Boden into SHC Final while Lucan crash out
By Daire Walsh
BALLYBODEN St Enda’s reached their second Dublin Senior ‘A’ Hurling Championship final in the space of three years with a hard-earned 1-15 to 0-12 triumph over Na Fianna at Parnell Park this afternoon.
Trailing by three points (0-11 to 0-8) with 39 minutes gone on the clock, Joe Fortune’s side gained control of proceedings either side of the third-quarter mark.
Paul Ryan finished with an excellent individual haul of 1-8 and, with Enda’s having struggled to kill off the determined challenge of the Glasnevin brigade, his 57th minute penalty finally established a substantial cushion for ‘Boden.
Their opponents in the forthcoming showpiece will be defending champions Cuala, who recorded a 1-17 to 0-13 victory at the expense of Lucan Sarsfields in the day’s curtain raiser.
Lucan last appeared in a senior county decider back in 2013 when they were edged out by Ballyboden at the end of a tense encounter.
With Ben Coffey (0-7) leading the way in attack, an upset appeared on the cards for large stretches of the play. Nevertheless, Cuala discovered an extra gear in the final-quarter to ensure Lucan came up short in the end.
Just seven days after their football side overcame Raheny in the same venue, ‘Boden were seeking to keep their dreams of a championship double alive.
It was a difficult opening for the southsiders as Na Fianna utilise their wind advantage with consecutive scores from Donal Burke and Colin Currie (two).
‘Boden fired back through Simon Lambert and Paul Ryan, before corner-back David O’Connor stepped forward to cancel out a pointed effort by Colin Currie. A Paul Doherty single brought them back on level terms, only for Na Fianna to enjoy another purple patch.
The Currie brothers – Colin and Sean – contributed two points apiece to create some daylight on the scoreboard. Whilst Ryan converted a brace of frees at the opposite end, ‘Boden still found themselves 0-8 to 0-6 adrift at the interval.
Ryan’s fourth free of the tie made it a bright start to the second period for the seven-time winners, but Na Fianna continued to play with confidence. AJ Murphy, Shane Barrett and Colin Currie all raised white flags to keep them in the frame for a maiden final appearance at this level.
Yet ‘Boden’s class and experience eventually shone through and five points without reply – four for Paul Ryan and one for Doherty – gave them the upper hand inside the final-quarter.
Lambert’s second of the game arrived as a direct response to a Burke free on the right-wing and when Ryan drilled to the net with three minutes of normal remaining, destiny was suddenly in their hands.
Despite the best endeavours of Na Fianna, a Kevin Desmond point wrapped up another huge win for Ballyboden.
Buoyed by their excellent quarter-final triumph over Kilmacud Crokes, Lucan stormed into their showdown with Cuala.
Courtesy of unanswered scores from Ben Coffey (two), Kevin Fitzgerald, Paul Crummey and 2013 All Star Peter Kelly, Sean McCaffrey’s were 0-5 to 0-1 in front on the first-quarter mark.
David Treacy and Diarmuid O Floinn were on target either side of Coffey’s third of the half to keep the Dalkey rivals in touch and although Coffey added another point deep into stoppage-time, Cuala (champions in four of the past five seasons) had reduced the gap to two (0-7 to 0-5) in time for the break.
The spectre of a surprise result loomed large when Coffey and Chris Crummey found the range on the resumption.
However, with Dublin senior footballer Con O’Callaghan an increasingly influential presence, Cuala gradually started to display their mettle.
While Lucan duo Coffey (free) and Fitzgerald enhanced their personal tallies, the combined contributions of Treacy (three), O’Callaghan and O Floinn wiped out their lead in time for the second half water break.
Sarsfields regained the lead with a CJ Smith point but after Sean Moran fired past Cillian Murray on 49 minutes, it heralded a dominant spell from Willie Maher’s troops.
Even though Coffey initially kept Lucan in contention, a rampant Cuala embarked on a blistering scoring spree in the closing moments to comfortably advance.