Fianna hope it‘ll be third time lucky

by Gazette Reporter
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Ballyboden St Enda’s and Na Fianna battle it out at Parnell Park this Sunday in this year’s Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Hurling Championship Final.

Ballyboden are chasing their first title since 2018 and are making their first appearance in the final since 2020. N

a Fianna, on the other hand, are hoping it’s third time lucky this year having lost in the 2021 and 2022 finals. They are still awaiting a first-ever Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Hurling Championship.

Boden progressed from Group 2 with some solid performances and got their 2023 Championship up and running with an 11-point win over St Oliver Plunkett/Eoghan Ruadh. They followed up that opening-day win with victories over St Vincents and a massive 21-point win over Faughs.

However, their only defeat came at the hands of their opponents in this weekend’s decider, Na Fianna.

In the quarter-finals Ballyboden saw off the their south Dublin counterparts Cuala to progress to the last four. Pearce Christie and Paul Ryan would star for Boden as they both found the net, while Ryan would be his sides star man as he racked up an impressive personal tally of 1-11 (0-8f, 0-1 sideline).

In the semis they met St Vincents and were made to work for a spot at Dublin hurling’s big dance, as they edged Vincents out by just two points after extra-time.

The semi-final will live in the memory of those who were at Parnell Park for some time, as it went right to the wire.

Niall Ryan and Timmy Hammersley starred for David Curtin’s men. But Vinnies would have their say. Rian McBride and Diarmuid and Tom Connolly kept the men from Marino in contention.

Diarmuid Connolly would send the game to extra-time on the stroke of the final whistle, and his brother Tom would keep Vincents tally ticking over. Diarmuid Connolly would later see red in extra-time as Hammersley, Jack Lambert, and Stephen O’Connor kept Boden in front.

Ballyboden would have Conor O’Donoghue to thank as he tipped away Tom Connolly’s last gasp penalty, allowing those of Ballyboden’s persuasion to book the final into their diaries..

Na Fianna were also impressive in Group 2 and after a six-point defeat in the first match against St Vincents, they picked up big wins against St Oliver Plunkett/Eoghan Ruadh and Faughs.

They would finish Group 2 with a disciplined win over Ballyboden as they progressed to knock-out stages.

In the quarter-finals they met Kilmacud Crokes who had beaten them in the last two finals. Na Fianna were on a mission to get revenge on Crokes, and they did exactly that.

6 September 2020; Shane Barrett of Na Fianna in action against Simon Lambert of Ballyboden St Enda’s during the Dublin County Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final match between Ballyboden St Enda’s and Na Fianna at Parnell Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

AJ Murphy was a man possessed; he scored 3-3 as he and Colin Currie led the Na Fianna charge into the final four, dethroning the reigning Dublin senior hurling champions in the process.

They faced Lucan Sarsfields next and were once again clinical in attack.Murphy added four points from open play for Na Fianna, while Currie brothers Colin and Seán scored 0-6 (5f) and 0-5 (0-1 sideline), respectively- scoring 11 of Na Fianna’s total of 18 points as the Glasnevin club advanced to the final.

In what’s bound to be a thrilling and entertaining encounter, you can be assured that the small margins will determine whether the Go-Ahead Dublin Senior 1 Hurling Championship trophy is heading south of the Liffey and to Firhouse Road for the first time in five years, or if it’s heading north in yellow and blue ribbons and to Mobhi Road for the first time.

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