Ballyboden St Enda’s started their Dublin Senior 1 Football Championship Group 3 campaign off on a positive note as they defeated Clontarf by 4-20 to 2-8 at Páirc Uí Mhurchú on Saturday night.
There was only a point to separate the teams when they met at the corresponding stage last year but the holders completely dominated after the break to register an ultimately comprehensive 18-point victory.
That such a margin would separate the teams seemed highly unlikely after an opening quarter in which the visitors regularly pierced holes in the Ballyboden defence.
There were only thirty seconds on the clock when Kevin Lillis turned sharply onto a Jack McCaffrey pass before firing high past the exposed Darragh Gogan.
Lillis could well have netted again in the sixth minute as he spurned a glorious opportunity with only Gogan to beat as the hosts gradually settled thanks to a brace of points from Conal Keaney.
However, their defence continued to struggle and it was of scant surprise when Lillis fired home again in the 18th minute after another McCaffrey pass as Clontarf controlled matters with Chris Barrett making an impressive debut at centre-back following his recent switch from Belmullet.
The momentum began to swing in Ballyboden’s favour by the 22nd minute as Warren Egan put the finishing touches to an exquisite team move and late points from Keaney and Colm Basquel ensured a 1-9 to 2-6 stalemate at the break.
Basquel was to prove Boden’s shining light upon the resumption as he availed of the dominance provided at centre-field by Declan O’Mahony and Michael Darragh MacAuley.
His two points from play and a further brace from Ross McGarry saw St Enda’s put daylight between the teams and the contest was effectively ended in the 52nd minute as Basquel calmly slotted home a penalty after McCaffrey was harshly judged to have fouled Keaney.
It was one-way traffic from that juncture as Boden’s greater depth from the bench allowed them to enhance their position of control and with Basquel taking his personal tally to 1-10 by the final whistle, Ballyboden added salt into the ever-expanding Clontarf wounds thanks to injury-time goals by Egan and substitute Simon Lambert.
The other match in Group 3 saw St Vincent’s edge Whitehall Colmcille by 2-15 to 1-13 at Collins Avenue with Tomás Quinn converting a late penalty to seal his team’s victory.
There was another comfortable victory in Silver Park as Kilmacud Crokes made the most of a dominant start to ease past Raheny by 6-13 to 0-10 in their Group 4 encounter.
Paul Mannion netted in the second minute in what was Kilmacud’s first attack and the 2018 champions never looked back as they exerted their authority throughout.
Conor Kinsella added a second Kilmacud goal to help augment their supremacy and with Cian O’Sullivan rolling back the years with a masterful display at centre-back, Crokes remained on the front foot as they enjoyed a 2-8 to 0-4 interval advantage.
Further misery was heaped on the visitors after the break as Brian Fenton and Brian Howard struggled to make concerted inroads with, in contrast, Conor Casey, showing well in the home midfield.
With Raheny committed to retrieving their perilous positions, gaps appeared in their defence and a free-flowing Kilmacud took advantage as they added second-half goals through Dara Jones, Mark O’Leary, Mannion, and Niall O’Leary.
Across the city in Parnell Park, St Jude’s made a winning start as they edged Na Fianna by 1-10 to 0-8 with Niall Coakley scoring the all-important goal in the first minute of the second half.
Jude’s enjoyed a 0-6 to 0-4 interval lead with Coakley kicking three points while Tom Devlin clipped over a brace while at the opposite end, Aaron Byrne kept Na Fianna in the hunt with two points of his own.
However, their challenged eroded once Coakley netted while Brian Coakley dominated the scoring from that juncture as he kicked the remaining four scores for the winners.
Elsewhere, Castleknock got the better of near neighbours St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh by 2-15 to 1-11 with Bernard Brogan’s goal not enough to spare Plunkett’s their fate while Lucan Sarsfields proved far too strong for Ballinteer St John’s, winning by 0-19 to 0-9 at the 12th Lock.
Group 1 went as anticipated as Thomas Davis got the better of Round Towers Lusk by 2-14 to 0-11 while Ballymun Kickhams defeated Skerries Harps by 3-18 to 0-12 at Páirc Ciceam.