St Enda’s progress after nail biting showdown against St Mary’s
ST MARY’S SAGGART……………………………………2-9
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S………………………………..3-6
By Daire Walsh
FOLLOWING a hard-earned draw away to St Mary’s in Saggart on Tuesday night, Ballyboden St Enda’s progressed to the knockout rounds of the Dublin U16 ‘C’ Football Championship.
As a result, the Firhouse Road club will now face Kilmacud Crokes in Saturday afternoon’s quarter-final at Silver Park.
Having overcome the challenge of Naomh Olaf in the opening game of Group Three on August 10, Mary’s entered this contest knowing another triumph could see them through.
And it looked a distinct possibility when the impressive Diarmaid O Dulaing levelled matters in stoppage-time, but the hosts could not conjure a winning score during a frantic finale.
‘Boden began the action in a bright fashion, with corner-forward Myles O’Sullivan raising a white flag in the fifth-minute.
Had it not been for the feet of netminder Neil Lawless, it could well have ended up in the net. Instead, it was Mary’s who registered the first major of the night just two minutes later.
After a ‘Boden kick-out had gone astray, goalkeeper Sam Doyle found himself off his line. Full-back Oisin Murray was forced into the role of auxiliary custodian, but he could not prevent Harry Strumble firing a looping effort beyond his reach.
This was an early set-back for Pearse O’Sullivan’s charges and they fell further adrift when Jack Kenny pointed.
Nevertheless, ‘Boden regained their composure either side of the first-quarter mark – Michael Murphy and Myles O’Sullivan finding the target in quick succession.
Mary’s remained in the ascendancy and O Dulaing’s successful free on 22 minutes stretched their lead.
However, ‘Boden went on to become the dominant outfit in the remaining minutes of the opening period.
Stephen Ormsby picked up possession in an advanced position on the right-hand side and proceeded to unleash an unstoppable shot past Lawless. John Farrington subsequently added a fine point before Ormsby had an ideal opportunity to claim his second goal of the tie.
While his penalty on the half-hour was well-directed, Lawless superbly tipped it onto the crossbar. This meant Mary’s were just two points behind (1-4 to 1-2) at the break.
Conor Cleary reduced the Mary’s gap with a 33rd-minute point and his midfield partner O Dulaing landed an equaliser all of six minutes later.
The latter was becoming a massively influential figure for the Saggart side and he split the posts in outstanding style off a 40-metre free. This edged them back into the lead, but it was short-lived.
Capitalising on excellent build-up play by Aodhan O’Reilly and Mark McSharry, Ormsby finally added his second three-pointer with an unstoppable drive midway through the half.
This threw down the gauntlet to Mary’s, and their response was emphatic.
O Dulaing delivered a bullet strike to the ‘Boden net that was followed by points via the boots of Jack Daly, O Dulaing and substitute Tadhg Morris.
Ballyboden simply refused to give in, though, with O’Reilly and Evan Moynahan singles offering them a new lease of life. When the raiding O’Reilly smashed home his side’s third goal in time added on, it looked like all the momentum was with the visiting team.
Yet O Dulaing’s placed-ball effort restored parity and when Darragh Sheehy was fouled in the 67th-minute, the centre-fielder had a golden opportunity to seal the deal for St Mary’s.
Yet he ultimately fell short from a tricky angle, much to the relief of Ballyboden.
ST MARY’S SAGGART: N Lawless; J Orefuwa, J O’Leary, D Sheehy; C Andrews, M O’Hickey, L Hughes; C Cleary, D O Dulaing; J Daly, H Strumble, D Magliozzi; J Kenny, A Moore, A Reid. Subs: D O Braonain, D O’Byrne, T Morris, C Linnane.
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: S Doyle; E Mc Phaidin, O Murray, D French; A O’Reilly, S O’Shea, M McSharry; J Kennedy, S Wall; S Flood, J Farrington, S Cramer Walsh; S Ormsby, M O’Sullivan, M Murphy. Subs: A McGough, E Moynahan, O Quinn.