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Dublin: 5°C Monday 8 March 2021

Ballyboden St Enda's crowned kings of Dublin after comfortable win over Thomas Davis

Anthony Rainbow’s side lifted the Dublin SFC title for the first time since 2015.

Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

Ballyboden St Enda’s 0-15

Thomas Davis 0-9 

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S are back on top of Dublin club football after a comfortable six-point defeat of Thomas Davis in the decider. 

The 2016 All-Ireland champions failed to reach any of the last three county finals and would have felt they underachieved since St Patrick’s Day three years ago. They’re kingpins of Dublin once again and will now be eyeing up a strong provincial campaign and beyond.

Despite the defeat, it must be said it was a tremendous achievement for Thomas Davis to reach the final. A second tier outfit 12 months ago, they dumped out Castleknock and champions Kilmacud Crokes in the previous two rounds but Ballyboden proved a step too far. 

This was a physical game with scores at a premium. Ballyboden possessed livewire forwards in the Basquel brothers and Ross McGarry – who scored 0-13 of the 0-15 tally – in addition to a powerful midfield and half-back line. 

Dublin U20 star Ross McGarry grabbed four excellent points and Ryan Basquel finished with 0-5. While Colm Basquel was scoreless from play until the 58th minute (he converted two frees before then), he was a constant threat and set-up a host of scores for team-mates while also winning a number of close-range frees.

In truth, Ballyboden always looked in control of this game. They raced into a four-point lead after the first quarter and never led by less than three throughout. There was a touch of fortune about the first Thomas Davis goal against Kilmacud and they probably needed something similar here to put the favourites under pressure.

Thomas Davis played with a two-man full-forward line and three across midfield. They looked to work the ball through the hands at pace, largely relying on counter-attacks to create scoring chances. 

ciaran-farrelly-and-darren-oreilly Ciaran Farrelly is blocked by Ballyboden's Darren O'Reilly. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Ryan Deegan picked up Michael Darragh Macauley in a heavyweight midfield clash that lived up to its billing. The Dublin powerhouse won the battle until his enforced departure ten minutes from time due to a concussion.

Competing in their first senior county final since 1991, last year’s Tier 2 champions did a fine job of restricting Ballyboden’s attack in the first period but scoring at the far end was their main concern.

Thomas Davis were able to work the ball up to the opposition 45 with their running game but outside of counter-attacks, they struggled to break down Ballyboden. Oisin Kelly, son of manager Paul, had to leave the fray through injury after just 11 minutes, robbing his side of a key man. 

Anthony Rainbow’s side converted just 50% of their shots at the posts in the opening 35 minutes yet led by five. Colm Basquel, fresh from scoring 1-4 in the semi-final, saw a shot on goal well-saved by Robbie Crilly after they turned over a short kick-out early on. 

It was his older brother Ryan who did most of the early scoring for Boden, firing 0-4 in the first-half including one stunning effort from distance. Thomas Davis scored just once from play in that period and they trialled by 0-7 to 0-2 at half-time.

34-year-old Shane McGrath, once a member of Dublin’s extended panel under Pat Gilroy, lofted over a booming point as the Tallaght outfit started the third quarter in bright fashion. 

Ballyboden dialled up the tempo and had a sniff of a goal chance when Macauley came barrelling through but overhit his handpass to Robbie McDaid. The best Thomas Davis forward on show was David Keogh, Dublin hurling squad member, and he added his second score in style after 41 minutes.

McGarry curled over two points in two minutes and then Colm Basquel pointed a free following a move that started with a huge Macauley fist on Crilly’s kick-out. Ryan Basquel added a brace either side of McGarry’s fourth.

Alan Flood clipped a point after coming off the bench and while Thomas Davis added two late scores the game was long over by that stage.

Scorers for Ballyboden St Enda’s: Ryan Basquel 0-6 (0-3f), Ross McGarry 0-4, Colm Basquel 0-3 (0-2f), Alan Flood and Declan O’Mahony 0-1 each.

Scorers for Thomas Davis: Eoin Kirby 0-4 (0-4f), David Keogh 0-2, Ryan Deegan (0-1f) and Eanna O’Toole 0-1 each.

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Ballyboden St Enda’s 

1. Darragh Gogan

2. Bob Dwan
4. Cathal Flaherty
3. Shane Clayton

5. Darragh Nelson
6. Robbie McDaid
7. Aron Waters

8. Michael Darragh Macauley
9. Declan O’Mahoney

17. Sean Gibbons
11. Colm Basquel
10. Darren O’Reilly

13. Ross McGarry
14. Ryan Basquel
15. Warren Egan


12. Alan Flood for Gibbons (ht)
23. Kieran Kennedy for McDaid (blood sub, 40 – 45)
20. Tom Hayes for Egan (48)
22. Brian Bobbett for Macauley (50)
23. Kieran Kennedy for Dwan (57)
21. James Holland for Egan (57)
18. Conal Keaney for O’Reilly (59) 

Thomas Davis 

1. Robbie Crilly

7. Aaron Shorten
6. Peter Quinn
3. Brian Kirby

5. Adam Fallon
4. Cian Murphy 
2. Sean Kennedy

11. Ryan Deegan
9. Brendan Kirby
8. Eoin Kirby

12. Oisin Kelly
13. David Keogh
18. Eoin Lambert

14. Ciaran Farrelly
10. Shane McGrath


15. Eanna O’Toole for Kelly (12)
21. Sean Reilly for Lambert (ht)
25. Mark Nolan for McGrath (55)
18. Lambert for Eoin Kirby (55)

Referee: John Higgins (Na Fianna)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / reports from Parnell Park

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