Crokes and Boden face off

by Stephen Findlater

KILMACUD Crokes and Ballyboden St Enda’s will face off on Saturday afternoon in one of the big ties of the Dublin senior football championship second round in O’Toole Park at 4.30pm

The pair were first drawn against each other last June following opening round victories over St Mary’s and Lucan Sarsfields, respectively, and have had to wait until the conclusion of Dublin’s run to Sam Maguire before getting back into championship action.

That run, indeed, could have an impact on how the respective sides line out with Rory O’Carroll, Paul Mannion and Michael Darragh Macauley all sustaining injuries in the final win over Mayo.

Whether they are fit enough to get back into action will be key to their hopes in one of the classic showdowns of recent years.

Almost a year to the day ago, the sides drew with Conal Keaney the Boden hero with a late point, only for St Enda’s to lose the replay four days later with Pat Burke hitting the key goal and earning a place in the quarter-finals.

In 2009, it took three attempts to find a winner after a first tie ended in an 0-11 each draw while the second attempt saw the sides locked on 1-10 a piece after extra time.

Eventually, Boden prevailed 0-19 to 1-12 – again after extra time – to make it through to a final they eventually won.

It shows the intensity of their rivalry, one which will no doubt be ratcheted up further on Saturday with both sides having enjoyed productive league campaigns.

Kilmacud have plenty of aces in their side even if O’Carroll and Mannion are forced to sit out with Ross O’Carroll, Cian O’Sullivan and Kevin Nolan while there are plenty of Dublin county champions in their midst from 2008 and 2010.

For Boden, Macauley lasted the whole All-Ireland final but carried a big ice pack on his leg post-game. His combination with Declan O’Mahony is a key factor in the Firhouse Road’s outlook and they shone in extra time against Lucan Sarsfields in an engaging first round.

They also have plenty of experienced heads in their panel with Cormac Smith and Kenny Naughton guiding the likes of young flyer Ryan Basquel. They also had the added boon of their inters reaching the quarter-finals of their championship as Clann Mhuire were unable to field a side.

Ballinteer St John’s, meanwhile, will be aiming to back up their eye-catching victory over St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh with another testing date. They travel out to Balgriffin on Friday night for a 7.30pm throw-in against perennial AFL1 challengers St Sylvester’s.

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