Ballyboden boys are simply the best

By William O'Connor

IT’S OFFICIAL. Ballyboden St Enda’s are the best senior football club team in Ireland.

The Firhouse Road side left their best to last as they produced a superb performance to see off Castlebar Mitchels 2-14 to 0-7 at Croke Park.

Ballyboden St Endas celebrating

Boden got off to a dream start when they established a 2-3 to 0-3 lead after 15 minutes with the impressive Colm Basquel netting a goal in the second minute before Andrew Kerins scored the second goal from the penalty spot after Aran Waters was fouled.

Enda’s were dominating all over the pitch with Castlebar Mitchels not being able to come up with a plan to counter the Dublin champions dominance.

By half-time Boden were eight points to the good – dominating in all sectors with Man of the Match Bob Dwan sending over two while Stephen O’Connor and Colm Basquel chipped in with scores.

While the Mayo and Connacht champions has more experience having played in the All-Ireland final just two years ago, it was Andy McEntee who dominated in long stages.

Even in the second half, Ballyboden never took the foot off the pedal and continued where they left off with corner back Dwan kicking his third point.

Dual star Shane Durkin landed a fine point and when Conal Keaney and Ryan Basquel chipped in with scores, it put 12 points between them with 15 minutes left to play.

Castlebar replied with three points but Enda’s continued to dominate with Andrew Kerin and Shane Durcan landing fine scores to secure the title for the first time.

Andy McEntee Ballyboden All Ireland final

“Everything went right for us on the day. We got off to a great start and we took every opportunity coming our way,” said a delighted Ballyboden St Enda’s manager Andy McEntee.

“It’s rare when everything goes right on a day, but we were just delighted we did not freeze on the big stage. We put in a big performance and that’s what we did.

“It was very encouraging that we pushed on in the second half and again took our chances.

“The team played with a lot of confidence, especially in front of a big crowd in Croke Park.

“We knew coming into the final it would be a different type of game. Croke Park is a huge pitch and you have to play a different style of football.

“We played in the league in Abbotstown which is the same size pitch as Croke Park and it took us some time to find our feet. We also played Dublin in DCU and this was a big help to us”.

One of the highlights for Ballyboden this campaign has been the younger players that have come into the side.
Dublin U21 players Colm Basquel and Shane Clayton have led by example this year ,along with Aran Waters and Robbie McDaid.

“The lads showed no fear out there. They led by example and the other experienced players put in big displays too.”

When the final whistle went, McEntee said he was “relieved and just could not believe the achievement the team has just pulled off”.

“It has been a long campaign. We started over over a year ago. We had tough games in Dublin and Leinster and the All-Ireland semi-final was so close.

“We will take a break now and play St Vincent’s in our next league game in two weeks time.

“It will be a massive challenge to win it again. We have the players but it’s difficult to pull it off.

“We had so many close games in Dublin last year but we will definitely be going out to win it again,” he added.

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