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'Boden joy at Leinster title

LEINSTER hurling champions. It has a nice ring to it and it's what the seniors from Ballyboden St Enda's can be called for the next year at least.

However, as Ballyboden centre-forward Dave Curtin explained, the Leinster Senior Hurling League represents something greater than just another trophy.

The club, like all senior teams in the capital, played their last senior championship game back in the middle of May and possibly won't have another game in the competition for some time.

The Leinster League, however, represents a chance to get top-class games with a competitive edge.

Competitive

"We are delighted. A final, when you're in one, is there to be won and it's nice to get the medal," explains Curtin. "It was a good league, as opposed to going looking for challenge matches, which aren't great, really.

"But these were good competitive matches we were getting (in the Leinster League). We played Dunnamaggin (Kilkenny) and Cuala and they were really good games, and then obviously Coolderry as well.

"We have a lot of young lads coming through and they stood up the mark. It gives them a chance to test themselves against teams from the country as opposed to Dublin teams all the time and it will give them confidence."

Curtin also believes that something needs to be done in order to address the lack of matches available to players during the summer months, the time of the year when hurling should be flourishing.

"It's a ridiculous system in that we are not out again until September," he says candidly. "We can't go flat out for the summer training, so it's important to get that right. We had to get ourselves right for the first two games and it's almost like starting again because of the gap in between.

"To not play any championship games in July and August and is something that needs to be looked at. I don't see why lads can't go and do a bit of hurling with the club for a week or two after a county game ... especially panellists who maybe aren't getting much game time for the county.

"It would be good for them to get a bit of form going. It has a big impact on the club player too so hopefully it is something that will be addressed."

The former Dublin star was on placed ball duty in Sunday's final, clipping over five frees to supplement his 0-3 haul from play, leaving him top scorer in the 0-18 to 1-14 victory.

He was quick to play down his performance, however: "Ah I'm only keeping the free-taking duties warm for Ryaner (Paul Ryan) when he's away! They went alright for me but when Paul is back there's no doubt he'll be taking them back because he's flying on them. I got the few scores but the whole team was great.

"We pulled away on them but they came back at us in the end and I was delighted to hear the final whistle. In fairness, against the wind we did the hard work so we held out well.

Chances

"They were missing their few intercounty boys too. But they got to an All-Ireland final (in 2012) and beat us along the way so it was nice to get the win against them, even if it wasn't a Leinster championship match."

And what of 'Boden's chances of regaining their Dublin crown, having lost it in 2012 when going for six-in-a-row?

"The way Dublin is now there are probably five or six teams capable of winning it. After last year we won't be looking at anything only the next game.

"We just have to knuckle down and try get back to where we were really."

He might lose the free-taking duties, but on this form Dave Curtin will still be a go-to man when that championship assault gets going again in September.


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