| 16.6°C Dublin

nervy end for boden

Ballyboden St Enda's withstood a brave second-half challenge from St Brigid's when deservedly claiming the Dublin U16 A Hurling Championship title following a two-point victory at a sun-kissed O'Toole Park last Saturday lunchtime.

Ballyboden looked primed for a comfortable success as they enjoyed a 12-point interval advantage but the influence of the strong breeze and the admirable determination from their opponents ensured a nervy conclusion to events.

The adult sides on the Firhouse Road may have endured a disappointing season but Saturday's success, coming a fortnight after the capture of the Under 15 equivalent, offered considerable grounds for optimism for St Enda's.


St Brigid's will rue the concession of a goal late in the first half but the manner of their second-half fightback will offer some grounds of consolation for Johnny McGuirk and his charges.

It was the perfect start for Boden as their first foray into enemy territory saw Aaron Coffey's delivery flicked to the net by full-forward Ciaran Ryan in the opening minute.

Two minutes later, Cillian Byrne served early notice of his promise as he added to Boden's lead but a well-taken score from Johnny McGuirk in the fourth minute was just reward for the early efforts of St Brigid's against the stiff wind.

That breeze was especially evident as Byrne converted two superb frees from distance as the half progressed but the tireless efforts of McGuirk brought another point to the Blanchardstown outfit in the 10th minute.

Much of the play was condensed towards the Crumlin End as St Enda's increased their lead through points from Byrne, Robert Byrne and Conor O'Donoghue and they received a massive boost in injury-time as Aidan Mellett picked up the pieces superbly before firing an unerring finish beyond Michael Courtney in the Brigid's goal.

Cian O'Sullivan worked wonders in a defensive capacity in the opening period but his talents were more forthcoming in an attacking perspective after the break as he added two points from play within nine minutes of the resumption.

Seán Gorman briefly stemmed the flow with a fine score for Boden but after McGuirk saw his penalty saved by O'Donoghue in the 44th minute, O'Sullivan crashed a 20-metre free into the top corner four minutes later to add momentum to his side's comeback.

Crucially, Mellett earned his team a free that Coffey converted in the 55th minute but two minutes later O'Sullivan's free was dispatched to the net by Kevin Callaghan to ensure a dramatic conclusion.

O'Sullivan tagged on another free soon after and when Donnacha Ryan pointed from the resultant puck-out, St Enda's were under severe pressure despite the best defensive efforts of Luke Corcoran, Hugh Keller and John Murphy. Their efforts proved crucial as Boden repelled some late attacks to ensure a courageous and merited success.

Scorers: Ballyboden St Enda's: C Byrne 0-6 (4f), C Ryan, A Mellett 1-0 each, C O'Donoghue (f), A Coffey (f), R Byrne, S Gorman 0-1 each St Brigid's: C O'Sullivan 1-5 (1-2f), K Callaghan 1-0, J McGuirk 0-2, D Ryan 0-1.

Ballyboden St Enda's: C O'Donoghue; J Murphy, L Corcoran, D Byrne; H Keller, K Weldon, K Reddy; J Holland, M O'Brien; A Mellett, C Byrne, M Dunne; R Byrne, C Ryan, A Coffey. Subs: S Gorman for Ryan (17), C Barton for Dunne (half-time), J Madden for O'Brien (43), S Kennedy for Gorman (52).

St Brigid's: M Courtney; S Egan, J O'Neill, A Holmes; T O'Shea, D Ryan, D McKenna; M Donnelly, K Callaghan; J McGuirk, T McGlynn, C O'Sullivan; D Cullinan, C Molloy, J Connolly. Subs: D McCabe for McGlynn and B Moran for Molloy (42), P Reilly for Cullinan (58).

Mentors: Ballyboden St Enda's: Andrew Coffey, Seamie O'Neill, Conor McCormack, Gerry Corcoran, Alan McGrath, Ken Wigglesworth, Jamie Desmond St Brigid's: Johnny McGuirk, Keith O'Neill, Donal Smith, Paul O'Brien, Seamus Breslin, Traolach O'Sullivan.

Referee: Martin Brady (Castleknock)

Wides: Ballyboden St Enda's 7 (5+2) St Brigid's 11 (2+9)

Conditions: Glorious autumnal sunshine although strong breeze towards Crumlin End.

Player of the Game: Cillian Byrne (Ballyboden St Enda's)