Declan O’Mahony on course to redeem final woe

Declan O’Mahony on course to redeem final woe
Declan O’Mahony during Ballyboden St Enda’s county final win. Picture: INPHO/Gary Carr

Declan O’Mahony posed for a special picture after Sunday’s Dublin SFC final win alongside Michael Darragh Macauley, Conal Keaney, and Darragh Nelson.

The quartet are the only current Ballyboden St Enda’s players to have competed in all three of their county title wins over the last decade; 2009, 2015, and now 2019.

They were there on St Patrick’s Day in 2016 too when the club won the All-Ireland at Croke Park, well, all except O’Mahony who still looks back in anger on that episode.

The powerful former Aussie Rules player was infamously sent-off in the semi-final that year and fought in vain to have the sanction overturned.

“I’m not going to say that I wasn’t disappointed but the lads played their hearts out in that All-Ireland final,” said O’Mahony. “It’s a long road back there but it’s one I want to get back to.

Thankfully the lads probably put in one of their best performances that day. That and the Dublin final when we beat St Vincent’s with a super first half were the best two performances that season.

O’Mahony may very well get his wish to compete in an All-Ireland final because ‘Boden are favourites to regain the Leinster title at least after coming out on top in the capital, collecting the club’s fourth title in total.

O’Mahony played a key role in Sunday’s win over Thomas Davis, scoring an important point, winning a free that Colm Basquel converted and generally thundering through his midfield duties.

Ballyboden started with nine of their 2016 All-Ireland final winning team and O’Mahony would have made it 10 but for being suspended back then. Sean Gibbons, Keaney and Cathal Flaherty also featured in both games so their credentials are solid.

The Firhouse Road side play Louth’s Newtown Blues in the provincial quarter-finals in Drogheda on Sunday.

“We’ll enjoy the celebrations and try to regroup,” said O’Mahony. “Leinster’s a tough road and in 2015 we nearly got caught by the Louth champions up there so we’ll take every game as it comes and treat them with respect.

I suppose as you get older these wins and being in this position again starts getting sweeter. You don’t know how many more years you have left to play so we’ll take this and try to push on for Leinster now.

It’s less than five kilometres from ‘Boden’s club grounds to Thomas Davis’ in Tallaght so Sunday’s final was a local derby and played out as one, full of meaty hits.

O’Mahony lost midfield colleague Macauley to an apparent concussion late on and it remains to be seen if the Dublin hero is cleared for provincial duty this weekend.

“I think they got within three at one stage,” said O’Mahony of Thomas Davis, who trailed by that margin with 18 minutes to go in their first final since 1991.

“They’d be disappointed they missed a few frees that on another day would have gone over and made it a bit closer. They’re an up and coming team so they’ll be pushing on over the next few years in the senior championship.”

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