AIB Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final
Ballyboden St Enda’s (Dublin) V Coolderry (Offaly)
By Kevin Dillon
Dublin champions Ballyboden St Enda’s and Offaly champions Coolderry face off against each other in what is sure to be a tight affair. Coolderry picked up a valuable win over Mount Leinster Rangers in the quarter-final , whilst Ballyboden needed extra-time to see off an excellent performance from Westmeath champions Clonkill.
Coolderry had many leading figures in the quarter-final win over the Carlow side, Kevin Connolly, Brian Carroll and goalkeeper Stephen Corcoran all putting in huge performances for the Offaly side.
Corcoran hit five long-range frees, all from either midfield or inside his own half, and also crucially managed to hold his nerve in the closing stages as Mount Leinster Rangers pressed hard towards the Coolderry goal, also saving a penalty from Kevin McDonald.
Coolderry’s defence also stood firm during the final two minutes to see the game out by a six point margin in the end, 1-22 to 1-16.
Ballyboden got the better of Westmeath champions Clonkill in a refixed game played on an emotional night in Parnell Park. The Dublin side struggled to find their feet in the opening half, but settled in as the game went on. Paul Ryan slotting over a few nice frees and Conal Keaney getting the South Dublin side over the line after extra-time, 2-25 to 2-19.
Sunday’s game should be a close encounter at least. Coolderry have grown as a team ever since their victory over Kilcormac-Killoughey in the Offaly County Final, and gave an outstanding performance in the second-half against Mount Leinster Rangers.They will be hoping to find that same performance when they take on Ballyboden.
Ballyboden will hope that they can play the same game they played when they defeated Kilmacud Crokes in the Dublin County Final Replay. If they can find that same form again, they will be hard to stop on Sunday.
Going on form and build-up for both sides, this clash has the makings of a great game. Throw-in is at 2.00pm on Sunday.
Date: 18TH November 2018
Venue: Parnell Park, Dublin