Goals see Ballyboden past dogged Davis
By Daire Walsh
GOALS in each half from Cathal O’Sullivan and Aaron Farrell helped Ballyboden St Enda’s make a winning start to their Dublin U16A Football Championship Group Two campaign at Kiltipper Road on Monday evening.
They were pushed all the way by Thomas Davis, who led on no fewer than five occasions over the course of the tie, but ‘Boden dug deep throughout and a bright final-quarter was enough to secure them the spoils.
Aside from the well-timed finishes of Cathal O’Sullivan and Farrell, the introduction of Scott O’Sullivan off the bench proved instrumental for the visitors. Some wayward second half shooting came back to haunt Davis, but with Ryan Fahey in their ranks, they may yet feature in the shake-up for the knockout rounds.
The bustling centre-forward contributed seven points on the night and was at the centre of all that was positive about his side’s performance.
He converted a free to get his side up and running. but ‘Boden hit back when Robbie O’Reilly squeezed a shot between the uprights to level.
It was an extremely tight affair in the first-quarter, with most of the space coming in the middle-third of the field. Fahey was making the biggest impact in this period and he added a point off an advanced mark on the stroke of 15 minutes.
He was later released on goal by Kyle Murphy and his strike only marginally cleared McDonald’s crossbar. Just before referee Seamus Farrelly signalled the first water break of the proceedings, Ciaran Kiely pointed a 35 metre free to leave their deficit at the bare minimum.
Davis’ remained in the driving seat when Fahey was successful off a long-distance effort, only for them to be hit with a sucker punch on 24 minutes. After having his initial attempt blocked, Fahey’s opposite number – Cathal O’Sullivan – made no mistake at the second time of asking.
His instinctive three-point finish edged ‘Boden in front for the very first time. This lead remained intact until first half stoppage-time, when another Fahey score left the sides neck and neck at the break (0-5 to 1-2).
Due to the low-scoring nature of this clash, it was difficult to predict how the second period was going to pan out. Davis’ were on top of possession when the play resumed, but ‘Boden held firm in defence.
Scott O’Sullivan was added to the attacking mix and his impressive approach work provided the platform for a Ciaran Duggan point on 39 minutes.
A full 12 minutes passed before the next score arrived, Ross Mularchy lifting the pressure of Fahey with a finely struck point.
Kiely was on target with a brace of points and Scott O’Sullivan raised a white flag after a Duggan free had dropped short. Because of a number of hold-ups, 11 minutes were added on at the end of the game.
This left Davis’ with ample time to address a two-point gap. Fahey’s outstanding individual point set-up a grand finale, but it was ‘Boden who ended with a flourish.
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: S McDonald; R O’Mahony, L Kennedy, J O’Connor; O Brophy, E Nugent, O Byrne; B McGuire, C Duggan; C Sweeney, C O’Sullivan, R O’Reilly; A Farrell, J Meaney, C Kiely. Subs: D Daly for Sweeney (19), S O’Sullivan for Farrell (h-t), F Keating McDermott (36), Farrell for Meaney (61), Sweeney for Nugent (68).
THOMAS DAVIS: G Brogan; C Kavanagh, S Byrne, J Kearney; J Palmer, K Young Byrne, S Benton; S McNicholas, C Fullam; R Mularchy, R Fahey, K Murphy; F Lynch, E McEvoy Nolan, E Walsh. Subs: T Moore for McEvoy Nolan (37), E Merriman Hurley for Lynch (57).