Michael Darragh MacAuley of Ballyboden celebrates with supporters at the end of the game. Donall Farmer/INPHO
the toughest

Kerin the hero as Ballyboden book All-Ireland final spot after extra time

The Dublin champions kept Clonmel Commercials scoreless in the 20 additional minutes of action.

Ballyboden St Enda’s (Dublin) 0-15
Clonmel Commercials (Tipperary) 0-10

ANDREW KERIN’S SEVEN points in Portlaoise were decisive as Dublin champions Ballyboden St Enda’s came back from the brink to secure their AIB All-Ireland club football final place in dramatic circumstances.

Andy McEntee’s men were three down with five minutes remaining and reduced to 14 at that stage following the straight red card dismissal of former Dublin midfielder Declan O’Mahoney.

But an incredible finale saw ‘Boden score three points in injury-time — including a Darragh Nelson leveller — to force the game to extra-time at 0-10 to 0-10.

And ‘Boden were surprisingly comfortable in those extra 20 minutes as they held first-time Munster champions Clonmel scoreless and booted five points themselves, including two from Conal Keaney and two from Kerin.

Their reward is a March 17 All-Ireland final spot at Croke Park when they will seek to emulate St Vincent’s, whom they overcame in the county final, by winning the title.

It was tight and tense early on and, in truth, error-strewn with both sides guilty of wasteful kicking, 11 wides between them in the first 20 minutes.

Clonmel did finish the first-half stronger though and just about deserved their 0-5 to 0-4 interval lead following scores from Kevin Harney, Michael Quinlivan and Ian Barnes.

Clonmel stretched the gap to three points at 0-9 to 0-6 with five minutes remaining and appeared in pole position to kick on for victory.

But ‘Boden had retained a strong kick for the closing minutes and remarkably booted four points from the 56th minute onwards — three of those in injury-time — to tie it up and send the game to extra-time at 0-10 apiece.

Clonmel lost key man Quinlivan to a black card early in extra-time and failed to score as Ballyboden surprisingly eased to victory.

Scorers for Ballyboden St Enda’s: Andrew Kerin 0-7 (0-5f), Conal Keaney 0-4 (0-3f), Sam Molony 0-1, Colm Basquel 0-1, Darragh Nelson 0-1, Ryan Basquel 0-1.

Scorers for Clonmel Commercials: Ian Barnes 0-3 (0-2f), Jack Kennedy 0-2, Michael Quinlivan 0-2 (0-1f), Jason Lonergan 0-2, Kevin Harney 0-1.

Ballyboden St Enda’s: Paul Durcan; Bob Dwan, Stephen Hiney, Shane Clayton; Robbie McDaid, Darragh Nelson, Aran Waters; Michael Darragh Macauley, Declan O’Mahony; Daniel Davey, Colm Basquel, Darren O’Reilly; Conal Keaney, Sam Molony, Andrew Kerin.

Subs: Ryan Basquel for Davey (33), Stephen O’Connor for O’Reilly (35), Sean Gibbons for Molony (55), Shane Durkin for Clayton (55). Moloney replaces red carded O’Mahoney for extra-time, Donagh McCabe for Gibbons (h/t e/t), S Lambert for Molony (77).

Clonmel Commercials: ​Jack McDonald; Jamie Peters, Fergal Condon, Donal Lynch; Danny Madigan, Kevin Fahy, Kevin Harney; Jack Kennedy, Seamus Kennedy; Aldo Matassa, Jason Lonergan, Ian Fahey; Ian Barnes, Michael Quinlivan, Luke Moore.

Subs: Padraig White for Madigan (49), Padraig Looram for Barnes (56), Shane Taylor for Condon (63). Niall Kelly for Quinlivan (63, B/C), Shane Flynn for Looram (h/t e/t).

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).

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