Champs cruise in opening test


Ruaidhri O’Connor

The champions are up and running as Ballyboden St Enda's cruised past Trinity Gaels in the second game of the double header at Parnell.

Kilmacud had earlier laid down a marker, but Boden rarely needed to get out of third gear against a committed, but limited Trinity team.

Conal Keaney was a late withdrawal due to a hamstring injury, but the southsiders coped well without their talisman, with Daniel Davey taking up the scoring slack and notching a fine total of 0-8, including three frees.

Michael McAuley continued the form that has seen him star for Dublin in the League, while beside him Declan O'Mahoney's fielding saw his side dominate possession throughout.

The holders -- who are looking to complete the first back-to-back titles since Crokes did it in 2005 -- started strongly and points from Dara Nelson, Andrew Kerin and McAuley sent them into an early lead.

But Trinity scored 0-4 to a Sean Gibbons point thanks to a Graham Dillon free, a Dean Kelly effort and two fine scores from Eamon McInerney.

Roving corner-back Mark McCabe edged Ballyboden back in front, but McInerney was unlucky to see his fisted effort fly over the bar after he beat Dara Walsh to a dipping Dillon ball.

That was the first of four goal chances for Trinity before the break, but none went in and three Davey points and one from Nelson to a solitary Dillon score had the champs a goal up at the break.

The goal chances saw Walsh deny another McInerney fisted effort, Kelly's low shot got some in the crowd cheering but hit the side netting and Walsh brilliantly turned a McInerney effort around the post.

With those chances went any hope the Donaghmede men had of causing a shock and Kerin (2), Davey and Nelson pointed to a sole McInerney effort.

Gibbons then struck for the game's only goal -- taking a McAuley pass and beating Craig Reilly from the edge of the area.

That score made it 1-13 to 0-7 and, while Mervyn Forde pointed, Davey finished the job with four points as Boden won pulling up.

SCORERS -- Ballyboden St Enda's: D Davey (3f) 0-8, S Gibbons 1-1, D Nelson, A Kerin (2f) 0-3 each, M McCabe, M McAuley 0-1 each. Trinity Gaels: E McInerney 0-4, G Dillon (1f) 0-2, D Kelly, M Forde 0-1 each.

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S: D Walsh; M McCabe, I Clarke, D Manley; B Devlin, D Kiernan, J O'Hara; M McAuley, D O'Mahoney; D Nelson, D Davey, C Smyth; S Owens, S Gibbons, A Kerin. Subs: D O'Reilly for Owens (45), P O'Connell for Kerin (54).

TRINITY GAELS: C Reilly; D Mongey, D Sheridan, A Gaskin; G Forde, P Coyne, G Trimble; C O'Keefe, D McCormack; J McCann, G Dillon, D Kelly; B Concannon, E McInerney, D Conlon. Subs: R Sheridan for Concannon (23), B McCann for Mongey (23), M Forde for McCann (36), S Concannon for Conlon (43).

REFEREE: Brian O'Shea (St Mark's).