U14 A Hurlers - Championship Final Kilmacud Crokes Versus Ballyboden
Photo Credit: Eoin Healy & Steven Dagg
Aditional photos here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FhifM5oosQS5KhwdA
U14 CUP FINAL: BODEN BEAT BRAVE CROKES IN EXTRA TIME !
(Match report by Diarmuid Coogan.)
U14 DIVISION 1 CUP FINAL: BODEN BEAT BRAVE CROKES IN EXTRA TIME !
KILMACUD CROKES 0-16 BALLYBODEN ST ENDAS 3-13
(0-13 to 1-10 at normal time.)
The U14 Hurlers of Kilmacud Crokes and Ballyboden St.Endas added another chapter to the many memorable battles between both clubs at all codes and levels on Saturday 30th October in Silverpark.
Given the heavy rainfall which had fallen in previous days this was always likely to be a low scoring game as the pitch was heavy with a lot of sand. However, no matter what the pitch conditions, both teams competed fiercely for every ball in an encounter which was gripping from start to finish.
Playing with the aid of the breeze and down “the hill”, Boden got off to the quicker start and half forwards Fiachra Codd and James Norris scored fine points in the 1st 2 minutes. (0-0 to 0-2)
Crokes had an anxious moment on 4 minutes when a very dangerous high ball was played into the square but full back Finnian Donohoe made an acrobatic catch and cleared the danger in his usual unflappable style.
Boden kept up the pressure and Norris added a free on 6 minutes. (0-0 to 0-3)
Crokes finally started to win some possession around the middle where midfielders Eoghan O’Donovan, Fintan Lydon centre forward Tom Curtin were doing Trojan work; after 9 minutes, Curtin ran powerfully at the Boden defence and passed to speedy right half forward Conal Criostoir in space but just as he was about to “take off”, he was blatantly pulled down on the 20 metre line to the right of goal. After “picking himself up”, Criostoir drilled over the free to settle Crokes’ nerves. (0-1 to 0-3)
Boden then had several opportunities to stretch the lead as they opened up the Crokes defence repeatedly; on one occasion, they were through on goal and the forward unleashed a pile driver that hit the cross bar and the sliothar rebounded to another Boden player who shot for the bottom right corner only for goalie Conor Coogan to dive and beat the ball out to the left where it was cleared but Norris gathered the clearance and struck another fine point. (0-1 to 0-4)
Just before the water break, Lydon made a powerful break on the left side but was hit by a dangerous late tackle by Boden corner back Zach Grady who was yellowed carded. Centre back Rory Flannery bisected the posts to keep his side in touch. (0-2 to 0-4)
Both side were guilty of conceding soft frees in scorable positions after the break and Codd and Criostoir exchanged points before Flannery hit a wonderful free from the 65 metre line on the right touchline against the wind to a huge cheer from the home crowd.(0-4 to 0-5)
Boden had the goal at their mercy just after but full forward Luke Durkin shot high over the advancing Coogan and Crokes were relieved that only a point was conceded. (0-4 to 0-6)
On 26 minutes, O’Donovan showed his mettle by “surfing” a few high tackles before tapping over from 25 metres. (0-5 to 0-6)
Criostoir and Codd exchanged frees in the following minutes before Codd was unlucky to see a long range effort hit the right post high up; corner back High Brosnan reacted well to clear the danger; after a few battles for possession, Norris was awarded a free 60 metres out which he duly despatched to leave his side 2 points up at half time. (0-6 to 0-8)
Crokes began the 2nd half in determined fashion and following a great block by sub corner forward Ryan Crowley, the ball fell to left half forward Connie O’Sullivan close to the left touchline and he hit a lovely point from the 20 metre line. (0-7 to 0-8)
Boden then sent a long range free into the Crokes box which was deflected into the net but the goal was disallowed for square ball.
Coogan found O’Donovan on half-way with the puck out and he ran hard but was pulled down by centre back Josh Mooney. Flannery stepped up and nailed the equaliser from 60 metres. (0-8 to 0-8)
On 39 minutes, Criostoir was heavily fouled before playing the ball into the right corner where Crowley did well to gain possession and work it back to full forward Ronan McNamara who hit a great point from 35 metres. (0-9 to 0-8)
At this stage it looked as if Crokes were getting on top as the half backs of James Ryan, Flannery, Thomas Ambrose , sub Rian Robertson and No.11 Curtin were winning a lot of ball but Norris managed to get possession in a bit of space 40 metres out and he ran hard at the centre of the Crokes defence before off loading to left corner forward Conor Byrne 15 metres from the goal and he had made no mistake from point blank range on 42 minutes.
