Wanderers proud in defeat

by Karl Graham

BALLYBODEN Wanderers’ Stephen Harrington said he was hugely proud of his charges in the wake of their junior B championship final loss to Ballymun Kickhams.
They lost 1-6 to 3-9 in their gallant quest to win a first men’s junior championship since 1968.
Wanderers, who reached the final after defeating Bank of Ireland in the semi-final, went into the final at O’Toole Park last Sunday as massive underdogs to the more experienced Kickhams.
They scored the first point of a tight first half but couldn’t pull away from their opponents, and after conceding a very good goal, went into the half-time break down by 0-3 to 1-5.
The start of the second half saw the Wanderers put over two, however, Ballymun responded with a point and their second goal of the game to give themselves a significant lead, and leave Wanderers with a mountain to climb.
There was some hope of a comeback when Wanderers had the ball in the back of the net from the penalty spot but another 1-1 from Ballymun showed their ability to make significant scores at the most important part of games.
There was one more point for the Wanderers and two for their opponents before the whistle was blown on their championship run.
Wanderers manager Harrington spoke to GazetteSport about the great strides the club are taking and how proud they are of the team for reaching the final.
“No complaints [about the result] but very proud of the lads, they put an awful lot of effort into the preparation for the game.
“We’ll go again and focus on the league now and hopefully win our last three games to win the league.”
With it being 48 years since the men’s last county final, there was great buzz around the fixture in the local area.
“It has been a great opportunity for the club to promote not only the men’s teams but also the really important work that has been done in the juvenile section. It is the strongest it has ever been with a dedicated GPO to develop players within the local schools and club.
“You could see the excitement they had for the game, down at O’Toole Park waving the flags and getting behind the club. That is really important to generate the type of atmosphere we want for our juvenile section – to know that the club is going in the right direction and developing our kids in the right way,” said Harrington.
The team now turn their attention to the league where they will gain promotion if they win their remaining three fixtures.
“It’s all very positive for the club at the moment and we are trying to encourage more local kids to come up and join the team.”

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