Lesson of Lucan to steel ‘Boden
EVENING HERALD DUBLIN SHC SEMI-FINAL
Ballyboden St Enda’s v O’Toole’s (Sunday, Parnell Park, 4.0)
Sars scrape will tee champions up perfectly for Larriers showdown
Saturday October 23 2010
THE intensity should match a Munster final. The Larriers against ‘Boden. Strike up the band.
Last year’s duel has set the scene nicely. O’Toole’s gave ‘Boden their hardest match in a month of Sundays.
“We needed that,” remarked ‘Boden boss, Liam Hogan. Hogan’s Heroes showed the benefit of the drawn game in the replay the following Wednesday. They won by seven points.
They went on to complete the three-in-a-row. This year there has been more turbulence than usual.
O’Toole’s beat them in the pool stage and St Vincent’s held them to a draw.
Liam Hogan called for more urgency.
But then there was only a point in it against Lucan Sarsfields in the quarter-final, 0-19 to 0-18. And this despite the Firhouse Road side looking at one stage in the second half like they might cruise home after they opened up a 0-16 to 0-9 advantage with little over 15 minutes remaining.
‘Boden were seven points clear when Conal Keaney rattled the bar. If the sliotar had gone under, it was over and out.
But life changes on little things. Lucan wouldn’t go away. They are too good a side for that.
The holders know that they’ll have to be at full volume from the off against Damien Hernon’s side.
The Ayrfield men will relish another crack at the champs. They showed their resilience when they overcame the Craobh. You get the feeling that they have yet to show their full hand. They’ll need to do that at the Donnycarney theatre tomorrow.
But the Larriers v Craobh is a fixture in a world of it’s own. It’s never an afternoon for bringing your best china cups onto the lawn.
Peadar Carton was sucking diesel against Chiaráin’s. His brilliantly taken goal 10 minutes from time effectively sealed the outcome.
It was a game when former Dublin senior Brendan McLoughlin proved he’s still one of the best keepers around.
He’s been a fantastic servant to O’Toole’s. He brings such authority to the job. And he instils confidence in his defenders.
Ger O’Meara, Kevin Ryan, who is really coming into his own at centre-back, and Jody Bastow don’t give much away. Michael Carton, Andrew Morris, Liam Ryan and young Paddy Carton will hope to create and take scores.
Liam Ryan’s head-to-head with ‘Boden’s No6, Stephen Nolan, will be a key battle and Ryan will relish the physical exchanges under the dropping sliotar.
Against Lucan, off the Ballyboden bench came Dave Sweeney, David Curtin, Stephen Perkins and David O’Connor. That’s like the strength in depth that the Kilmacud footballers have fostered — it could have a big bearing on tomorrow’s game.
James Duffy and Marty O’Sullivan are tidy hurlers. Shane Durkin, Simon Lambert and Conor McCormack possess guile. Keaney and Paul Ryan are quality finishers.
Some of ‘Boden’s team play against Lucan was excellent. They made good use of the ball. And if they get a lead this time, they’ll be intent on clearing the table.
SO FAR — BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: Lost to O’Toole’s 0-15 to 1-16. Beat Crokes 2-23 to 1-15. Drew with Vincent’s 1-14 to 0-17. Beat St Pat’s, Palmerstown 4-22 to 0-11. Beat Faughs 6-13 to 0-5. Beat Lucan Sarsfields 0-19 to 0-18. O’TOOLE’S: Beat Ballyboden 1-16 to 0-15. Beat Pat’s, Palmerstown 1-10 to 0-11. Lost to Crokes 1-15 to 2-14. Beat Faughs 1-18 to 1-12. Lost to Vincent’s 1-5 to 1-14. Beat Craobh Chiaráin by 2-11 to 0-14.
VERDICT: Ballyboden St Enda’s
– Niall Scully