Future bright for Boden despite missing out on All-Ireland decider

By Hayden Moore

WHILE they saw their hopes of reaching the All-Ireland Club Football Championship Final go up in flames following their 2-8 to 0-11 loss to Kilcoo in the last four on Saturday, Ballyboden St Enda’s can still reflect on a 2019 campaign with optimism.

Indeed the Firhouse Road side produced a hugely impressive unbeaten run that brought with it Dublin and Leinster Senior Foot-ball Championship success while also bringing on a lot of their young talent.

Ballyboden St Endas v Kilcoo All Ireland SCFC semi final James Madden and Bob Dwan Photo by John Kirwan

Bob Dwan and James Madden cannot hide their disappointment as Ballyboden slip to defeat in the All-Ireland semis (Photo by John Kirwan)

Anthony Rainbow’s side had dropped just one point in the top ranks of the AFL all season, that coming against Cuala.

And 24 wins propelled them to the league final last month where they were pipped by the narrowest of margins by Ballymun Kickhams

Although they were beaten in their remaining two games of the season, the league decider and All-Ireland semi-final, the panel will be able to use that experience to their benefit in pursuit of future silverware.

Since coming on board two-years-ago, Rainbow has blooded a whole host of new players and managed to build a youthful panel that has blended in well with the side’s experienced campaigners who were part of the club’s All-Ireland Championship success in 2015-16.

Certainly, young talent is something that the Firhouse Road side are not lacking with Dublin Under-20 footballers Ross McGarry and Kieran Kennedy the next generation of footballers developing through the intercounty scene.

A corner-forward by nature, Ross McGarry kicked 0-4 from play in the county decider for his club and formed a nice partnership with hot-prospect Ciaran Archer on the county scene.

McGarry was free-firing for Tom Gray’s side as they blasted teams away en route to the All-Ireland Under-20 Final only to fall at the final hurdle.

Meanwhile Kennedy, who co-captained the Dublin Under-20s in 2019, was the only Blues defender named on the ‘EirGrid 20 Under-20’ selection for his performances at half-back.

Kennedy came off the bench for Boden in their loss to Ulster champions, Kilcoo, and kicked a massive point off the outside of his boot to keep his side within touching distance.

Three players who were a feature of Dublin’s Leinster Minor Champion-ship success in 2014 and have played a pivotal role in seeing St Enda’s to their success in 2019 were forwards Colm Basquel and Warren Egan and defender Shane Clayton.

Basquel managed three scores from frees in the Kingspan Breffni Park with his brother Ryan tallying 0-5 and Egan splitting the posts late on.

But despite all of their efforts to draw level, even springing Brisbane Lions Aussie Rules player James Madden from the bench, the Dublin champions could not adequately counter the effects of the two Kilcoo goals.

A rigid defensive outfit, Kilcoo capitalised on St Enda’s mistakes and hit them on the counter consistently with Ryan Johnston finding the net in the first and Daryl Branagan in the second.

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