Lambert inspires third Leinster title

by Gazette Reporter
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BALLYBODEN St Enda’s were crowned Leinster SHL Division 1 champions when defeating Wexford’s Rathnure 2-18 to 1-11 in Saturday’s final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise.
Played in perfect hurling conditions on a flawless pitch, Boden started well with Conor McCormack and a long-range Dean Curran point either side of a Simon Lambert free giving them an early advantage. Finn McGarry was showing well in midfield and tagged two fine points.
It was not all plain-sailing, though, as Robbie Codd’s direct ball into the square caused plenty of danger, leading to a penalty but Keith Robinson pulled off a fine save to keep Boden 0-6 to 0-3 ahead.
They did, however, net soon after and took the lead for the first time as they used the breeze to good effect.
But, with the half-time whistle approaching, Boden had pegged back the Rathnure lead and, with three points from Lambert, were leading by one. Then, a strong Conor McCormack run and some neat interplay with David O’Connor led to a great Boden goal, it meant Boden had grabbed the initiative, leading 1-10 to 1-7.
Points from Lambert and O’Connor at the start of the second half showed Boden meant business.
Matty Weldon contributed a fine point as manager Paul Carley started to use the bench. Cian Hiney, one of the subs, scored shortly after coming on and, with 15 minutes to go, the scoreline read Boden 1-15 Rathnure 1-9.
Rathnure scored a brace of points but, on 48 minutes, the game was effectively sealed. Lambert got the ball in the corner and broke along the end line. The move was stopped but Lambert regained the ball and with a powerful shot, struck low from a very tight angle, into the Rathnure net.
Hiney and McGarry capped the win with another pair of points as Boden swept clear in the closing stages for their third Leinster hurling league title.

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