Crokes responded well and Flannery hit another trademark 65 from the left side to make it a 1 point game at the break. (0-10 to 1-8)
Again Crokes were 1st out of the traps after the break and following yet another high tackle on O’Donovan, Criostoir tapped over a free from 20 metres to level the game.
On 48 minutes, a long range Flannery free hit the upright and McNamara reacted well to put his side back into the lead. (0-12 to 1-8)
From the resultant puck out, Flannery won possession and broke a tackle and was about to launch the ball downfield when he was harshly penalised for steps. Norris dropped a dangerous ball into the square which Coogan batted out and the danger was averted. From another long free on 53 minutes, there was a scramble for the ball on 20 metres before Codd snatched the sliothar and equalised again. (0-12 to 1-9)
Both sides had chances in the following minutes but when Norris hit a mighty 65 against the wind with 2 minutes left, it looked as if it might be the winner. (0-12 to 1-10).
COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE MAN!
Crokes attached furiously in search of an equaliser but 2 efforts went wide before a defensive clearance was put out for a 65 with 60 minutes on the clock.
Up stepped Flannery, and with out any fuss, drove the ball straight between the posts 10 feet over the bar! (0-13 to 1-10)
With game now in injury time, everyone awaited the final whistle but the ref played another few minutes and it was in this time that Crokes could have won the game. They were winning Boden goalie Rory O’Donoghue’s puck outs but missed a few chances to snatch the lead by shooting from difficult positions.
When the full time whistle sounded, everyone drew breath and applauded a monumental effort by both sides.
In the 1st 2 minutes of extra time, 2 decisions had a huge bearing on the outcome. From the throw in, the sliothar was worked back to Flannery who took a tap on his hurl before setting off but he was harshly blown for “throwing the sliothar” to himself. Norris nailed the free from 50 metres. (0-13 to 1-11)
A minute later, the influential Rooney came onto the ball around ½ way and ran hard up the left hand side. Despite handling the ball 3 times, the ref allowed him to continue his run and he eventually found himself 10 metres from goal where he kicked a great individual goal for himself, albeit taking a similar amount of steps as Eoin Murchin in the 2019 all Ireland final!! (0-13 to 2-11)
The shellshocked Crokes now faced a stern examination of their character and they were boosted when Flannery hit another great free from 75 metres out. (0-14 to 2-11)
Crokes attacked again and sub forward Lochlainn Kennedy won the ball and laid it off to Criostoir who tapped over. (0-15 to 2-11)
Norris then managed to hit a lovely point from the left touchline 7 minutes into the half. Following another foul on Lydon, Flannery reduced the gap to 2 on 9 minutes. With half time approaching, it looked as if Crokes had weathered Boden’s flying start. (0-16 to 2-12)
With 10 minutes played, Boden won a 65 which Norris struck for a point but the ball dropped into the square and was deflected off a defenders hurl into the net to give Boden a huge psychological advantage as the ½ time whistle was sounded. (0-16 to 3 -12)
To their credit, Crokes never gave up in the 2nd half but were probably chasing goals too early when 1 or 2 points might have got them back into contention; also they were now resembling the “walking wounded” as Ambrose went off with a fractured elbow and several other key players were playing “on one leg”!
Boden had a few anxious moments in defence where Mooney was imperious and when Norris hit a 65 with less than 3 minutes left, the game was up. (0-16 to 3-13)
Crokes and Boden were the 2 stand out teams in U14 Division1 this season with both going through the league and Cup campaigns undefeated so it was fitting that they should produce such a close battle in this Final and this will no doubt be repeated over the following years as they progress to Minor level and beyond.
KILMACUD CROKES: C.COOGAN, H.BROSNAN, F.DONOHOE, D.LINEHAN, T.AMBROSE,R.FLANNERY, J.RYAN(Capt),E.O’DONOVAN,F.LYDON,C,CRIOSTOIR,T.CURTIN,C.O’SULLIVAN,C.MORIARTY,R.McNAMARA,C.MORIARTY.
SUBS: (R.Robertson f D.Linehan, R.Crowley f C.Moriarty, R.Gargan f M.O’Rafferty, L.Kennedy f R.Crowley, D.Linehan f Ambrose, J.Axelsson f Brosnan.
CROKES SCORERS: R.Flannery 0-7 (5 F, 2 65), C.Crisotoir 0-5(4 f), R.McNamara 0-2, E.O’Donovan 0-1, C.O’Sullivan 0-1.
BODEN SCORERS: J.NORRIS 1-8, F.CODD 0-4, C.Byrne 1-1. Josh Mooney (1-0)