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Thursday 8 December 2016

A little bit of history for St Vincent's

St Vincent's 2-10 Kilmacud Crokes 0-12

Diarmuid Connolly lifts the Dublin AFL Division 1 Cup, surrounded by his St Vincent’s team-mates
Diarmuid Connolly lifts the Dublin AFL Division 1 Cup, surrounded by his St Vincent’s team-mates

On the final whistle, the question did the circle of the Belfield Bowl. And nobody quite knew the answer.

When was the last time St Vincent's won Division 1 of the Dublin Adult Football League?

The names on the Cup go back as far as 1977. Vincent's are not on it.

PJ Brennan, Ger's Dad, said the last League title success was probably back in Jimmy Keaveney's time. Nobody was about to argue.

Yesterday's game was played on grass. It was due to take place on the all-weather, but the sod beside the UCD Sports Centre was in good enough nick.

The afternoon was pleasant. Desmond had boarded a jet plane to meet Clodagh.

A fine crowd looked on. They were treated to some delightful plates of Afternoon Tea.

Ross O'Carroll was marking the maestro, Connolly. Darren Magee was standing tall in the Kilmacud engine room.

Mark Vaughan was in the Crokes attack. Memories of him nailing over frees for fun before 80,000 in Croke Park.

And he's still producing the charm. Points from play here off the right and left boot.

The wonderful Liam Óg Ó hEineachain also joined the action. How many games has he played for the Glenalbyn club?

David Nestor was in the Crokes goal. He made a brilliant save from Diarmuid Connolly at the start of the second half.

Connolly burst through at the Clonskeagh end. His shot was speeding for the bottom left hand corner. It seemed certain to end up inside the left-hand post.

But Nestor got down quickly, and got the hand of Samson on the ball to knock it away. You won't see a better stop.

Later on, he rose into the clouds to pull a ball from the sky. The ball stuck to his hands as he landed, with Mossy Quinn hanging out of his parachute.

Mossy got the last score of the day. He showed all his experience in doing so as he cut in along the left end-line and fisted the ball over the bar.

Michael Savage also had some memorable moments in the Marino goal. He made a point-blank save from Eugene Keating, and then he made another first-class stop from Brian Kavanagh, both coming in the second period.

Flowing

The football kept flowing. Kevin Golden's left peg still has the magic laces.

Ruairi Trainor made a fabulous first-time flick up off the turf. Michael Concarr left his back garden to knock over a neat point.

It was a sporting tussle. There was a good spirit in Dublin 4.

And when it was all over, players on both sides took the time for a little chat.

Both clubs are always in the frame to win the Clery Cup. It didn't quite work out this season.

Vincent's, of course, were chasing the three-in-a-row. And it was a race they never gave up on.

But the Division 1 League title is a coveted prize. And in Dublin Football, it's hard won.

And it was Vincent's who led at the break, 1-6 to 0-5. The goal came on 19 minutes.

Shane Carthy got it with a low strike after Mossy Quinn had opened a Stillorgan window.

The second goal came seven minutes into the second half. Connolly floated over a delicious pass for Mossy to palm in.

That made it 2-6 to 0-6. And it was going to take a mighty effort for Crokes to come back from that.

But come back they did, as they increased the tempo and took some cracking points.

Aidan Jones contributed to the collection. He's the son of the Mick, the former Lighthouse 'Keeper at Pairc de Burca and now the second team manager.

Kavanagh hit three points in the last few pages, but Vincent's had enough about them to get the job done, with Mossy's point on the hour making absolutely sure.

And back they went over the Toll Bridge, with yet more silver for the hallowed halls.

SCORERS - St Vincent's: T Quinn 1-3 (0-2f), S Carthy 1-1, R Trainor, J Feeney 0-2 each, M Concarr, K Golden 0-1 each. Kilmacud Crokes: B Kavanagh (1f), M Vaughan (1f) 0-3 each, E Keating, P Mannion (2f) 0-2 each, A Jones, L Óg ÓhEineachain 0-1 each.

ST VINCENT'S: M Savage; M Concarr, H Gill, T Diamond; B Egan, G Brennan, N Mullins;C Diamond, S Carthy; K Golden, D Connolly, J Feeney; R Trainor, A Baxter, T Quinn. Subs: G Burke for Baxter (inj, 24); B Quigley for Concarr (inj, 45); C Brady for C Diamond (62).

KILMACUD CROKES: D Nestor; C O'Shea, K Nolan, R Ryan; R McGowan, R O'Carroll, A Jones; C Dias, D Magee; S Horan, P Mannion, M Coughlan; B Kavanagh, E Keating, M Vaughan. Subs: E Culligan for Ryan (28); D Mullin for Horan (ht); D Campbell for Magee (ht); B O'Rorke for Coughlan (54); L Óg ÓhEineachain for Vaughan (52); S Cunningham.

REFEREE: J King (Garda)

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