O'Brien to rescue for Fontenoy

Darren nicks point from Enda's

Rnn Mac Lochlainn



Darren O'Brien's superbly converted '45' deep into injury-time gave Clanna Gael Fontenoy a deserved share of the spoils as they drew with Ballyboden St Enda's in their entertaining AFL3 encounter at Sancta Maria last Saturday evening.

With manager Declan Darcy having summoned goalkeeper Jason Redmond to do a "Cluxton", his subsequent two efforts fell short but O'Brien spared Darcy's blushes with a glorious strike that gave the tight affair an equitable conclusion.

O'Brien had earlier shown nerves of steel to convert a 38th-minute penalty to keep the visitors in contention as Boden threatened to build on a wonderfully adroit finish by Justin Owens three minutes earlier.


It was the hosts, playing with the benefit of a slight breeze, who made the more encouraging start with towering midfielder Seamus Keane landing a sixth-minute free to open the scoring.

Clanna Gael replied well through Conor Hurley's free and they took the lead in the 10th minute when substitute James Grant fired over a cracking point, two minutes after replacing Barry Noonan, who succumbed to injury.

However, the visitors went scoreless for the ensuing 20 minutes as St Enda's began to dominate most of the individual battles with Niall Clarke, Daniel McGuinness and James Kilduff defending superbly and joining the attack with regularity.

Davey Ryan struck a glorious levelling point with the outside of his right boot to restore parity and by the end of the first quarter, Boden led by double scores after two further points from play by Aidan Dundon and Liam Tully.

That margin could have been greater but for some disciplined defending by Anthony Darcy, full-back Stephen Saunders and Ciaran Diviney as the Ringsend men struggled to work the ball beyond their half-forward line.


Keane registered a classy point in the 21st minute and three minutes later Barry McGuinness left four points between the sides following a well-worked point as Boden gained reward for all their territorial dominance.

Crucially, the visitors finished the half in the ascendancy with two frees from Hurley sandwiching an excellent Ciaran Connelly point as Clanns trailed by just 0-6 to 0-5 by half-time.

Hurley's fourth free of the game brought his side level two minutes upon the restart but a defensive lapse in concentration allowed Owens to gather possession close to goal and his impudent chip over Redmond brought the game's first goal in the 35th minute.

After Collie Leane had denied Connelly with a brave block a minute later, the same two protagonists came face-to-face with Leane dragging the full-forward down inside the square for a blatant penalty that O'Brien converted with consummate ease.

It was nip and tuck from that point on with two Keane frees cancelling out two sumptuous points from play by O'Brien but Boden looked to have done enough as Keane and Owens pointed to hand their side what seemed a vital advantage.

Clanns roused themselves at the death with Richard Kelleher blazing over the bar from close range after an inspired run in the 57th minute with O'Brien's late intervention denying St Enda's their first league win of the campaign.