Ballyboden ‘all-in’ for Leinster final

by Cóilín Duffy

Ballyboden St Enda’s are just 60 minutes away from claiming only their second ever AIB Leinster club senior men’s football title when they take on Éire Óg, Carlow this Sunday at MW Hire O’Moore Park in Portlaoise at 2pm (Live TG4).

Former Kildare player Anthony Rainbow is in his second year in charge of the side. He says there’s been a lot of progress by the squad, since losing the Dublin semi-final to eventual Leinster finalists Kilmacud Crokes last year

“Last year was a huge learning curve for the players and management,” he told Dublin Gazette.

“Not only was it a learning curve, but I think we developed a lot of the younger players that were coming through from Minor and Under-21 last year. They learned so much and got so much experience from that.

“You’ve got the older guys like Declan O’Mahony, who has been phenomenal this year. Declan is 36 or 37 years of age, and he’s playing like a 26 year-old. He’s playing incredible stuff

“Conal Keaney is the same. He was probably a bit unlucky that he picked up a hamstring injury against Na Fianna which put him back a couple of weeks.

“If you look at what Conal has done when he has come off the bench; Michael Daragh Macauley has done a lot off the bench as well, and what he offers in terms of experience. He shares that experience with the players as well.

“It’s a huge collective. You talk about the starting 15 that have done well, but you look at the six or seven other guys, or even eight or nine guys that we have used in the Championship overall.

“Then you look at the 34-35 guys that we have used in the league.

“It’s a huge collective, and it’s ‘all-in’ with the players.”

The former Carlow manager knows it’s not going to be an easy task this weekend.

“We’ve analysed Éire Óg as a team. I don’t want to give away too much in terms of our game-plan, and in terms of what way we think they are going to set-up.

“What we need to bring to the table is what we can bring.

“We stick to a process, and our game-plan and if we bring a huge intensity to the game and organisation to the game, and stick to the game-plan I don’t think we will be too far off.”

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