Newtown Blues (Louth) 0-05 Ballyboden St Endas (Dublin) 1-11
A late surge of 1-6 in the final 15 minutes from Dublin Champions Ballyboden St Enda's ensured their passage through to the semi-final of the Leinster Club Championship.
In the last quarter, Ballyboden's panel of subs, especially Conal Keaney (0-02), underlined the depth of personnel Anthony Rainbow has to choose from.
In truth, the Firhouse road men were pushed all the way by a gallant Newtown Blues side, who just did not quite have the physical power to keep up with St Enda's at the finish. They also lost Alan Connor to a red card late on.
With both teams playing a sweeper and defensive systems, frees were the most likely avenue to make headway early on.
Newtown Blues, wearing the Louth colours in order to avoid a clash with their opponents, frustrated their opponents in the first half, with both sides having 14 turnovers each. As they retired for the interval they were level on the scoreboard at 0-3 each.
Both teams’ tactical discipline deserved huge plaudits, especially the Blues, who came back and defended in numbers and turned over a myriad of St Enda's attacks.
Rob Carr’s excellent point from play opened the scoring after five minutes but that was cancelled out by Boden corner-back Cathal Flaherty, who was sent off later in the half for an off-the-ball incident.
Ryan Basquel finally put Ballyboden ahead as both sides found scores hard to come by. Andy McDonnell drew the Blues level before Ciaran Downey and Colm Basquel traded frees to leave it at a low scoring draw at the break.
The third quarter was similar to the first half with both sides swapping scores. Colm Judge and McDonnell were on target for the Newfoundwell men while Ross McGarry and Ryan Basquel (free) hit points for the Dublin champions.
The Blues would not score again after the 45th minute however as Ballyboden’s physical power and strength in depth came to the fore.
Keaney came off the bench to a rapturous reception from the St Enda's crowd and his brace of points and a late goal from the talented Colm Basquel booked Anthony Rainbow’s side a semi-final date with Westmeath's Garrycastle in a fortnight's time.
Ballyboden even had the luxury of kicking a point from a penalty in injury-time.
Newtown Blues: Jay Lowney; Kevin Carr, Fergal Donohoe, Alan Connor; John Connolly Emmet Carolan, Ian Connor; Andy McDonnell (0-02, 1f), John Kermode; Ian Connor, Ciaran Downey (0-01), Rob Carr (0-01), Colm Judge (0-01), Conor Brannigan, Jamie Kelly.
Subs used: Conor Moore for Jamie Kelly (22), Johnny McDonnell for Conor Brannigan (46), Niall Costelloe for Emmet Carolan (B/Card)(52), Cormac Reynolds for Ian Connor (52), Ronan Levins for Colm Judge (B/Card) (57)
Ballyboden St Endas: Darragh Gogan; Bob Dwan, Shane Clayton, Cathal Flaherty (0-01); Brian Bobbett, Robbie McDaid, Kieran Kennedy; Aran Waters, Declan Mahoney; Darren O'Reilly, Colm Basquel (1-04,2f) Alan Flood; Ross McGarry (0-01), Ryan Basquel (0-03,2f), Warren Egan.
Subs Used: Conal Keaney (0-02) for Warren Egan (44), James Holland for Darren O’Reilly (44), Tom Hayes for Alan Flood (47), Michael Dara MacCauley for Aran Waters (53), Sean Gibbons for Declan Mahoney (56).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)