Three first-half goals proved pivotal as Ballyboden St Enda's proved too strong for Whitehall Colmcille in their Dublin Under 15 'A' Hurling Championship Final at Parnell Park last Sunday afternoon.
The seventeen point winning margin was in no way reflective of the effort that Whitehall produced over the hour but the concession of two goals inside the opening nine minutes were body blows from which they never truly recovered.
The contest started with Whitehall taking the lead through a superb point from under the stand by Ciaran O'Connor but a superb run and shot by the jet-heeled Daniel O'Riordan restored parity in the third minute.
With both sides taking time to find their feet, a stalemate ensued for the following five minutes before a Ben Kelly free struck the upright, allowing Rob Donohue to fire home from close range.
Matters deteriorated for Colmcilles in the 9th minute as the hugely influential James Madden secured possession before finding Kelly, who lashed home from ten yards.
A wonderful score by Dhane Kennedy followed soon after as St Enda's began to show greater confidence through the efforts of wing-backs Karl Reddy and Cathal Creed.
With Whitehall having dropped Daniel Egan into a more withdrawn role, scores proved harder for Ballyboden to garner but despite Colmcilles having greater security in defence, their lack of numbers in attack mitigated against the creation of genuine scoring opportunities.
The talent at Whitehall's disposal was evident in successive scores by Lee Gannon and Mikey Noonan but just as they were beginning to claw their way back into contention, Madden showed great strength and poise to rattle home Boden's third goal in the 23rd minute.
A lapse in concentration from the resultant puck-out almost cost St Enda's but Conor O'Donoghue produced a superb save to thwart the marauding Gannon and Madden's point from a well-worked team move pushed St Enda's 3-4 to 0-3 ahead by the interval.
The second-half was a far moree ven affair and despite reducing their arrears through a Noonan free, Whitehall were struggling to break down a composed and hugely efficient Boden rearguard.
Kennedy, O'Donoghue and Madden added points to reaffirm Ballyboden's authority with goalkeeper O'Donoghue a hugely calm and assured presence between the sticks.
With both sides emptying their respective benches, the fluidity of the contest suffered accordingly and St Enda's then suffered a blow as Donohue was dismissed in the 48th minute.
However, the depth in their squad was emphasised by the input of their substitutes with Luke Basquel showing well upon his introduction, scoring two points from play in the process.
Fittingly, the excellent Madden added Boden's fourth goal a minute from time to cement a polished display by Paul Kelly's charges.
Scorers: Ballyboden St Enda's: J Madden 2-2, B Kelly 1-1 (0-1f), R Donohue 1-0, S Kennedy 0-3 (1f), L Basquel 0-2, D O'Riordan, C O'Donoghue (f) 0-1 each. Whitehall Colmcille: M Noonan 0-2 (1f), C O'Connor, L Gannon, R Kerins 0-1 each.
Ballyboden St Enda's: C O'Donoghue; K Lalor, R Wallace, M Normile; K Reddy, T Glynn, C Creed; S Lally, S Kennedy; D O'Riordan, R McCormack, R Donohue; B Kelly, J Madden, C Fallon. Subs: R McGarry for McCormack (38), J Dooney for Kelly (44), L Basquel for Fallon (52), A O'Neill for O'Riordan (58).
Whitehall Colmcille: C McLoughlin; J Walsh, C Murphy, G Sheehan; C Finn, R Harte, R Kerins; E Berry, D Carroll; C O'Connor, D Egan, L Gannon; C McGuinness, J Leonard, M Noonan. Subs: B Daly for Leonard (half-time), S Cullen for McGuinness (40), P Giles for Carroll (44), A Fidurski for O'Connor (56), O Logan for Gannon (58).
Mentors: Ballyboden St Enda's: Paul Kelly, David Curtin, Joe Lalor, Ton O'Donoghue, Pat Normile. Whitehall Colmcille: Shane Noonan, Dave Harte, Robbie George, Enda Giles, John McLoughlin, Dave Walsh, Harry Bodie, Grace Giles.
Ref: PJ Murray (St Finian's Swords)
Wides: Ballyboden St Enda's: 12 (7+5) Whitehall Colmcille 6 (4+2)
Conditions: Dry but pitch patchy in places due to heavy workload.
Player of the Game: James Madden (Ballyboden St Enda's)