Boden the high kings of Leinster football

by Gazette Reporter

BALLYBODEN St Enda’s manager Andy McEntee said “it mightn’t have been pretty” but his club is unlikely to care too much as they won their first ever Leinster title last Sunday in O’Connor Park.
The Firhouse Road outfit defeated Portlaoise in a thrilling AIB Leinster SFC Club final on Sunday by a single point and McEntee said the club’s determination to make the most of their Leinster campaign, following disappointing efforts in 1995 and 2009, was a crucial motivating factor.
“They just continued to work hard and they did it again today. It mightn’t have been pretty at times but they got the result in the end,” he said.
In terms of Sunday’s final itself, McEntee said his side’s capacity to keep working was vital.
“The lads continued to work. I think that reflected in the result,” he said after the game. “There are a lot of things we could do better. We could defend better. We didn’t spot where we were causing them trouble and go after it.
“We had tried to focus on a quick start. You’d have to say that Portlaoise weren’t going to hang back and let us just continue to run through them.
“They had a very strong spell midway through the first half in particular and when they got the goal you’d say they had all the momentum, but our response was good ourselves when we came down and got a goal straight away.”
Tactically, McEntee said that his side got some parts working perfectly but allowed Portlaoise to raid from midfield too often which ended up swinging the momentum at key times.
“It’s difficult playing good teams. You’re not going to be on top for 30 minutes at a time so you have to try to make the most of it when you are on top and minimise their effectiveness when they’re on top.
“That long diagonal ball was causing them trouble but I don’t think we did enough of it. We actually overdid it in the middle of the field. But, in all fairness, only for [goalkeeper] Paul Durcan, we could have been in real trouble.”
Boden will now look forward to February’s All-Ireland semi-final against either Clonmel Commercials or Tir Chonaill Gaels, and while McEntee wants to give them a break over the next few weeks, he doesn’t want momentum or focus to be lost.

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