Time to put past to bed
Ballyboden aiming to be top dogs once more after 2012 hurt
MALACHY TRAVERS comes out into the Parnell Park corridor holding a sandwich and a jaffa cake.
Looking back on the 2012 summer in Dublin leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
"It was galling," reveals the proud son of the Slaney, who is such a formidable figure in the Ballyboden St Enda's defence.
Boden, the high kings of Dublin hurling, were the big tip to create history by winning six Dublin Senior Hurling Championship titles on the trot. Very few were looking beyond them, but in one of the great shocks, they didn't make it beyond the group stage.
"It was the first week in May and we were gone. It meant that we had the whole summer with no hurling," recalls Travers.
"It hurt us badly. It's hard to put a finger on what went wrong. It was Cuala that knocked us out. That game was touch and go for a long time. With 10 minutes left, it was a level game.
"We just didn't see it out. We just came up short. I don't know what it was. We just didn't do it. It was terrible. Maybe our focus was a bit off. But ultimately it was our responsibility and we paid the price."
Boden had been on the road a long time. There was the magnificent five in-a-row, and before that they were knocking hard on the championship door.
Perhaps the years took some petrol from the legs and sharpness from the mind. But that's in the past now.
They are back on the main stage, and they'll run out in Parnell Park on Sunday to play Lucan Sarsfields in the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship final (3.0).
"It's great to be back. We just felt we left everybody down last year. The goal at the start of the year was to get to the final and now we are there."
There's also a new boss in town, Jonny Kenny. "Liam (Hogan) did a wonderful job. He was our manager for the five in-a-row. He did so much for the team. Jonny has come in now and he has brought a different voice and new ideas. He has freshened things up and maybe we needed that.
"But no matter who the manager is, so much of it comes down to the players. And that's why we felt so bad the way things turned out last year."
This term, Boden have been impressive as they emerged from their group with a 100pc record (Naomh Fionnbarra, St Vincent's and St Patrick's (P)).
They then overcame Kilmacud Crokes in the quarter-final before defeating St Brigid's in the semi-final. "Brigid's put it up to us. It was a good, physical game.
"They came out of the blocks quickly. They threw everything at us. But we managed to settle down just before half-time and we produced a solid second half.
"We managed to contain them and, at the same time, get scores at the other end. It was so pleasing to come through and it's just great to be back in the final."
It will be even better for Malachy if, come Sunday, Boden are parading down the Firhouse Road with the claret jug.