But it was a day of acute embarrassment for the vocational schools GAA authorities who presided over what was nothing short of an organisational shambles.
This All-Ireland B Vocational Schools football championship semi-final was played with just one umpire on duty at each end. And on a day of brief but intermittent snow showers, the referee arrived on the pitch eight minutes after the appointed throw-in time, the game eventually getting under way 12 minutes late after both teams had spent almost 20 minutes warming up.
There was no doubt or argument about the outcome, however, with Boherbue the undisputed masters throughout the field for most of the hour. They were sluggish in the opening minutes and despite playing against the elements, Borris set the early pace.
Their lead point from a Denis Murphy free on five minutes was no less than they deserved, but the game quickly underwent a dramatic change with Boherbue assuming mastery in all the key areas.
Johnny O’Sullivan sent them on their way with a goal in the eighth minute when he finished a four-man move, and within seconds the Borris citadel had fallen again with man of the match David Scannell capitalising on a defensive blunder to coolly plant the ball in the net. The Boherbue scores came thick and fast with Michael Forrest, and Kevin and Johnny O’Sullivan all finding the range before Scannell put the winners virtually out of sight with another quality goal in the 21st minute.
The paltry Borris reply was two further pointed frees by Murphy, and they went in at the break trailing 3-5 to 0-3.
They made a brave fight of it on the turnover but never seriously threatened Boherbue. They were given a glimmer of hope when full-forward Alan Brooks’s goal in the 40th minute narrowed the deficit to nine points, but five minutes later Boherbue’s Scannell set up Johnny O’Sullivan for another goal of vintage quality.
The winners could afford the luxury of substituting some of their best players in the closing stages, and while Borris never threw in the towel, Boherbue’s place in the decider for the first time was assured long before the final whistle confirmed it.
: Boherbue CS: D. Scannell (2-2); J. O’Sullivan (2-2); M. Forrest (0-2); J. O’Connor (0-2, 0-1 free, 0-1 45); K. O’Sullivan (0-1). Borris VS: D. Murphy (0-6, frees); A. Brooks (1-0); E. Doyle, H. P. O’Byrne (0-1) each.
: D. O’Connell; N. O’Connor. D. Fitzgerald. L. O’Keeffe; M. Casey. A. J. O’Connor. S. Mullane; K. O’Sullivan. T. Murphy; J. O’Connor. M. Forrest. J. O’Sullivan; J. Ryan. D. Scannell. P. Cremin;
: T. Carroll for J. O’Sullivan; J. Scanlon for Cremin; T. Murphy for J. O’Connor; D. Dennehy for Casey.
: E. Byrne; S. Farrell. B. Nolan. P. Walsh; D. Foley. R. Coady. M. Ryan; J. Kavanagh. D. Byrne; P. Murphy. H. P. O’Byrne. E. Doyle; D. Murphy. A. Brooks. D. Grennan.
: C. Reddan for P. Murphy; M. Whelehan for Doyle; C. O’Grady for Grennan.
: G. Riordan, Tipperary.