Dublin U21 ‘A’ Football Championship Final: Ballinteer St John’s V Ballyboden St Enda’s – The Tallaght Echo – December 1 2022

Boden U21s fall to Ballinteer St John’s in championship decider

By Daire Walsh

THERE was disappointment for Ballyboden St Enda’s at O’Toole Park on Saturday afternoon as they suffered a 2-16 to 0-6 defeat at the hands of local rivals Ballinteer St John’s in the Dublin U21 ‘A’ Football Championship decider.

Despite their best endeavours on the day, the Firhouse Road outfit came off second best to a John’s side that were heavily-influenced by Dublin U20 star Luke Breathnach.

Having won the Dublin U21 ‘A’ Hurling Championship crown nine years ago, Ballinteer secured their first-ever title in the football equivalent.

Incidentally, Boden will face Raheny in an U21 ‘A’ Hurling showpiece at the same venue this coming Saturday.

The club’s U21 footballers had progressed to last weekend’s grand final as a result of a 0-11 to 0-10 triumph over St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh in Martin Savage Park on November 12. Inside forward Daire Sweeney played a pivotal role in this victory and he did his utmost to get Boden up and running against Ballinteer in a full-forward line that also included Ryan O’Dwyer and Malachy Codd.

Yet Ballinteer were buoyed by their own semi-final success against Skerries Harps (0-18 to 2-10) at Marley Park on the same day and came flying out of the traps in the Kimmage venue.

Before Boden got their account up and running, John’s already had four points on the board.

The Pairc Ui Murchu men were hoping this would help them to settle into the contest, but it was Ballinteer who ultimately pushed on in the remaining minutes of the opening period. Following good approach work from Finan Chambers and Jack Lundy, Breathnach unleashed a powerful shot that drifted beyond the reach of opposition custodian Hugh O’Sullivan.

Ballyboden had a number of players within their ranks who recently helped the club to claim top honours in the Dublin Intermediate All County Football Championship.

In addition to the aforementioned Sweeney, the likes of Jack Lambert, John McGuire, Conor Lowe, Robbie O’Reilly and Codd were also included amongst this cohort.

They all worked hard to keep Boden in contention and managed to bring the gap down to four points. However, Ballinteer were playing with the aid of a breeze in the opening period and drove forward to eventually lead 1-7 to 0-3 at the interval.

Although Boden weren’t necessarily out of the reckoning, a second Ballinteer goal courtesy of Mark McNally ultimately left them with too much ground to cover.

On the third-quarter mark, John’s had developed a 12-point cushion and were in no mood to relinquish their winning position.

As well as managing to keep the Boden attack at bay, Ballinteer’s defensive triumvirate of Liam Smith, Matthew Gardiner and Chambers also got their names on the scoresheet at the opposite end.

Ballyboden persevered as the action wore on with the midfield pairing of Alex Gavin and Michael McDonald never lacking in industry, but with Breathnach contributing a superb tally of 1-8, Ballinteer were full value for their win.

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