Five days on from their opening round win against Carnaross, Boardsmill took to the field in Athboy for this JFC 2nd round clash against St Brigid’s on Sunday evening. The Ballinacree side had also won their opening round tie (against Kilmainhamwood) so the winners of this tie would sit top of the group.
It was Boardsmill who started the game best and from the throw in, their very first attack could have yielded a goal as Niall Durkan’s one on one attempt at goal was saved and a rebound shot from his brother James was put out for a ’45 which Boardsmill didn’t convert. It didn’t take the ‘Mill long to register their first scores though as full forward Evan Dixon scored 2 from play, whilst Keith Hamilton registered another following some brilliant fielding from Cathal Wall to give them a 3 point lead after 5 minutes of play. Boardsmill completely dominated the opening quarter and 3 further points from Hamilton, Niall Durkan (free) and Kyle Dixon left them 6 points ahead approaching the quarter hour mark. They could have been further in front with 6 wides registered in the same period including a 2nd one on one goal chance.
St Brigid’s first meaningful attack proved fruitful however, as a long ball into their full forward was fielded and laid off to an oncoming runner whose shot was stopped, but the full forward palmed the rebound to the net to give them a much needed boost before the first water break. Boardsmill responded well and earned two frees in succession which were both converted by Niall Durkan to give his side a 0-8 to 1-0 lead at a belated water break after 20 minutes of play.
The 2nd ‘quarter’ was a tighter affair with scoring chances harder to come by. Both sides registered wides before another free was converted from Durkan on 27 minutes, following a foul on the dashing corner back Cian Royston. Brigid’s closed the opening half with a badly needed score to leave them trailing 0-9 to 1-1 at the break.
It was the North Meath side who started the 2nd period the brighter with 2 pointed frees following some good passages of attacking play. The 2nd free was conceded by Kyle Dixon and it was obviously deemed cynical play from the referee as he quickly brandished a black card which left Boardsmill with 14 men for the following 10 minutes. St Brigid’s took advantage of this, outscoring the ‘Mill by 3 points to one in this 10 minutes period leaving just a single point between the sides as Dixon returned to play.
Boardsmill responded in the best manner possible to this sustained period of pressure with a superbly worked passage of play which finished with Evan Dixon rattling his opponents net on the 45 minute mark. With a 4 point lead again, Boardsmill regained control and the next 2 attacks yielded two more points. Firstly, a sublime pointed free from Meath senior footballer Danny Dixon from the outside of his right boot before a 6th pointed free from Durkan left Boardsmill with a 6 point lead at the 2nd water break on 47 minutes.
Boardsmill increased their lead to seven points with another score for Evan Dixon following an excellent attacking run and lay off from his cousin Danny. St Brigid’s replied immediately with a point and a couple of minutes later, one of their threatening attacking runs yielded a 2nd goal to leave just a goal between the sides with just 8 minutes of normal time remaining. The sides exchanged wides before Evan Dixon steadied the ship for Boardsmill again with another point from play on 55 minutes which was quickly followed by a point from the excellent Cathal Wall and another pointed free from Durkan to give the ‘Mill what looked like a comfortable 6 point cushion heading into the final 3 minutes of normal time.
Credit to St Brigid’s as they never gave up as a point was quickly followed by a 3rd goal to leave just 2 points between the sides heading into added time. An old head was needed to seal the game and veteran substitute Thomas ‘Bona’ Leonard earned a free to steady the ship and this was converted by Durkan to clinch the game for the ‘Mill with a hard earned 3 point victory. Final score 1-17 to 3-08.
Conor Darby and Conall Bird defended excellently for the ‘Mill whilst Wall and Kyle Dixon won the midfield exchanges for a 2nd time this week. In attack, Jim Roche won great possession whilst Durkan’s free taking and Evan Dixon’s accuracy from play proved constant thorns in their opponents’ sides. Boardsmill will play Kilmainhamwood in a fortnight in the final round of the group stages.
1. Jim Bird, 2. Conor Darby, 3. Conall Bird, 4. Cian Royston, 5. Ray Hatton, 6. Neil McLoughlin, 7. Stevie Gibbons, 8. Kyle Dixon (0-01), 9. Cathal Wall (0-01), 10. John Mitchell, 11. Keith Hamilton (0-02), 12. Jim Roche, 13. Niall Durkan (0-08f) , 14. Evan Dixon (1-04), 15. James Durkan.
Subs: Liam O’Brien for Ray Hatton, Danny Dixon (0-01) for James Durkan, Thomas Leonard for Stevie Gibbons.
Next up ….
K Windows & Doors – Junior 2 Hurling Championship – Group B Boardsmill Vs. St.Pats rescheduled for Wednesday September 1st – time & venue to be confirmed and then they travel to Rathmolyon on Saturday 4th September for the next round. While on Sunday in the Hanley’s Clean Meals – Intermediate Hurling Championship – Group A the lads take on Drumree in Baconstown.