Raheny prove they're the Real deal as they overcome Ballyboden
dublin u21hc 'c' final (2014)
A goal in either half by dual player Rutherson Real proved telling as Raheny narrowly overcame a battling Ballyboden St Enda's by 2-6 to 0-11 in their keenly-contested Dublin Under 21 'C' Hurling Championship Final (2014) on the all-weather surface at Alfie Byrne Road last Saturday afternoon.
In a contest that was spoiled by a strong breeze, both sides enjoyed periods of dominance in terms of possession with Raheny's ability to plunder goals at the most opportune time ultimately the difference between the well-matched sides.
"It wasn't pretty but we managed to get over the line," was the assessment of Raheny's Kevin Broderick.
"This team has played so much better down the years and lost but I suppose we took more of the chances when they came our way and that was the difference between the teams," he added.
The winners played with the breeze in the opening-half and despite accruing eight wides over the half-hour, Real's goal left them well placed at the break as they enjoyed a 1-5 to 0-4 interval advantage.
Eoghan Smyth was another player to register critical scores for the St Anne's outfit in the opening-half as Raheny were superbly marshalled by the highly influential Simon Deignan at centre-back.
Their opponents remained in contention through points from placed balls by Eamonn Gorman with lively corner-forward Morgan Ryan adorning an excellent individual display with three points over the hour.
Ballyboden were rocked by the concession of an early goal to Real early in the second-half as they fell seven points adrift but with the elements in their favour, they chipped away at their deficit with centre-back Fergal Murray producing a terrific performance as he constantly drove his team forward.
Murray received valuable support from full-back Conor McHugh, wing-back Cian Mellett and corner-back Alan McGrath as chances proved at a premium for Raheny.
However, Ballyboden's profligacy in front of goal proved their undoing as they registered a heart-breaking eleven wides in the second-half and despite Gorman, Ryan and Fionn Maguire tagging on points as the half progressed, Raheny, who were reduced to fourteen men after the 43rd minute dismissal of Shane Bell, managed to cling on their lead thanks to resolute defensive displays from Deignan, goalkeeper Liam O'Shea and full-back Danny Reid.
"It was a bitter pill to swallow," said St Enda's manager David Doyle.
"Fair play to Raheny though as they took their chances better than we did and were definitely more clinical than we were on the day.
"I'm very proud of the lads and although we are frustrated that we lost, the lads left everything out there on the pitch and we can have no complaints about how hard they tried.
"They are a relatively young crop of players and although it didn't work out for them on Saturday, I hope that they can learn from the experience as most of them begin their adult playing careers in the club," concluded Doyle.