ST JUDE’S 2-12 BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S 1-7
brace of first-half goals from the lively Simon Murphy proved telling as St Jude’s eased to a comfortable eight-point victory over a depleted Ballyboden St Enda’s in their Go Ahead Dublin Adult Football League Division 1 encounter at Páirc Uí Mhurchú on Saturday evening.
His goals were just reward for a dominant display from the visitors in the opening half and while St Enda’s improved after the break, they never looked likely to reel in their 11-point interval deficit against their well-organised opponents.
There were mitigating circumstances in the absence from their line-up of Ryan Basquel, Kieran Kennedy, Brian Bobbett and Darragh Nelson to name a few, and their cause wasn’t helped as midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley picked up an injury that forced his removal in the 18th minute.
However, they could have few complaints on an evening where their neighbours controlled the tempo from the outset, with Antrim star Mark Sweeney delivering another hugely influential and assured performance from centre-back.
His influence was evident from the first whistle as St Jude’s calmly and confidently set about their work and that diligence was reflected on the scoreboard through early points from Kieran Doherty and Liam Connerton.
The hosts struggled to make an impression initially, admittedly playing into a tricky breeze, but an excellent team move in the seventh minute allowed Colm Basquel sufficient time to split the posts and halve his team’s deficit.
However, that proved an isolated moment of attacking encouragement for Ballyboden as they fell further behind to points from David Sheehy and Doherty prior to Murphy pouncing from close range after a strong run down the middle from Connerton.
A free from Ryan O’Dwyer stemmed the bleeding briefly for St Enda’s but they suffered another body blow in the 21st minute as Murphy received a pass from Kevin Lahiff before leaving Darragh Gogan helpless with a superb finish into the roof of the net.
Johnny Murphy kicked Ballyboden’s third point of the night two minutes later but once again, St Jude’s replied in an emphatic manner and four points on the bounce from Daragh Kavanagh, Sheehy, Connerton and the excellent Colm Murphy left the visitors in rude health as they enjoyed a 2-8 to 0-3 interval advantage.
A goal from Luke O’Donohue from O’Dwyer’s pass within two minutes of the restart offered the hosts cause for optimism but Gogan’s needless black card in the 40th minute effectively ended their challenge despite a trio of Warren Egan points after the break.
In contrast, their opponents were happy to retain possession at their leisure with Seamus Ryan and Connerton adding insurance scores to complete an encouraging win for Kieran Durkan’s side.
Scorers – St Jude’s: S Murphy 2-0; K Doherty 0-4 (2f); L Connerton 0-3; D Sheehy 0-2 (1f); C Murphy, D Kavanagh, S Ryan 0-1 each. Ballyboden St Enda’s: L O’Donohue 1-0; W Egan 0-3 (2f); C Basquel 0-2 (1f); R O’Dwyer (f), J Murphy 0-1 each.
St Jude’s: C Barden; O Manning, C Fitzpatrick, A Hassett; R Wallace, M Sweeney, C Guckian; C Murphy, S Noone; D Sheehy, K Lahiff, D Kavanagh; L Connerton, K Doherty, S Murphy. Subs: S Ryan for Noone (49), P O’Loughlin for Hassett (50), D Walsh for S Murphy (57), S Kavanagh for Fitzpatrick for (64).
Ballyboden St Enda’s: D Gogan; H Donaghy, B Dwan, C Flaherty; R Baynes, J Holland, J Murphy; M McDonnell, MD Macauley; C Basquel, W Egan, J Maguire; R O’Dwyer, D O’Reilly, D Keogh. Subs: L O’Donohue for Macauley (18), A Flood for Keogh (h-t), J Turley for Maguire (40), Maguire for Gogan (52).
Referee: Shay Farrelly (Ballinteer St John’s)
Mentors – St Jude’s: Kieran Durkan, Andy Sweeney, Mick Danaher, Albert Donnelly, Stephen Earley, Declan Murray. Ballyboden St Enda’s: Kenneth Naughton, Martin Masterson, Andrew Kerin, Daire Walsh, Cormac Smyth.
Wides: St Jude’s: 6 (5+1) Ballyboden St Enda’s: 4 (1+3)
Conditions: Immaculate pitch.
Player of the Game: Simon Murphy (St Jude’s)