Kerin the hero for Ballyboden

Ballyboden St. Enda's 2-12 St. Jude’s 1-13

Ballyboden St. Enda's 2-12 St. Jude’s 1-13

Andrew Kerin hit 2-5 as Ballyboden St. Enda's prevailed in a highly entertaining Dublin Senior Football Championship final at Parnell Park, beating St. Jude's by 2-12 to 1-13.

With Dublin manager Pat Gilroy an interested spectator, Kerin seriously boosted his chances of a county squad call-up with an assured display at left corner forward.

Ballyboden only finished their epic semi-final struggle with All-Ireland champions Kilmacud Crokes last Tuesday - winning their second replay in extra-time - but despite tiring in the final quarter, Liam O'Dwyer's side pulled through in an eventful decider.

Jude's, who were chasing their first title, broke into an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead with Kevin McManamon and Joey Donnelly leading the way up front.

In an end-to-end opening half, Dublin star Conal Keaney flung over off a monster first point for Ballyboden, setting the tone for the Firhouse Road outfit as they looked to add their only previous Dublin SFC success back in 1995.

Jude's marginally had the better of the play in the first half-hour, but missed goal chances came back to haunt them - they hit the crossbar and 'Boden goalkeeper Daire Walsh also produced a fine save at point-blank range.

While Jude's were guilty of overcomplicating things in attack, Ballyboden were clinical in front of goal and Kerin's first goal after a clever bout of handpassing edged them ahead.

They were 1-8 to 0-7 clear at half-time, with Daniel Davey, Kenny Naughton, Kerin and Keaney amongst the scores.

Jude's came out strongly for the second half, with a fisted point and a free from Kevin McManamon cutting the gap to two at 1-8 to 0-9.

But 'Boden replied with a superb 1-2, Kerin pointing off his left after a neat ball in from Davey, Keaney landing another off his left and then Kerin's placed goal finish made it 2-10 to 0-9 with 20 minutes to go.

Naughton presented Kerin with the opportunity, stretching the Jude's defence with a precise pass, and the 26-year-old attacker did well to flash a left-footed finish to the net.

Points from Joey Donnelly and Shane Ryan got Jude's back on track and while the 'Boden goal led a charmed life at times - Michael Lyons was unfortunate to a see a fisted effort crash back off the crossbar - Jude's soon raised a green flag.

A swift handpassing move put Lyons through again and although television replays showed that he had thrown the ball over the goal-line under pressure from a defender, the score was allowed to stand by referee Brian O'Shea.

Paul Cunningham cancelled out a Kerin point to make it 2-12 to 1-13, and despite Jude's piling forward and bossing possession for the dying minutes, 'Boden held on for a memorable win.

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