Leinster club SFC final: 'Boden clinch a historic first

December 06, 2015

Portlaoise's Kieran Lillis and Darragh Nelson of Ballyboden St Enda's

Ballyboden St Enda's (Dublin) 2-9
Portlaoise (Laois) 1-11

Aran Waters' late point made history for Ballyboden St Enda's in Tullamore this afternoon as they edged Portlaoise to claim their first Leinster club senior football championship crown.

In a splendid finale, substitute Waters came up trumps for the Dublin champions as they survived two injury-time efforts from their Laois opponents which both dropped the wrong sides of the post.

One of those chances saw full-forward Paul Cahillane stroke a 13-metre free in front of goal, which would have drawn the game level, somehow wide and it allowed Andy McEntee's men to hold on for a one-point victory in the end.

A sixth minute goal from Andrew Kerin looked to put the would-be winners in control of this contest but the first-half was keenly contested as Portlaoise recovered to draw level by the 22nd minute with Brian McCormack to the fore front for them, firing over two gems.

The O'Moore County men had found their rhythm by that stage and goaled on 30 minutes when Brian Smith located Cahillane with a long ball and the experienced forward snuck his effort beyond Paul Durcan.

Former 'Footballer of the Year' Michael Darragh Macauley wiped out the two-point lead in an instant however, latching on to a pass from Darren O'Reilly and netting low to ensure a 2-4 to 1-6 half-time lead for 'Boden.

Portlaoise took back the advantage with three consecutive points in the third quarter and might well have sealed the deal in the 50th minute had Durcan not showcased the qualities that made him an All Star in 2012 by turning McCormack's goal bound effort off the post with his finger tips.

Instead the Laois champions were made endure the pain of another provincial final loss as the men from the capital tasted the sweetness of a first success thanks to Waters' late intervention.

The newly crowned Leinster champions now face either Clonmel Commercials or Tir Chonail Gaels in February's All-Ireland semi-final, where the winners will face either Crossmaglen Rangers or Castlebar Mitchels at Croker Park on St Patrick's Day. 

In the Leinster club junior final, Meath champions Curraha took the honours by seeing off the challenge of Longford counterparts St Brigid's by 3-10 to 1-11 at Pearse Park.

Ballyboden St Enda's - P Durcan; B Dwane, S Hiney, S Clayton; S O'Connor, D Nelson, R McDaid; M D Macauley (1-0), D O'Mahony; D O'Reilly, C Basquel (0-1), D Davey; S Moloney (0-1), C Keaney (0-4f), A Kerin (1-2). Subs: S Gibbons for D Davey, A Waters (0-1) for D O'Reilly, S Durkin for S O'Connor, D McCabe for D O'Mahony.

Portlaoise - G Brody; J Delaney, C Healy (0-1), D Seale; E Whelan (0-1), K Lillis, B Mulligan; D Cullen, C Boyle; G Dillon, C Rogers (0-2, 1f), B Glynn (0-1); B McCormack (0-2), P Cahillane (1-2, 0-2f), B Smyth (0-2). Subs: C Dunphy for D Cullen, R Maher for G Dillon.

Referee - J Hickey.

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