Ryan Basquel stars as Ballyboden regain Dublin SFC crown

Dublin hero Michael Darragh Macauley left the field with a suspected concussion as Ballyboden St Enda's put their bodies on the line to secure a fourth county SFC title.

Ryan Basquel stars as Ballyboden regain Dublin SFC crown

Ballyboden St Enda's 0-15 - Thomas Davis0-9

Dublin hero Michael Darragh Macauley left the field with a suspected concussion as Ballyboden St Enda's put their bodies on the line to secure a fourth county SFC title.

Five-in-a-row winner Macauley was replaced with 10 minutes to go at Parnell Park after a heavy hit though departed just as his colleagues were turning the screw in a hard-fought contest.

Ballyboden, the 2016 All-Ireland winners, led from the opening score until full-time yet were still only three ahead with 18 minutes left before pulling decisively clear in those remaining minutes.

They outscored their south-side neighbours from Tallaght by 0-7 to 0-4 in the run-in to win their first title since 2015.

Colm Basquel, Ryan Basquel and Ross McGarry were all terrific for the side managed by Kildare legend Anthony Rainbow while Robbie McDaid and former Dublin midfielder Declan O'Mahony gave strong performances over the hour.

It was an afternoon for big characters with Thomas Davis, appearing in their first final in 28 years, putting in some big hits and marking 'Boden tightly in a series of individual man-to-man duels.

Ballyboden led by 0-7 to 0-2 at half-time but just four of those overall nine points came from play.

The quality improved in the second-half though the intensity remained at a high level as both clubs chased their fourth title.

Thomas Davis, who won the SFC 2 championship last year to gain promotion to the top tier for 2019, struck third quarter points from free-taker Eoin Kirby, ex-Clare forward Shane McGrath and Keogh.

That left them just three behind at 0-8 to 0-5 but it was 'Boden that pushed on and finished strongest from there, the Basquels and All-Ireland U-20 finalist McGarry providing the scores in the final 20 minutes or so to nudge 'Boden to another county crown.

Veteran dual player Conal Keaney came off the bench late on having struggled in recent weeks with a hamstring injury.

He will hope to see more game time next Sunday in Drogheda when Ballyboden take on Louth's Newtown Blues for a place in the AIB Leinster club semi-finals.

Ballyboden St Enda's scorers: R Basquel (0-6, 3 frees); R McGarry (0-4); C Basquel (0-3, 2f); D O'Mahony, A Flood (0-1 each).

Thomas Davis scorers: E Kirby (0-4, 4 frees); D Keogh (0-2); R Deegan (1 free), S McGrath, E O'Toole (0-1 each).

Ballyboden St Enda's: D Gogan; B Dwan, S Clayton, C Flaherty; D Nelson, R McDaid, A Waters; MD Macauley, D O'Mahony; S Gibbons, C Basquel, D O'Reilly; W Egan, R Basquel, R McGarry.

Subs: A Flood for Gibbons (h/t), T Hayes for Egan (48), B Bobbett for Macauley (50), K Kennedy for McDaid (40-45), Kennedy for Dwan (57), J Holland for Nelson (58), C Keaney for O'Reilly (60).

Thomas Davis: R Crilly; A Shorten, P Quinn, B Kirby; A Fallon, C Murphy, S Kennedy; B Kirby, O Kelly; R Deegan, E Kirby, D Keogh; S McGrath, C Farrelly, E Lambert.

Subs: E O'Toole for Kelly (8), S Reilly for Lambert (h/t), Lambert for B Kirby (55), M Nolan for McGrath (55).

Referee: J Higgins (Na Fianna).

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