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Knock spell Enda 'Boden

REIGNING holders Ballyboden St Enda's will hope to replicate their success of last year when they face Castleknock in their eagerly anticipated Dublin Minor Football Championship 'A' Final at Parnell Park this evening (7.30).

'Boden showed huge mental strength when prevailing in last year's low-scoring county final against Na Fianna and a similar resolve will be required when they face a Castleknock side in rude health following their nine-point semi-final win over a fancied Kilmacud Crokes.

Given their status, St Enda's were surprisingly not particularly inconvenienced by Dublin call-ups this summer and consequently built a great deal of momentum in a promising league campaign. That has stalled somewhat in recent championship displays where they eked out a semi-final spot on scoring difference by just a solitary point after drawing with St Sylvester's and enjoying facile wins over both St Jude's and Ballinteer St John's.

"We're going okay at the moment and are happy enough with where we are," said 'Boden manager Denis Molony, whose team contains five starters from last year's successful selection.

"We've only really played in patches and although our defence has generally been very sound, we haven't really got the full 60 minutes from the whole team in any game so far."

That defence, which restricted Na Fianna to just five points in their two-point semi-final win, has shone through the efforts of corner-back Daniel McGuinness and full-back Dean Doyle, with Doyle's placement allowing Dublin minor captain Robbie McDaid to play a more advanced role at centrefield.



VERSATILITY

McDaid is likely to come into direct contact with his Dublin colleague, Ciarán Kilkenny, whose versatility allows him to exert a strong influence at midfield but a move to his more customary position on the edge of the square is probable at some stage.

Kilkenny's return to club action alongside fellow Dublin panellists Eoghan Quinn, Kevin Kindlon, Ross Mullins and Graham Hannigan has given the Dublin 15 side a huge boost as witnessed by their 1-11 to 0-5 victory over Crokes.

Similar to 'Boden, Castleknock's defence has been instrumental in their progress to-date with Tom Quinn, Eoghan O'Brien and Colm Neville all excelling against both Kilmacud Crokes and in earlier group wins over Templeogue Synge Street, Cuala and Skerries Harps.

Ballyboden, who contest next weekend's hurling 'A' final also, have a great incentive in attempting to defend their title and can call on the likes of McDaid and Aran Waters who have the required experience necessary at this level and their collective discipline is a major asset if the contest goes down to the wire.

However, it would be foolish to dismiss the comprehensive manner of Castleknock's displays to-date and they should possess sufficient scoring options to get the job done in what should be an absorbing if low-scoring encounter.

VERDICT: Castleknock


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