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Ryan keeps Ballyboden on track

Ballyboden St Enda's kept their four-in-a-row ambitions alive with a comfortable 12-point victory over O'Toole's at Parnell Park yesterday.

After an even opening to this encounter, with both sides relying on scores from placed balls -- Paul Ryan for St Enda's and Andrew Morris for O'Toole's -- the holders hit 1-5 without reply, with scores from Conal Keaney and Ryan augmented by Conor McCormack's 26th-minute goal.

O'Toole's responded well to this setback, however, and a cracking goal from Morris followed up by a Kevin Flynn point in injury-time, meant they trailed by just four points (1-8 to 1-4) at the interval.

However, Keaney notched a glorious point upon the restart and in the 36th minute, Ballyboden pushed clear when Ryan converted a 21-metre free to leave eight points between the sides.

And Ryan's second goal six minutes later effectively ended the contest.

Despite some late pressure, O'Toole's were unable to bridge the gap as they fell at the penultimate stage for the second successive season.

Scorers -- Ballyboden St Enda's: P Ryan 2-8 (1-6f, 0-1 '65'), C Keaney 0-4, C McCormack 1-0, J Doody 0-2, S Durkin, D Sweeney, D O'Connor 0-1 each. O'Toole's: A Morris 1-2 (0-2f), K Flynn 0-5 (0-2f), L Ryan, G Morris, D Webster, D Farrelly 0-1 each.

Ballyboden St Enda's -- G Maguire; M O'Sullivan, D Spain, M Travers; S Hiney, S Nolan, B Treacy; D Curtin, S Durkin; C McCormack, S Perkins, D Sweeney; J Doody, C Keaney, P Ryan. Subs: D O'Connor for Perkins (51), N McMorrow for D Sweeney (56), T Sweeney for Ryan (60), M Lambert for McCormack (63).

O'Toole's -- B McLoughlin; M Cunningham, P Brennan, R Walker; G O'Meara, K Ryan, Patrick Carton; M Carton, K Flynn; Peadar Carton, L Ryan, A Morris; G Morris, K Horgan, D Farrelly. Subs: D Webster for Horgan (38), P Bradshaw for Farrelly (53), J Bastow for G Morris (59).

Ref -- E Mullarkey (Lucan Sarsfields).

Irish Independent