before former Dublin minor goalkeeper Downey added a brace of '45's to his side's tally.
Further frees by Gerry Seaver and Downey left a sizeable margin between the sides but Boden finished the half strongly without gaining full reward for their efforts.
Points did follow from Archbold and Madden but the last word of an entertaining half belonged to Ballyboughal as Steven Walker's injury time score confirmed a 1-9 to 0-5 interval advantage for Gerry Rooney's charges.
Despite Kilduff offering his side fresh hope within two minutes of the restart, Ballyboughal weathered some early pressure and calmly added to their lead with Seaver releasing Cathal Flynn for a well-taken team score in the 37th minute.
It marked an unanswered sequence of six points for the visitors as they capitalised on increasingly ragged defending to tag on scores through Cormac Flynn, Seaver, Wynne and Flynn again.
Time was running out for the hosts but they produced a spirited final quarter with Archbold leading the way with a fine display from full-forward while Kilduff continued to work tirelessly down the left flank.
Archbold's 48th minute point handed his side some momentum and Kilduff sliced through the away defence soon after but his powerful shot had too much elevation, narrowly clearing Downey's crossbar.
Dunne and Archbold tagged on further scores for Ballyboden but the goal required to place added pressure on the leaders failed to materialise despite a number of promising positions.
Almost inevitably, the hosts were caught on the counter-attack with Seaver unconvincingly netting after Leane had produced a superb save to deny Richie Downey's close-range attempt.
The keeper's evening deteriorated further when dismissed on a second booking late on with Archbold's cracking finish approaching the final whistle offering nothing more than a consolation to the vanquished hosts.
Scorers - Ballyboughal: G Seaver 1-4 (0-4f); B Callaghan 1-0; D Downey, (2 '45', 1f), Cormac Flynn 0-3 each; C Wynne 0-2 (1f); Cathal Flynn, L Ryan, E McPhilbin, S Walker 0-1 each. Ballyboden St Enda's: C Archbold 1-4; C Dunne 0-3 (2f); D Kilduff, J Madden 0-2 each.
Ballyboughal: D Downey; D Lee, N McElligott, P Flynn; T Rooney, C McGinley, L Ryan; R Downey, Cathal Flynn; Cormac Flynn, E McPhilbin, G Seaver; S Walker, C Wynne, B Callaghan. Subs: D Boylan for Walker and P Gosson for T Rooney (45), J Rooney for Callaghan (56), C Hanley for R Downey (60).
Ballyboden St Enda's: C Leane; D McGuinness, M Fitzgerald, D Buckingham; D O'Brien, F Haran, T McGrath; S Keane, I Clarke; C Dunne, R McDaid, S Cullen; J Madden, C Archbold, D Kilduff. Subs: J Owens for O'Brien (29), C Deane for Clarke (51), J Healy for Dunne (58).
Mentors - Ballyboughal: Gerry Rooney, Dee Donohue, Richard Seaver. Ballyboden St Enda's: Denis Molony, Dan O'Sullivan, Conor Doolan, Sean O'Connor, Conor Morris, Seamus O'Flaherty.
Referee: Andrew Cummins (Round Tower Clondalkin).
Wides - Ballyboughal: 1 (1+0). Ballyboden St Enda's: 10 (5+5)
Conditions: A glorious, sunny evening.
Player of the Game: Cathal Flynn (Ballyboughal).