This was hurling played in tough conditions but it was full of heart, determination and pride.
In the end Dicksboro were crowned Roinn A under-14 hurling champions for 2016 after a contest played on a wonderful surface in St John’s Park, winning by 1-10 to 0-4 against James Stephens.
It took nine minute for the opening score. Ned Devlin shot The Village in front and this was soon followed by a pointed free from Jamie O’Keeffe.
A bit like the Dublin footballers in the All-Ireland final the previous week, it took until the 32nd minute for the Palmerstown outfit to get on the scoresheet. And that was after shooting 13 wides.
Their opening score was taken Mikey Clifford and it left James Stephens 0-2 to 0-1 ahead at the break.
The second half began at a frenetic pace. Straight from the throw-in O’Keeffe fired an effort over the bar, but then Dicksboro struck for the decisive score.
In a move in which Mikey Clifford showed a touch of class and speed he ended up rifling the ball to the roof of the net.
White flag flying
His cousin in the other corner, Timmy Clifford, sent the white flag waving and in another twinkle of the eye Mikey had the gap out to 1-4 to 0-3.
Liam Moore landed a monster of a free which he added to with a couple of points from play.
It was all Dicksboro at this stage, but the resited Michael O’Brien lifted the siege briefly with a fine point for The Village.
Captain Aaron Murphy landed two points either side of a Padraig Moylan free as the ’Boro ploughed on.
Try as they might James Stephens could not break the resistance of the Dicksboro defence and they ended up regretting missed chances in the first half when they were in top.
SCORERS: Dicksboro - Mikey Clifford (1-2); Liam Moore (0-4, two frees); Aaron Murphy (0-2); Timmy Clifford (0-1); Padraig Moylan (0-1, free). James Stephens - Jamie O’Keeffe (0-2, one free); Ned Devlin, Michael O’Brien (0-1 each).
Dicksboro - Brian Manogue; Charlie Nolan, Niall Rowe, Zac McHardy; Charlie Delahunty, Padraig Moylan, Rory O’Connor; Liam Moore, Colm O’Hara; Tom Carroll, Aaron Murphy, Sean Maher; Timmy Clifford, Cormac Kennedy, Mikey Clifford. Subs: Kyle Maher, David Walsh, Oisin Timmons, Stephen Dermody, Nick Doheny, Eoin Dalton, Kevin Moore, Eoghan O’Neill, James Carroll, Luca Loli, Eamon O’Reilly, Vinny Roberts, Cillian Hackett, Harry Shine, Killian Phelan, Evan Rowe, Liam Connolly, Andrew Brennan Smyth, Finn O’Brien, Paddy Fitzgerald.
James Stephens - Daragh Casey; Cathal Mulhall, Michael O’Brien, Adam O’Connor; Evan Buggy, Luke Bateman, Steven O’Keeffe; Bill Kavanagh, Jamie O’Keeffe; Sean Ruth (capt), Michael Kennedy, Cian Dolan; Ben Cantwell, Jack McGrath, Ned Devlin.
Subs: Paul Kiely, Dylan O’Brien, Cian Grace, John Ruane, Luke Wallace, Niall Reid, Paddy Kehoe, Daniel Hughes, Shane Bowles, Joshua O’Rourke, Paddy Larkin, Aaron Dorney, David Walsh, Jamie Chisholm, Daragh Kennedy, Steven Butler, Shaun Rafter, Harry McIntyre, Daniel Smithwick, Evan Dowling, Cian Dunne, Jack Kelly, Conor Beale, Daragh Whelan, David Parle.
Referee - Conor Everard (Graigue Ballycallan).
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