All-Ireland Club SFC final: 'Boden batter Mitchels in one-sided decider

March 17, 2016

Ballyboden's Colm Basquel and Fergal Durkan of Castlebar Mitchels

A total mismatch in the Andy Merrigan Cup decider at Croke Park today as Ballyboden St Enda's purred to a 2-14 to 0-7 victory over Castlebar Mitchels.

Typified by corner back and Man of the Match Bob Dwan, who helped himself to three points in total, 'Boden were completely dominant in the first half and, with their opponents at sixes and sevens, were full value for their 2-5 to 0-3 interval advantage.

Totally off the pace, Castlebar didn't register until the 20th minute, by which stage the men from the capital had notched 2-3, the goals coming from Colm Basquel and Andrew Kerin.

In front of an official attendance of 31,518, the winners led by nine points at the midway stage in the first half after Kerin rolled a penalty to the bottom left corner of the net, inches away from the fingertips of Rory Byrne.

With midfielder Declan O'Mahoney's rather optimistic appeal against suspension falling on deaf ears, the Dublin and Leinster champions were forced to reshuffle their starting XV, bringing in county hurler Shane Durkin at wing back and relocating Aran Waters to centrefield to partner former Footballer of the Year Michael Darragh MacAuley (who in turn departed the fray after 35 minutes).

Undeterred by that setback, Andy McEntee's weel-drilled side got off to a dream start as Colm Basquel sauntered through the all-at-sea Mitchels rearguard in the second minute to plant a delightful right-footed shot into the left corner of the net at the Hill 16 end.

Corner back Dwan followed up with the first point of the match and MacAuley fisted his side's second on twelve minutes. Ryan Basquel made it a six-point game with the sweetest of strikes off his left foot before Kerin rolled the ball to the net after Tom Cunniffe's clear foul on Waters.

The Mayo men finally mustered their first score in the 20th minute when Neil Douglas thumped over a '45' after Paul Durcan had justified the price of his flight from Qatar with an excellent save, pushing Neil Lydon's goalbound shot onto the post and wide.

Dwan and Stephen O'Connor increased the gap to ten but the improving westerners got the last two scores before the break courtesy of Douglas and Lydon to leave eight between them at the short whistle.

MacAuley hobbled off injured five minutes after the restart but that didn't stop Ballyboden from stretching their lead to ten points with a couple of quickfire scores from Dwan - his third (after Byrne had saved from Colm Basquel) - and Durkin.

With 20 minutes left to play, it was all over bar the shouting as a sense of inevitability pervaded GA HQ. Conal Keaney got in on the act in the 42nd minute and Durkin added another 60 seconds later - 2-9 to 0-3.

Castlebar's first score of the second half came from an Aidan Walsh free in the 44th minute and Paddy Durkan pulled another consolation score back. The next four points were shared but the winners finished with a flurry as Man of the Match Dwan, Kerin and Colm Basquel clipped over late, late points for Ireland's newest All-Ireland champions.

Another All-Ireland title goes to Dublin; another disappointing day on the big stage for Mayo.

Ballyboden St Enda's - P Durcan; S Clayton, S Hiney, B Dwan (0-3); S O'Connor (0-1), D Nelson, S Durkin (0-2); A Waters, M D MacAuley (0-1); D O'Reilly (0-1), C Basquel (1-1), R McDaid; R Basquel (0-2), C Keaney (0-1), A Kerin (1-2, 1-0pen). Subs: C Flaherty for D Nelson, S Lambert for M D Macauley, S Molony for R Basquel, D Davey for D O'Reilly, D McCabe for A Waters, S Gibbons for R McDaid.

Castlebar Mitchels - R Byrne; T Cunniffe, A Feeney, D Newcombe; P Durkan (0-1), E O'Reilly, R O'Malley; G McDonagh, B Moran; S Hopkins, N Lydon (0-1), N Douglas (0-2, 1'45); S Keane, D Kirby, R Feeney. Subs: F Durkan for S Hopkins, J Durkan (0-1) for R Feeney, C Costello for S Keane, A Walsh (0-2f) for A Douglas, S Conlon for R O'Malley, R Burke for D Newcombe.

Referee - C Lane.

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