Boden on cusp of glory

By Hayden Moore

BALLYBODEN St Enda’s are on the brink of Leinster Senior Hurling Championship glory as they attempt to win their first ever provincial hurling title on Sunday when they take on Ballyhale Shamrocks.

Ballyhale are the most successful club in Leinster Hurling Championship history, winning eight titles not to mention six All-Ireland Championships since 1978.

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Conor Dooley of Ballyboden St Enda's (left) and Colin Fennelly of Ballyhale Shamrocks (right)

Huge names such as Shefflin, Fennelly and Reid are all etched into Ballyhale’s DNA, and with Henry Shefflin at the helm it seems a tall ask for any side looking to beat them.

The last time they made it  to a provincial final and lost was 1992 and on their way to this year’s decider they have proven dominant all over the park, even having 11 different scorers from open play in the semi-final.

Boden will have their work cut out in closing their such an attacking threat particularly from the likes Colin Fennelly and talisman TJ Reid.

But as St Enda’s proved in their own semi-final matchup with Coolderry, they too have their share of heavy arsenal with Dublin footballer Colm Basquel coming to the fore as he ran riot in his first ever senior hurling start that saw him score 3-3 from play.

Paul Ryan has been prolific from place balls scoring 1-45 in his last four games against Coolderry, Clonkill  and Kilmacud Crokes in the Dublin final and final replay respectively.

Certainly Joe Fortune’s men have the potential  to rack up key scores at important moments, but Ballyhale have proven eight-time All-Ireland intercounty winner Joey Holden still has it in his locker to smother out any opposing advances.

One to watch coming into Sundays decider in Dr Cullen Park in Carlow, is the evergreen 36-year-old all-rounder Conal Keaney who has turned  in a series of superb performances over his side’s championship campaign.

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