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Ballyboden hopeful Macauley will be fit for start of Leinster campaign after Dublin final concussion

Star midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley was forced to leave the action on Sunday with 10 minutes remaining.

Ballyboden's Michael Darragh MacAuley down injured during Sunday's Dublin SFC final.
Ballyboden's Michael Darragh MacAuley down injured during Sunday's Dublin SFC final.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S are hopeful that midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley will be fit to line out in Sunday’s Leinster club SFC quarter-final showdown with Newtown Blues in Drogheda. 

The Dublin star was forced off with an apparent concussion after 50 minutes of Sunday’s county final when he took a heavy blow to the head in a collision. 

“(It was a) concussion, yeah so we brought him off,” confirmed manager Anthony Rainbow after Ballyboden secured the fourth title in their history. 

“That was the incident that happened in the middle of the field. I’m not sure what it was I didn’t see it but he just got a bad bang.

“He’s still a bit dazed now but he should be okay hopefully.”

The former Footballer of the Year appeared to be fine as he mingled with family and supporters on the field following the six-point defeat of underdogs Thomas Davis.

Along with fellow veterans Conal Keaney, Declan O’Mahony and Darragh Nelson, Macauley picked up a third county medal on Sunday afternoon. 

The club that fields over 100 teams across four codes, Ballyboden have been touted in the past as Europe’s largest sporting club and they lifted the All-Ireland club title on St Patrick’s Day in 2016. 

But they failed to back-up their 2015 county title victory and didn’t reach another final for four years. In 2017 they won the senior ‘B’ final following a first round exit to St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh in the ‘A’ competition. 

“Dublin is just so hard to win as well. There’s so many teams that can win it,” said wing-back Nelson. 

“I think the belief was always there it’s just Dublin is a very, very hard championship to win but we’re absolutely delighted and it’s a credit to everyone involved with this club.”

anthony-rainbow Ballyboden manager Anthony Rainbow. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Kildare legend Rainbow was appointed as boss for the 2018 campaign, leading them to the semi-final that season where they lost to eventual winners Kilmacud Crokes by six points.

And they got over the line yesterday against the Tallaght outfit who had taken the scalp of Castleknock and Kilmacud in the previous two rounds.

“There is a level of expectation but I think it’s important you take control of those expectations as well and try not to look too far into them,” the ex-Carlow manager said. 

“Because at the end of the day I think you need to take each step as it comes. I think we’ve done that perfectly well this year. 

“It’s great, a brilliant feeling, any championship we win is an incredible feeling but to do it with this bunch of players…we’ve been through a lot over the last few years in terms of training and getting guys right and it’s been an incredible journey for me and the players.” 

Nelson, who was on the bench as Dublin ended a 16-year gap without the Sam Maguire in 2011, praised the impact Rainbow has had on the club over the past two seasons. 

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“Anthony and the rest of the management team involved, Anthony basically just makes us work very, very hard,” he said. 

ross-mcgarry-celebrates Ballyboden's Ross McGarry celebrates after the game. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

“He puts the groundwork in and tactically as well he’s a great tactician. We do a lot of homework and the basis is just hard work and knowing repetition and doing your homework. 

“We got to the semi-final last year and we wanted to go one step further and get to the final. We did that today and got over the line.”

The Basquel brothers Colm and Ryan grabbed the headlines in the ‘Boden attack with their eye-catching tallies on the run to the final. Colm had 4-8 to his name in the previous two games, while Ryan scored seven points.

But it was young forward Ross McGarry, a forward on the Dublin U20 side that reached this year’s All-Ireland final, who top-scored from play for the south side giants with a four-point haul. 

He did his chances of a senior call-up from Jim Gavin next season no harm whatsoever.

“Ross McGarry was incredible today,” agreed Rainbow. “If you look at our forward line, you look at the likes of Collie Basbquel, Ryan Basquel – a lot of people just seem to hone in on those two people all the time.

“But we’ve got Warren Egan, Ross McGarry, Alan Flood that came on, Sean Gibbons, we have Darren O’Reilly. They’re all scoring players, they’re all scoring threats and not only that but when we don’t have the ball their work-rate is very, very high.

ryan-basquel-lifts-the-cup Ballyboden's Ryan Basquel lifts the cup. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

“So even though Collie and Ryan might get all the headlines we’ve another four forwards that will start, another two forwards that can come off the bench very, very easy and do a job very similar to the two boys. But they are incredible you have to say.” 

Thomas Davis boss Paul Kelly was happy to hold his hands up and admit they were beaten by the better side.

“Experience, and the habit of winning in those type of games, and also just the breadth of the panel that they have compared to us. We have a few experienced guys, Dublin U21, Dublin minor, but not to the breadth that they have.

He concluded: “It’s been a great journey for the club, the last couple of years. And today is a great day.

“As I said to the lads in there, hopefully in a couple of weeks’ time they can get together themselves and decide that they want to drive on again, to another level. I just wish them the best in doing that.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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