Depleted Ballyboden romp to historic four in-a-row

BOSS Liam Hogan toasted absent friend Stephen Perkins as Ballyboden St Enda’s claimed an historic fourth Dublin SHC title on the trot.

Not since the Garda club did so in 1929 has a Dublin side won four straight county titles and ‘Bodens emulated the achievement in some style at Parnell Park.

A brace of goals in the 41st minute from Niall McMorrow and county footballer Conal Keaney put them 11 points clear and virtually sealed the win.

The performance was all the more impressive as they were without two of their key players in Paul Ryan and 35-year old Perkins.

Ryan shot 2-8 in the semi-final win over O’Toole’s but was sidelined with a hamstring strain while Perkins was forced to emigrate to Australia for work after that game.

Ironically, Hogan revealed that it was former county star Perkins who spurred the team on to finish off Vincent’s so ruthlessly in the second-half.

“At half-time in the dressing-room we made a vow that we were not going to come out of here without the cup, that we’d do it for Stephen Perkins,” said Hogan.

“He’s the team’s leader, a father figure to these guys and when the going gets tough Stephen Perkins rolls up his sleeves.

“It’s an awful pity he wasn’t here because he’s been a great servant to Dublin hurling but he’ll have been happy with the result.”

Vincent’s couldn’t cope with that raw strength and ‘Boden wing-forward Conor McCormack powered through for a brilliant ninth minute solo goal.

Keaney was a real handful too and drew three frees from an overwhelmed Vincent’s defence which David Curtin converted.

Curtin converted six first-half frees to give his side a 1-11 to 0-8 interval lead.

Up front, Thomas Connolly top scored for the Marino men with 1-3 while sub Cathal Billings, who scored a fine point, proved a handful when introduced.

But ‘Boden, with county stars Stephen Hiney, Malachy Travers and Keaney in their ranks, had the mark of class team throughout.

Keaney kicked to the side netting shortly after the restart before McMorrow finally got their second goal.

He did well to avoid Rory Pocock’s attempted shoulder charge on the right of goal, raced clear and drove a low shot across goal to the net.

Seconds later and Keaney somehow got a flick to Travers’ long ball to set the Vincent’s net bulging again.

It put ‘Boden 3-12 to 0-10 clear and while Thomas Connolly netted with a snap shot from close range soon after it proved his side’s last score.

In contrast, ‘Boden opened up with an array of scoring that included a kicked point from David Sweeney, a long range Keaney effort and a James Doody score from the tightest of angles.

Aside from making history, their reward is a Leinster club SHC clash with Kilkenny champions O’Loughlin Gaels on November 14.

Ballyboden scorers: D Curtin 0-9 (7f), N McMorrow & C Keaney 1-1 each; C McCormack 1-0; S Lambert 0-3; D Sweeney, S Durkin & J Doody 0-1 each.

St Vincent’s scorers: T Connolly 1-3 (2f); S Loughlin 0-3; D Connolly 0-2 (2f); T McGrane 0-1 & C Billings 0-1 each.

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: G Maguire; B Treacy, D Spain, M O’Sullivan; S Hiney, S Nolan, M Travers; D Curtin, S Durkin; C McCormack, S Lambert , D Sweeney;

N McMorrow, C Keaney, J Doody.

Subs: P Buckeridge for Nolan (51); Nolan for Treacy (53); D O’Connor for Sweeney (55); T Sweeney for Lambert (58).

ST VINCENT’S: T Carroll; R Pocock, D Qualter, M Kirwan; R Trainor, R Fallon, W Lowry; C Fallon, D Connolly; P Fleury, K Connolly, S Loughlin; T McGrane, D Russell, T Connolly.

Subs: C Billings for K Connolly (20); M Chawke for Fleury (45); I Fleming for C Fallon (51).

Referee: D O’Donovan (St Mark’s).

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