Best of luck to local GAA club Ballyboden St Enda’s as they prepare to meet Mayo’s Castlebar Mitchells in this afternoon’s senior football final at HQ. (Throw in 4pm.)
Boden have shown indomitable spirit all through their run to the final, they won their epic Leinster final against Portlaoise with a last minute point and needed an injury time score in their All Ireland semi against Clonmel Commercials to take the game to extra time. This is the first time the club has reached an All Ireland senior final in either code.
Their opponents today, Castlebar Mitchells, are a serious outfit and they showed their class by beating northern heavyweights Crossmaglen Rangers in their All-Ireland semi final. They last contested an All Ireland club final in 2014 but came up short against St Vincents being well beaten 4-12 to 2-11.
Castlebar forwards Neil Douglas and Danny Kirby are both having great seasons and have helped their side win their games in this years championship by an average of six points.
Several of the Castlebar team have All-Ireland medals at U-21, minor and college level so they shouldn’t be too fazed by the occasion today. In midfield they have Mayo county star Barry Moran and his battle with Bodens Michael Darragh McAuley should be very interesting indeed.
Boden’s midfield will also be severely weakened by the absence of Declan O Mahony who harshly had his appeal against the red card he was shown in the semi-final win over Clonmel Commercials turned down by the Disputes Resolution Authority on Tuesday night meaning his suspension is upheld.
Both teams like to keep it tight at the back, Boden have conceded an average of just 10 points over the course of their four matches while Castlebar have conceded 11.
The Mayo champions have been better in attack scoring an average 17 points per game compared to Ballyboden’s 11, plus they have scored more than twice as many goals.
Speaking earlier in the week ahead of today’s date with destiny, Michael Darragh Macauley said preparation for this clash is a bit different to preparing for an inter county game.
“When we go out and play Mayo, every one of the Dublin players will know everything about all the Mayo players,” he said.
“And, likewise, every Mayo player will know everything about every Dublin player. But when we go out here, it’s not saying, we won’t do our homework, we will do our homework and they will likewise.
“But there’s a big sense of the unknown as well— a big sense of let’s just go out and play football, which is going to make for better football. There’s less cat and mouse stuff, and more football being played.”