Clontarf can't live with Ballyboden's pace and power as Basquel bags 1-10 for champions

After a bright start, Clontarf faded in the second-half.

Ballyboden’s Ross McGarry is tackled by Jack McCaffrey of Clontarf.
Ballyboden’s Ross McGarry is tackled by Jack McCaffrey of Clontarf.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Ballyboden St Enda’s 4-20

Clontarf 2-8 

THE FINAL SCORE of this game was somewhat harsh on Clontarf, who were trailing by just two points with 15 minutes remaining. 

Ballyboden’s superior physicality and squad depth showed in the final quarter as they ran in 3-7 without reply to kick off the defence of their Dublin SFC title in some style this evening. 

In this unique summer where clubs have their full compliment to choose from, it was the county men who stood out for the victors in what was their first ever championship match to play at their home base in Pairc Ui Murchu.

Colm Basquel showed good form with a tally of 1-10, while the evergreen Conal Keaney, who turns 38 in September, clipped over four points and looked in tremendous physical condition. Michael Darragh Macauley, with his quick hands and direct running, was heavily involved around the middle third for Anthony Rainbow’s side.

Clontarf raced into a 2-5 to 0-5 lead in the early stages. Jack McCaffrey, who stepped away from the Dublin panel recently, was central to both goals. He kicked a great pass into Kevin Lillis for their opener inside 20 seconds.

A powerful run from the four-time All-Star saw him slip Lillis for Clontarf’s second in the 19th minute. Lillis finished with 2-4 and was by far Clontarf’s most dangerous attacker although his influence waned after a red-hot first-half.

McCaffrey initially lined out at centre-forward and dropped behind his own half-back line as a sweeper when Ballyboden had possession. At centre-back was Chris Barrett, the Mayo defender who recently transferred from his home club Belmullet. 

Barrett had a good outing but ultimately Clontarf couldn’t live with Ballyboden’s pace and power in attack. McCaffrey spent most of the second-half at midfield and almost rolled in a stunning goal late in the day after a run that started on his own half-back line.

But the game was long over by that stage.

Ballyboden used the first-half water break to good effect and they hit 1-5 before half-time to go in on level terms. Warren Egan’s goal in the 23rd minute was a thing of beauty – a rocket into the topmost corner of the net.

Clontarf had some early joy getting their kick-outs away short, but once Ballyboden properly pressed Ross O’Hanlon’s restarts and forced him to go long, they had the size in the middle to win possession.  

michael-darragh-macauley-with-fergal-obyrne Michael Darragh Macauley gets a pass away. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Clontarf ran out of steam after the break, scoring just two points as Ballyboden’s experience and better use of possession began to tell. Ross McGarry (0-4) was a constant menace up front while Colm Basquel rolled in a penalty after Keaney was fouled. When Egan raised his second green flag the hosts were 15 points ahead and cruising.

Simon Lambert grabbed the fourth goal deep into stoppage-time to give Ballyboden the perfect start to the campaign. Whitehall Colmcilles are up next for Clontarf, while St Vincent’s await for the champions.

Scorers for Ballyboden St Enda’s: Colm Basquel 1-10 (1-0 pen, 0-5f), Warren Egan 2-0, Ross McGarry 0-4, Conal Keaney 0-4 (0-1f), Simon Lambert 1-0, Tom Hayes and Declan O’Mahoney 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clontarf: Kevin Lillis 2-4 (0-2f), Nathan Doran 0-2 (0-1f), Morgan Walshe and Fiachra Dodd 0-1 each. 

Ballyboden St Enda’s

1. Darragh Gogan

2. Kieran Kennedy
3. Shane Clayton
4. Cathal Flaherty

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5. James Holland
6. Robbie McDaid 
7. Darragh Nelson

8. Michael Darragh Macauley
9. Declan O’Mahony

10. Darren O’Reilly
11. Colm Basquel
12. Warren Egan

13. Ross McGarry
14. Ryan Basquel
15. Conal Keaney


17. Alan Flood for O’Reilly (49)
20. Tom Hayes for Ryan Basquel (52)
19. Donogh McCabe for O’Mahony (52)
18. Brian Bobbett for Holland (52)
23. Simon Lambert for Keaney (56)


1. Ross O’Hanlon

2. Conor Cronin
3. Conor Doran
4. Liam Howley

5. Shane Walsh
6. Chris Barrett
7. Feargal O’Byrne 

8. Nathan Doran
9. Morgan Walshe

10. Stephen O’Quigley
11. Jack McCaffrey
12. Fiachra Dodd

13. Kevin Lillis
14. Matias McDonnacha
15. Brian Berney


20. Joe McDonagh for Dodd (43)
18. Tom O’Flaherty for McDonnacha (43)
21. Ciaran Kyne for O’Quigley (59)
17. Patrick Mohan for Cronin (58)

Referee: Dan Stynes

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / reports from Pairc Ui Murchu

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