BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S last game ahead of the top tier of the Dublin hurling league taking a break was a comfortable win over Lucan Sarsfields.
The 2-15 to 0-10 win for Boden at Pairc Ui Mhurchu looks, on the face of it, like a solid indicator on how the first game of the Firhouse Road club’s Dublin Senior Championship defence might go, but boss Joe Fortune isn’t ready to read all that much into it.
“Last time we played Lucan in the Championship, they put us out,” Fortune says when the Dublin Gazette suggest they’re well placed for the contest.
“You can’t read too much into the league, as we have a few players to come back, and I think they have quite a few, too. We won’t be taking anything for granted.
“The quality of Dublin club hurling is exceptionally high at the moment, and there are quite a few teams who could win it. Lucan are one of them.”
In fact, Fortune seems wary of all of the holders’ group opponents in the early stages of the Championship, an insurance, perhaps, that his team take every contest seriously.
He’s determined that his team are to take things one game at a time as they look to reach last year’s heights and says the schedule will be difficult with lots of championship action crammed into April
“I’d probably prefer two back to back games rather than things mixed in with the football,” Fortune admits. “Then you could get some time with the team, which is particularly important for dual clubs.
“There are so many quality players around. Both Whitehall and Setanta [the other two teams in the group] have come close to pulling off some big results over the last few years.
“Whitehall led Na Fianna after 50 minutes, and Setanta only lost to Lucan by a point. The championship can be decided in some ways in April, and it’s important we get things right.”
It’s been a short break for the Boden players, and heading back into critical games in April seems like a quick turnaround for the team.
They finished last year towards the middle of December with a league final after losing out to Ballyhale Shamrocks in a Leinster Final only a few days earlier.
“We spoke during the week about the players being off with Dublin,” Fortune said of his team’s multiple challenges. “It actually doesn’t make such a big difference, as we probably wouldn’t normally see the players for a few days after a semi-final win or loss for the county lads.”
Players like Paul Ryan turning is certainly a boost but Fortune sees it as no guarantee of success this term.
“Last year was a great year for the club, but we only look at what’s coming up.
“You can’t really do more than that in setting a goal. The year’s just too spread out.”