The home of St James’ Gaels was host to the first round of the Dublin Senior Championship where South Dublin side Ballyboden St Endas took on their rivals Lucan Sarsfields.
Both sides had their sprinkle of Dublin players past and present. The list included current Dublin midfielder – Michael Darragh McAuley – who took on his county apprentice – Emmet O’ Conghaile.
With an ebb and flow to the game that suited Ballyboden their opponents struggled to get a foothold. Only for the first minute goal from Sean Newcombe it might have been a mountain too high to climb for Ciaran O’Hare’s side.
Youngster Ryan Basquel started for the men in blue and white – Ballyboden St Enda’s – at center half forward. Right throughout the game he was a shining light with runs that had veteran Paul Casey chasing shadows.
As the first half wore on the game had a structure to it that was more like a procession than a game of football. The two sides went in at the break with Ballyboden leading by 0-9 to 1-4 but Lucan were thankful to corner forward Newcombe for keeping their hopes alive.
The phrase a game of two halves is bandied about so much that it’s almost become clichéd. The second half of this first round tie was a game of two halves in itself.
Ballyboden started the half brightly with scores from Andrew Keirn and Basquel keeping them ticking them over. In the 42nd minute a rush of blood to the head from Ballyboden wing back Stephen O’ Connor – when he foot blocked a shot from Lucan full forward Brian Gallagher that resulted in a penalty for the boys in Green and White which was scored with relative ease.
On the day that Sir Alex Ferguson retired many people from across the sporting spectrum recalled their memories but one that stood out for most was the historic Champions League win in 1999 that had their supersubs Ole Gunnar Solsjaker and Teddy Sherinham to thank. Tonight Lucan had their own supersub with a barnstorming performance from Stephen Garbutt.
The youngster produced a fighting comeback for his side which culminated in a superb – and well worked – goal for his side.
This left his side in front but Ballyboden – namely Ryan Basque wasn’t finished. Basquel aided by the elder statesmen in the team – McAuley and Declan O’ Mahony – pulled Ballyboden St Enda’s back from the dead and earned a lighting round in this test via 20 minutes of extra time.
The extra time was a step too far for the Lucan side with the introduction of Robbie McDaid into the Ballyboden defense locking up the hatches which was enough to push Ballyboden into the next round of the Senior Championship.
Ryan Basquel 2-7, Andrew Kerin 0-4, Sean Gibbons 0-3, Declan O’ Mahoney & Michael Darragh McCauley 0-2.
Stephen Garbutt & Brian Gallagher 1-1, Tommy Brennan 0-3, David Quinn & James O’Neill 0-2, Sean Newcombe 1-0.
LUCAN SARSFIELDS: Aidan Elliot, Ciaran McHugh, Darren McKillian, Owen Ennis, John McCormack, Paul Casey, Dan Gallagher, Bren O’ Neill, Brian Collopy, Emmet O’ Conghaile, David Quinn, James O’Neill, Tommy Brennan, Brian Gallagher, Sean Newcombe.
Ballyboden St. Endas: Daire Walsh, Brian Devlin, Darragh Nelson, Mark O’Sullivan, Stephen O’ Connor, James O’Hara, Dermot Manley, Michael Darragh McCauley, Declan O’Mahony, Darren O’Reilly, Ryan Basquel, Donagh McCabe, Sean Gibbons, Seamus Keane, Andrew Keirn.