Friday 23 March 2018

Dream season continues for Firhouse Flyers

Ballyboden 2-9 Camross 1-11

Ballyboden can take a deep breath after a cracking game in Parnell Park yesterday.

The Dubliners hung on by their finger-nails as the Laois men threw everything but the dish-washer at the Killester-end goal.

And the prize is a big one for the hosts -- an AIB Leinster SHC Club final against Birr in Tullamore in two weeks time.

What a year it's turning out to be for the Firhouse Flyers. Their first Dublin Senior title, and now only an hour away from the Leinster chalice.

And like they did against Wexford's Oulart-The-Ballagh last week, Boden stood tall when it mattered.

They led by 2-6 to 0-5 at the break, but Camross really came good thereafter.

"We expected that. I said to the lads at half-time that Camross were going to come out and throw the kitchen sink at us," noted Boden boss, Liam Hogan.

"Camross had to do that. We knew what Camross were made of, and we were very lucky to hold on in the end."

With time almost up, Camross were in the middle of yet another attack when the final whistle sounded.

"We were disappointed that the game was blown up when we were attacking. It was down to the wire. Our lads are gutted after giving such a performance in the second half," noted Camross manager, Frank Keenan.

"Our lads deserved a draw, but it's the score-board that counts, and Boden had it on the score-board."

A crowd of 3,000 spectators enjoyed the thrilling spectacle that was decorated by some charming scores on a cold afternoon.

Boden got the start they wanted -- hitting two goals inside seven minutes.

Paul Ryan cracked in the first of them following a pass from David Curtin after only a minute and forty seconds.

And then Dave Sweeney raced away to drill in the second with authority to the right corner.

Young Paul Ryan was having a terrific contest, and centre half-back, Tim Sweeney, also played splendidly.

Indeed, Sweeney's long delivery to his brother, Dave, almost led to a third goal for Boden on 10 minutes, but Camross 'keeper, Tadhg Doran, made a fine save.

The brilliant Zane Keenan was keeping the visitors dancing, and, among his classy collection, were two delightful sideline cuts.

Camross almost grabbed a goal before the interval, but Damien Culleton's drive was blocked by Cathal Ryan.

Keenan and Niall Holmes led the Camross recovery on the restart, and Gary Maguire had to be at his very best to foil Fran Keenan on 52 minutes.

Yet Camross maintained their pressure and Joe Phelan's 56th minute goal left just a point between them.

David Curtin then converted a Boden free, before Zane Keenan lofted over yet again for the Laois Lions.

And as Camross launched one last attack, extra-time looked a possibility until Joe Kelly brought the curtain down.

Scorers -- Ballyboden St. Enda's: P Ryan 1-3, D Sweeney 1-0, C Keaney, D Curtin (2f) 0-2 each, B Kennedy, E Carroll 0-1 each.

Camross: Z Keenan 0-8 (5f, 2s), J Phelan 1-0, N Holmes 0-3.

Ballyboden St. Enda's -- G Maguire; C Ryan, S Perkins, M O'Sullivan; S Hiney, T Sweeney, M Travers; S Lambert, B Kennedy; D Curtin, E Kinsella, M Griffin; P Ryan, C Keaney, D Sweeney. Subs: J Duffy for Kennedy (39); E Carroll for Griffin (41); S Daly for C Ryan (47); J Doody for Kinsella (59).

Camross -- T Doran; L Cuddy, P Cuddy, P Guilfoyle; T Byrne, F Hogan, D Keenan; C Delaney, F Keenan; S Higgins, D Culleton, Z Keenan; D Delaney, K Cuddy, N Holmes. Subs: J Doran for L Cuddy (Inj, 12); J Phelan for D Delaney (ht); O Dowling for Culleton (41).

Ref --J Kelly (Wexford).

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