“I’m not going to let anybody judge my team based on a performance in August”

By Hayden Moore

AFTER failing to retain their Dublin Adult Hurling League One title in a showdown against Cuala last weekend, Ballyboden St Enda’s manager Joe Fortune has insisted that it does not define his side.

The Firhouse Road side were the only outfit in the league to go unbeaten before they were eventually undone by their Dalkey opponents in a 3-17 to 0-18 reversal in O’Toole Park on Saturday.

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Conal Keaney (left) and Joe Fortune. (pics by Cliona Mellett)

“The way that we approach the league, it’s a great opportunity to give some of the younger players within Ballyboden a chance to play Senior ‘A’ hurling,” explained the Boden boss.

“Ten days out from championship, I couldn’t have asked for a better game because Cuala are a great team and a great club as well. Last year we would have strived to try match the levels that they have in recent years so it was the perfect game.”

“When you look at it, we’ve played 13 competitive fixtures in 2019 and we have only lost one, but look I’m not going to let anybody judge my team based on a performance in August.

“We’re Dublin Champions and we are focused on retaining that title. We have Setanta on September 5 and I’m not going to look past that game.”

In his first year in charge, Fortune saw his side to a league and championship double and now, having already beaten Lucan Sarsfields and Whitehall Colmcille back in April, they will turn their attention to Setanta next week.

One step away from the Senior ‘A’ Championship quarter-final, Boden will welcome their Ballymun opposition to Páirc Uí Mhurchú next Thursday in the final Group Four match.

“I’m hoping for a big break, Setanta are an up-and-coming young side with plenty of talent with the likes of Fintan McGibb from the intercounty set-up, Seán O’Riain, Lee Richardson,” Fortune told The Echo.

“We have got nothing but the highest level of respect for Setanta as I’m sure they do for us, so I’m expecting a big battle under lights in Parnell Park next Thursday night. Hopefully we come out on the right side of the result.”

“We have been dying for this all summer, we’re looking forward to getting back into the groove of it again because when you’re playing on a Sunday morning at half ten or a Tuesday night it just isn’t quite the same as playing under lights in Parnell Park.”

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