Brilliant Ballymun power to first Dublin football crown since 2012 with 14-point victory

Dean Rock grabbed 1-8 as Brendan Hackett’s side dethroned Ballyboden St Enda’s.

Ballymun Kickhams’ brothers Paddy and John Small are overcome with emotion after the game.
Ballymun Kickhams’ brothers Paddy and John Small are overcome with emotion after the game.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Updated Sep 27th 2020, 7:58 PM

Ballymun Kickhams 1-19

Ballyboden St Enda’s 0-8

EIGHT YEARS SINCE they last tasted success on county final day, Ballymun Kickhams left no doubt as to their superiority with a convincing 14-point win over holders Ballyboden St Enda’s.

Ballymun’s run to the fourth Dublin SFC crown in their history benefited enormously from the pandemic which meant they had full access to their county players for the entire summer.

And it was the Dublin stars who stood up here for Brendan Hackett’s side. Dean Rock (1-8) and Paddy Small (0-2) did the damage up front, James McCarthy was a driving force from midfield and John Small was excellent at centre-back. 

But around them, plenty of others shone. Dillon Keating, introduced into the starting team after scoring cameos off the bench the last two games, kicked three fine points, Fiach Andrews fired over four points and Leon Young – in a new role at corner-back – held Collie Basquel scoreless from play. 

It was an awesome display from Ballymun overall and they are deservedly county champions. They clicked through the gears against Na Fianna and Kilmacud Crokes when required and after the opening 10 minutes they never looked like losing this final. 

ballymun-kickhams-celebrate-with-the-trophy Ballymun Kickhams’ celebrate with the trophy. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Defensively they held Ballyboden scoreless for 35 minutes and conceded just 0-5 from play, while up front they were ruthless and clinical.

The absentees badly cost Ballyboden here.  Basquel was hampered by a knee injury in the lead-up to this game and didn’t look fully fit. He was replaced after 50 minutes on a day where Ballyboden were well below their best in attack.

They were used to powering through teams for scores but Ballymun had the size and strength to match-up defensively and cut off the space in the central channel.

Ballyboden were also without their regular goalkeeper Darragh Gogan after he received a straight red card for an altercation with Kevin McManamon in injury-time in the semi-final.

Interestingly it was Jake Turley who came into the goals for Ballyboden after Gogan’s dismissal but he was left as an unused sub here. 

As a result Ballymun really targetted rookie Mark McNamee’s kick-outs and they got a lot of joy from that particular tactic, turning over the Ballyoden defenders when he went short. He eventually resorted to ballooning the ball down the middle towards Michael Darragh Macauley who had McCarthy for company.

The sides looked evenly matched early on and were level at 0-4 apiece after the opening 10 minutes. Veteran Conal Keaney, who was tracked by former Dublin team-mate Philly McMahon, clipped over a couple of good scores but defensively Ballyboden started to look vulnerable. 

aaron-waters-and-john-small Ballyboden St. Enda's Aaron Waters and John Small of Ballymun Kickhams compete for a kick-out. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

With Rock and Paddy Small in outstanding form up front, Hackett’s men reeled off 10 scores without reply to take complete control of the game. 

Ballyboden boss Anthony Rainbow made three changes at the interval in a desperate attempt to change things. Yet it did nothing to improve their dreadful shooting and they either dropped short or sent wide their first six shots at the posts of the second period.

At the far end, Dillon Keating curled over two points with Ballymun happy to defend and hit their opponents on the break.

Ballyboden’s first score in 35 minutes arrived from a Collie Basquel free. They finished with 0-8 as Ryan Basquel and Keaney added points, but Ballymun put a gloss on the scoreline with a late goal from a Dean Rock penalty and further scores from Andrews and sub Jason Whelan.  

Scorers for Ballymun Kickhams: Dean Rock 1-8 (1-0 pen, 0-3f, 0-1m), Fiach Andrews 0-4, Dillon Keating 0-3, Paddy Small 0-2 (0-1m), Jason Whelan and Cathal O’Tighe 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballyboden St Enda’s: Conal Keaney and Ryan Basquel (0-1f) 0-3 each, Collie Basquel (0-2f) 0-2.

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Ballymun Kickhams 

1. Evan Comerford

7. Leon Young
3. Eoin Dolan
4. Philly McMahon

2. Darragh Conlan
6. John Small
5. Carl Keeley

8. Aaron Elliot
9. James McCarthy

10. Cameron McCormack
14. Fiach Andrews
22. Cathal O’Tighe

13. Paddy Small
11. Dillon Keating
15. Dean Rock


21. Jason Whelan for O’Tighe (50)
23. Andrew McCaul for Keating (53)
18. Ciaran McManus for McCormack (58)
12. Brian Ashton for Elliott (58)

Ballyboden St Enda’s

1. Mark McNamee

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

5. Brian Bobbett
17. Aran Waters
7. Darragh Nelson

8. Michael Darragh Macauley
6. Robbie McDaid 

13. Ross McGarry
11. Warren Egan
10. Darren O’Reilly 

22. Colm Basquel
14. Ryan Basquel
15. Conal Keaney


9. Declan O’Mahony for Bobbett (ht)
18. James Holland for Nelson (ht)
12. Alan Flood for O’Reilly (ht) 
23. Simon Lambert for Collie Basquel (50)
20. Tom Hayes for McGarry (55)

Referee: Seamus Farrelly (Ballinteer St John’s)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / reports from Parnell Park

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