BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S 6-8
KILMACUD CROKES 3-7
Ballyboden St Enda’s claimed the Go-Ahead Dublin Minor ‘A’ Football Championship title when accounting for Kilmacud Crokes by ten points in their entertaining decider at O’Toole Park on Sunday morning.
That such a margin would exist by the final whistle seemed highly unlikely as the teams found themselves level by the 50th minute but St Enda’s seized the initiative in the closing stages, netting four times from that point to claim a deserved win.
The winners had heroes littered throughout their team, none more so than Mark McGlynn, who set the tone from the opening whistle in terms of his hard-running, eye for a pass and tireless work rate.
His heavy influence was evident in an opening quarter that was dominated by Ballyboden, albeit they were backed by a strong breeze blowing down the field.
Callum O’Dwyer had already opened the Boden account through a 2nd minute free before a well-worked move involving Daragh Delaney allowed Paddy Curry the time and space to roll the ball under the advancing Harry Buckley for the game’s opening goal.
Another O’Dwyer free moved St Enda’s five points clear by the 8th minute with Kilmacud finally troubling the umpires with a fine team score by Sean McBarron two minutes later.
Ballyboden were heavily dominant for the remainder of the quarter as Kevin Byrne and O’Dwyer added to their tally and the procession towards the Crokes goal continued as Curry and O’Dwyer popped over classy points.
Kilmacud gradually found their feet with Joe Quigley unfortunate to see his ambitious shot cannon to safety off the crossbar in the 17th minute while Noah Byrne was denied by a smart piece of goalkeeping from Cillian Murray.
It proved third time lucky for Crokes in the 24th minute however as dual star Brendan Kenny raced through down the right before cutting inside and leaving Murray helpless from eight yards.
A Ronan Mahon point added to Kilmacud’s momentum but crucially, their opponents wrestled back the initiative as McGlynn converted two superb frees to leave his team 1-8 to 1-2 ahead at the interval.
With the wind at their backs, Kilmacud seized control upon the resumption, halving their deficit by the 40th minute following successive points by Daragh O’Dwyer, Conal Ó Riain and Quigley.
Their comeback gathered greater speed when they restored parity by the end of the third quarter as Kenny turned provider on this occasion, allowing Sam Kilroy the chance to palm home from close range.
When Byrne raced through from Mahon’s pass in the 46th minute to fire an unstoppable shot into the top corner of Murray’s net, it seemed that Kilmacud had at least one hand on the trophy.
However, a McGlynn attempt that scrambled under Buckley’s body brought St Enda’s back on level terms by the 50th minute with Crokes reduced to fourteen a minute later as Charie Harty received a black card.
A Quigley free edged Crokes back in front but Ballyboden availed of their numerical superiority as Curry fed Delaney for a smart finish and the same player cut inside to fire low past Buckley to push his team five points clear by the 55th minute.
Curry received another assist as he crossed for O’Dwyer to deliver a sublime finish to the bottom corner and the latter showed an old head on young shoulders as he passed to Alex Young deep into added time for Boden’s sixth goal, a fitting manner in which to complete a contest of great heart and skill.
Scorers – Ballyboden St Enda’s: C O’Dwyer 1-4 (0-2f, 0-1 mark), D Delaney 2-0, M McGlynn 1-2 (0-2f), P Curry 1-1, A Young 1-0, K Byrne 0-1. Kilmacud Crokes: B Kenny, S Kilroy, N Byrne 1-0 each, J Quigley 0-3 (2f, 1 mark), C Ó Riain, R Mahon, D O’Dwyer (f), S McBarron 0-1 apiece.
Ballyboden St Enda’s: C Murray; F Murphy, D Gibbons, D Quinlivan; D McCarthy, D Smyth, L Dargan; K Byrne, W Hook; L Murphy, S Keary, M McGlynn; C O’Dwyer, D Delaney, P Curry. Subs: A Dunne for Hook (half-time), A Young for Dargan (40), R Culleton for Byrne (46), C Butler for Delaney (59).
Kilmacud Crokes: H Buckley; B Kenny, G Donohoe, C Harty; J Gossan, D Lucey, C McClean; C Ó Riain, R Mahon; S McBarron, J Quigley, N Byrne; L Murphy, C Donovan, S Kilroy. Subs: D O’Dwyer for Murphy (21), D Boland for Gossan (28), D Purcell for Kilroy (45), D O’Sullivan for McBarron (60), R Donohoe for Kenny (65).
Referee: Mark O’Shea (Na Fianna).