Ballyboden St Enda’s magnificent final record stood firm as they took home the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship title on Sunday at the second attempt ahead of Kilmacud Crokes at Parnell Park.
It ended a five-year wait for the title and means they have won in each of their last seven final appearances since making the breakthrough in 2007.
The victory came from a spellbinding contest, one which ebbed and flowed, living up to the billing that preceded this replay with both sides have periods of control.
The Firhouse Road club got off to an excellent start with Conor McCormack providing an almost nonchalant finish into an empty net a few yards out within three minutes. It came after a cutting through-ball from the Boden left confounded both defence and goalkeeper.
St Enda’s looked the better side in the opening 15 minutes but, from then on, Crokes were to have their best period and could easily have done enough to win it.
Boden had led by 1-5 to 0-3 before Crokes closed the gap to a single score. Marc Howard – a key figure in the drawn first final – won Crokes a penalty after a winding run in to the Boden defence but injured himself in the process.
He proved a huge loss to Crokes, the injury confounded by a poor penalty from Oisin O’Rorke who chipped the resulting chance straight down the middle. Gary Maguire blocked and Boden ultimately came out of the resulting chaos on top.
Nevertheless, Crokes went in ahead at half time with O’Rorke going some way to atone as he smashed a goal past Maguire on the whistle and sent the men in purple and yellow in at the break with a 1-9 to 1-7 lead, and the momentum.
As has been the way with these two, Boden wiped the score back to all square within 90 seconds of the restart. Conal Keaney and Paul Ryan had been doing much of the damage and after Boden leveled up on points, Ryan fired an unstoppable free into the Crokes goal, and restored breathing space.
Even from there it was nip and tuck and Crokes threatened to close in. The Stillorgan men had brought it back to just a single point by the time the half headed into injury time.
Briefly, it looked like they might drag things into extra time with O’Rorke in particular a constant threat.
Boden calmed their nerves, though. They ran the ball a little, pointed a couple of critical scores late on, and celebrated their return to the top on their knees when the whistle sounded, running out 2-15 to 1-15 winners in one of the best senior final match ups in living memory.
Boden go on to face Westmeath side Clonkill, with the fixture already set for Parnell Park next Sunday, at 2pm.
Unfortunate Crokes had finally seen off their nemesis in double All Ireland champions Cuala at the semi-final stage, but nevertheless suffer a third straight final defeat.