Ballyboden St. Enda's through to Dublin SHC Final
Dublin Senior Hurling Championship semi-final
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S 1-15 NA FIANNA 0-12
By John Harrington at Parnell Park
A strong final quarter from Ballyboden St. Enda’s saw them surge to victory over Na Fianna in today’s Dublin SHC semi-final to set up a Final joust with defending champions Cuala.
If they are to defeat their south-side neighbours in that match, though, they’ll need to bring their game to a higher level than they managed for much of this semi-final.
As a contest it stuttered and spluttered without ever really flaring into life as both teams struggled to hurl with fluency for any concerted period of time.
Na Fianna had a slight edge for long periods, but didn't quite make the most of their dominance when they were on top.
They started quickly, racking into an early lead courtesy of points from Donal Burke, Colin Currie, and Sean Currie.
At that stage their young team looked ready to reach the county final for the first time in the club’s history, but they didn’t move up through the gears like you thought they might thereafter.
Ballyboden used all their know-how to defend tenaciously and slow Na Fianna’s momentum, and the accurate free-taking of Paul Ryan was enough to keep them in touch.
His fourth converted free of the game was the final score of the first-half and ensured that Ballyboden only went to the dressing-room two points down despite playing within themselves.
At the start of the second-half it once again looked like Na Fianna were going to seize the day when they started to produce some flashes of quality.
AJ Murphy scored a nice point on the run and then Shane Barrett got on the end of a wonderful passing move to put them 0-10 to 0-7 ahead.
Barrett then burst through the Ballyboden defence after lung-bursting run but his fierce shot was brilliantly saved by Finn McGarry at full-stretch.
That was a real sliding doors moment for Ballyboden. Had they conceded a goal at that moment it was a long way back, but McGarry’s save seemed to give them a surge of adrenalin.
Two points from Ryan and a nice score on the run by Paul Doherty had them level by the 45th minute, and then in the final quarter they really turned the screw.
Ryan knocked over another free, Simon Lambert landed an opportunistic point, and then came the decisive moment of the match.
Luke McDwyer took off on a run and passed to fellow substitute Pearse Christie who was floored in the act of shooting.
The deadly-accurate Ryan made no mistake from the resulting penalty, lancing the back of the net for a score that killed off the Na Fianna challenge.
Scorers for Ballyboden St. Enda’s: Paul Ryan 1-8 (1-0 pen, 0-7f), Paul Doherty 0-2, Simon Lambert 0-2, David O’Connor 0-1, Kevin Desmond 0-1, Paddy Dunleavy 0-1
Na Fianna: Colin Currie 0-6 (6f), Donal Burke 0-2 (1f), Sean Currie 0-2 (1f), AJ Murphy 0-1, Shane Barrett 0-1
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: Finn McGarry; Stephen O’Connor, Luke Corcoran, James Madden; David O’Connor, Simon Lambert, Paddy Dunleavy; Sean McDonnell, Niall McMorrow; Conal Keaney, Niall Ryan, Stphen Hiney; Aidan Mellett, Paul Doherty, Paul Ryan. Subs: Pearse Christie for Aidan Mellett (ht), Conor McCormack for Niall Ryan (40)
NA FIANNA: Jonathan Treacy; Kevin Burke, Paul O’Dea, Conor Kelly; Shane Barrett, Sean Baxter, Conor McHugh; Feargal Breathnach, Mairtin Quilty; Sean Currie, Eoghan McHugh, AJ Murphy; Donal Burke, Sean Ryan, Colin Currie. Subs: Sean Burke for Mairtin Quilty (15), Michael Murphy for Paul O’Dea (44)
Ref: PJ Murray