Leinster SHC: Hat-trick hero Basquel sees Ballyboden past Coolderry after epic
Parnell Park crowd witness 10 goals, 63 scores and four dismissals in thriller
Ballyboden’s Conal Keaney celebrates after the AIB Leinster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final win over Coolderry at Parnell Park. Photograph: Oisín Keniry
Ballyboden St Enda’s (Dublin) 5-28 Coolderry (Offaly) 5-25 (after double extra-time)
There may have been better games at Parnell Park but nobody in the Donnycarney venue was offering up any on Sunday afternoon after Dublin champions Ballyboden St Enda’s beat Offaly’s Coolderrry in an astonishing thrill-a-minute rollercoaster ride of an AIB Leinster club hurling semi-final.
A tie that began at 2pm and despite didn’t finish up until gone 4.30pm and when that final whistle did eventually arrive, the enthralled crowd had witnessed 63 scores, 10 of them goals; four dismissals, three from Coolderry, and a quite incredible personal display from Ballyboden’s Colm Basquel, who scored 3-3.
The GAA world will be familiar with Basquel as the talented footballer who won an All-Ireland club medal with Ballyboden two years ago and who is on the brink of breaking into the Dublin team on a regular basis.
He started against Roscommon in the Super 8s last summer, though when that campaign finished up he rang club hurling manager Joe Fortune and asked if he could play for him.
After a couple of substitute appearances, this was Basquel’s full senior debut for the Ballyboden hurlers and what a debut it was. There was his 3-3 haul for starters, all of it sourced from open play, but he also played a role in Conal Keaney’s goal, won the free that Paul Ryan converted to force extra-time and then won the last three frees of the game that Ryan also dispatched.
Those three late, late points, coming at the end of the second instalment of extra-time, ultimately separated the teams.
Basquel then will be a marked man when Ballboden return to action on December 2nd in the final against Ballyhale Shamrocks with dreams of going one better than their 2007 final defeat to Birr.
Afterwards, Fortune remarked that Basquel had met his “target” for the day, raising the inevitable query of what exactly they had asked him to do beforehand.
“To score!” retorted Fortune. “People talk about other forwards around the country and Collie’s as good as them. Hurling, coming up along, was his number one sport. I just think he needs a little bit of work, he’s a bit raw yet. But we’ll see how the next couple of weeks go and we’ll see will he start the next day first of all.”
Ballyboden are no strangers to the Leinster championship, having won a five-in-a-row of Dublin titles between 2007 and 2011, yet this was still just their fifth win from 11 outings in the province.
Perhaps that relatively poor record is why they’ve dug so deep this season, beating Kilmacud Crokes in the Dublin final after a replay and requiring extra-time to see off Clonkill in the Leinster quarter-finals.
It clearly means a lot to Conal Keaney, the veteran Dublin forward, who fought for every ball at Parnell Park as if his life depended on it.
The intensity peaked in a rip-roaring encounter with a series of skirmishes late, late in extra-time and Keaney was shown a second yellow after one of them while Kevin Brady, Brian Carroll and Stephen Corcoran all walked for Coolderry.
How Carroll finished up on the losing side, and on the sideline, after hitting 2-16, 2-5 of which came from play, is a head scratcher.
He was terrific throughout and it was his goal two minutes into injury-time that ultimately helped to force extra-time.
The former Offaly forward hit another goal then in extra-time, though it only offset Basquel’s third goal for ’Boden and, remarkably, the sides remained deadlocked at the end of the 20 extra minutes.
It meant an extra 10 minutes were required and while a number of players lost their heads during those running battles, Ryan kept his to convert a succession of frees that nudged Ballyboden over the winning line.
It was hard not to feel sorry for Coolderry, the 2011 Leinster champions, who fell 2-1 to no score down after just three minutes following goals from Basquel and Niall Ryan.
They fought back to within a point but then fell back under ’Boden’s spell and drifted nine points behind with 20 minutes to go.
They somehow conjured three goals to force extra-time at 4-17 to 3-20 and felt they could have stolen the win but the better team probably won it. By a smidgen.
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S: C O’Donoghue; J Madden, L Corcoran, D O’Connor; S Durkin (0-2), D Curran, S Lambert; D Curtin (0-2), S O’Connor (0-2); A Mellett, N McMorrow, N Ryan (1-0); C Keaney (1-1), C Basquel (3-3), P Ryan (0-14, 11 frees, one 65).
Subs: C Dooley for N Ryan (41 mins), P Doherty (0-3) for Curtin (47), F McGarry for S O’Connor (53), M Travers for Mellett (59), Mellett (0-1) for Travers (e/t), C McCormack for Lambert (73), J Roche for McMorrow (78).
COOLDERRY: S Corcoran (1-0, pen); S Connolly, T Corcoran, S Burke; B Teehan, K Brady, B Kelly; M Bergin (0-1), D King; C Molloy (1-0), B Carroll (2-16, 11 frees), E Parlon; K Connolly (0-3), M Corcoran (0-1), D Miller (0-1).
Subs: C Parlon (0-1) for M Corcoran (h/t), J Brady for Bergin, D Parlon (1-1), for Miller (both 47 mins), W Malone (0-1) for T Corcoran (49). Bergin for Kelly (h/t extra-time), Miller for Molloy (76).
Referee: J Heffernan (Wexford).