Ballyboden St. Enda’s are back in the Dublin Senior Hurling Final for the first time in five years thanks to a hard-earned win over St. Vincent’s in this epic semi-final at Parnell Park on Sunday.
Little separated the sides throughout with no more than four points between the teams over the hour.
Vincent’s haven’t featured in a final since St. Enda’s beat them by a 13-point margin in the 2010 decider, with their wait for a title stretching back to the last century, when in 1993 they were winners over Crumlin in the decider.
Both sides were certainly eager to make this years final, and from the off Vins’ really put it up to Boden.
The North City side were 0-2 to 0-0 in front after just three minutes with two impressive scores from play through Thomas Connolly and Rian McBride.
The latter also added his side’s third point as a response to Boden’s opener from a Paul Ryan free.
Ryan was on fire from placed balls in this encounter and finished with eightpoints.
A converted 65’ from Ryan cut the gap to the minimum in the seventh minute, before McBride doubled Vincent’s lead with his third score.
Amazingly, the full-forward, despite continuing to impress in general play failed to score over the remainder of the match.
Ballyboden’s ability to hold him scoreless for the bulk of the tie was one key factor in winning this match, but in reality just a hair’s width was between the sides, such was the well-balanced nature of this contest.
A bright spell between the ninth and 14th minutes was also key for Boden, when they scored 1-3 without reply, including their opening goal from Paul Doherty in the 14th minute.
This arrived after some strong pressure, with Conal Keaney’s goal shot initially saved by Vincent’s keeper Dara de Poire, before Doherty pressed hard to open up a four-point gap.
Vincent’s responded with two John Hetherton points – one from play and one from a 65’ as they continued to keep in touch.
Hetherton’s dead-ball accuracy was a key feature in this game and over the hour he amassed 11 points to edge Ryan for the top-scorer accolade.
Boden moved 1-8 to 0-9 ahead following a Paul Doherty point, but Vincent’s finished the half strongly rattling off three unanswered scores to take a one-point interval lead.
Firstly Cian McBride grabbed a fine point from play with a great display of skill, pace and accuracy, before two dead-ball efforts from Hetherton.
Wides were also at the minimum throughout, and again the second half delivered some impressive hurling.
Boden emerged a hungrier force on the restart, outscoring their opponents 0-5 to 0-2 in the third quarter.
This spell saw Joe Fortune’s side take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, with some fine scores from play from Shane Durkin, Paul Doherty and Aidan Mellett, mixed with some well struck placed balls from Ryan.
Hetherton’s ninth point cut the gap to the minimum in the 51st minute, but Boden stayed on top.
Aidan Mellett was one of those who showed very strongly and finished the game with three points from play, while also snatching Boden’s second goal 90 seconds into injury-time.
Vin’s had again managed to cut the gap to a point at this stage through Hetherton, but Mellett found the net after a Conor McCormack pass, and there was no way back for St. Vincent’s despite four minutes of injury-time, with Alan Moore and Paul Ryan trading late scores.