By Daire Walsh
BALLYBODEN St Enda’s manager Anthony Rainbow hailed the composure of his side after they saw off the challenge of neighbours Thomas Davis in a tentative Dublin Senior Football Championship decider at Parnell Park on Sunday.
This victory represented a fourth county title at the top grade for ‘Boden – their first since 2015- and sets them up for a clash with Newtown Blues from Louth in the Leinster Championship in Drogheda this coming Sunday.
Ryan Basquel (0-6) and Ross McGarry (0-4) were the scorers-in-chief for the southside giants on Sunday last and Rainbow reserved special praise for the attacking duo.
“When you’re playing Thomas Davis, you always know what you’re going to get. They’ve a great set-up at the back. We just needed to stick to the process.
We talked about the process and the game plan, and try not to veer away from that as much as possible. I think we did that as good as we could in that 60 and I think it paid dividends for us,” the Kildare native explained.
“I think it’s the first game all year where we haven’t scored a goal, but again it’s great to win it. We’ll look forward to next Sunday and the Leinster Championship [against Louth’s Newtown Blues].
“If you look at Ross’ first half performance, he kicked one point. He came about in the second half and he kicked three from play. Ryan Basquel was incredible, as he always is. He’s been a fantastic captain. He’d merit any county team in the country.”
Conquerors of previous champions Kilmacud Crokes at the semi-final stage, Thomas Davis were seeking to end a 28-year drought in this competition. However, ‘Boden had impressed in a comeback victory over neighbours St Jude’s in the last-four and stormed into this contest with a host of unanswered points.
Ryan Basquel converted a brace of frees in the first-quarter, while his brother Colm and Declan O’Mahony (who partnered Dublin senior star Michael Darragh Macauley in midfield) also found the target.
Ryan Deegan eventually opened the Davis’ account on 19 minutes and David Keogh superbly split the posts off the outside of his right boot to offer the Tallaght men additional hope.
Nonetheless, points courtesy of Ryan Basquel (two) and McGarry ensured ‘Boden brought a commanding 0-7 to 0-2 lead into the interval.
Though Davis’ had surpassed expectations in reaching this decider, they were ready to fight until the bitter end in Donnycarney. An Eoin Kirby free got them up and running on the resumption and former Clare footballer Shane McGrath cut the gap to three points with an outstanding effort on the wing.
Keogh traded scores with opposite number McGarry to keep the Kiltipper side in contention, until ‘Boden created fresh daylight between the teams. McGarry bagged his third of the game off a prolonged move – preceding a second point for the industrious Colm Basquel.
Kirby was doing his best to stem the rising ‘Boden tide, slotting over a series of frees for last year’s Senior Two champions. Yet, additional contributions from Ryan Basquel (two), McGarry, Colm Basquel and Alan Flood ultimately sealed a deserved triumph for Ballyboden St Enda’s.
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: D Gogan; B Dwan, S Clayton, C Flaherty; D Nelson, R McDaid, A Waters; MD Macauley, D O’Mahony; S Gibbons, C Basquel, D O’Reilly; R McGarry, R Basquel, W Egan. Subs: A Flood for Gibbons (h-t), K Kennedy for McDaid (40-46), T Hayes for Egan (48), B Bobbett for Macauley (51), Kennedy for Dwan, J Holland for Nelson (both 57), C Keaney for O’Reilly (59).
THOMAS DAVIS: R Crilly; A Shorten, P Quinn, Brian Kirby; A Fallon, C Murphy, S Kennedy; Brendan Kirby, O Kelly; S McGrath, E Kirby, E Lambert; R Deegan, C Farrelly, D Keogh. Subs: E O’Toole for Kelly (8), S Reilly for Lambert (h-t), Lambert for McGrath, M Nolan for B Kirby (both 55).
Referee: J Higgins (Na Fianna).