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Friday 9 December 2016

Mighty Vins go for a three-in-a-row

Diarmuid Connolly
Diarmuid Connolly

Dublin SFC previews

ST VINCENT'S v ST OLAF'S

(Parnell Park, Tonight, 8.15)

MARINO'S long and winding road. A new dawn. A new target worth chasing. The coveted three-in-a-row.

The famous Vinnies last achieved that in 1977. Na Fianna were the last team do it in 2001. Pillar's Parade.

Vincent's are at the peak of their powers. They have strength in depth. Fellas who can come off the bench and change the flow of the traffic.

Magical years under Mickey Whelan and Tommy Conroy. Dazzling Donnycarney county final nights in the company of Ballymun Kickhams and St Oliver Plunkett's/ER.

A packed Parnell. The bright lights of Broadway. Diarmuid Connolly showing more tricks than Tommy Cooper.

The commendable resolve of the side. Climbing off the canvas like Rocky Balboa. The Saints reared on a street named desire. Legends behind every hall door.

It's big a night for Olaf's. They'll be wearing their new gear, sponsored by Merrion Fleet Management. They'll be keen to deliver a performance.

Like they always did in the great days of Tommy Brennan. The kind of displays that made Bill O'Brien smile.

Bill's son, John, wore the Dublin blue. He's managing a very fine Olaf's U16 side. The club are on the rise. They won the Intermediate Championship in 2013.

And one day, like Rocky, they'll run to the top of those Philadelphia steps.

VERDICT: St Vincent's

 

RAHENY v NAOMH MEARNÓG

(Parnell Park, Tonight, 6.45)

RAHENY'S journey ended last year in the second round when they tumbled to Lucan. They beat St Peregrine's on the first day out.

The Lucan match was played in Balgriffin. Lucan had a handsome half-time lead. Raheny's revial had everyone on their toes. Splendid entertainment.

They have a Division 1 address. Mearnog are in Division 2. Graham Rusk is back from the League of Ireland. Shane Carthy, Matthew Shorthall and Niall Murphy bring much to the Portmarnock stew.

Mearnog fell at the first fence last season to St Jude's. This will be another tester.

VERDICT: Raheny

 

FINGAL RAVENS v CLONTARF

(Balgriffin, Tonight, 7.0)

RAVENS have won three in Division 1. Last term, they beat Towers of Clondalkin by a point before losing to Boden.

Adam Lawless and Ross Beggs are excellent defenders. Darren Daly and Niall Tormey carry wisdom in the laces.

Clontarf are just off the summit in Division 2. Noel McCaffrey wears the bib. Last Christmas he made a big signing, Mick Bohan. Mick has been a long-time professor of Dublin football.

Last year, the Tarf were beaten by Brigid's in the first round. This could be a corker.

VERDICT: Fingal Ravens

 

NA FIANNA v THOMAS DAVIS

(O'Toole Park, Tonight, 7.0)

THIS is a contest that could sparkle. Two sides from the top floor.

Two members of the exclusive three-in-a-row club. Both have guile in the feet, and youth in the legs.

The Glasnevin men are well up there in the League. Three wins from five.

They beat Cuala in the first round last May before losing to Templeogue Synge Street by a point.

Thomas Davis lost to their neighbours, St Anne's, by a point. There was nobody left in the Square.

There should be another big crowd in Crumlin.

VERDICT: Na Fianna

LUCAN SARS v CASTLEKNOCK, (Monastery Rd, Tonight, 7.0)

CASTLEKNOCK are on the march. Top of Division 2. A new clubhouse on the way. Sunny days at Somerton.

They won last year's Intermediate Championship with a flourishing run that saw them overcome Crumlin, St Sylvester's, Clanna Gael Fontenoy and Fingallians in the final.

They face a formidable task here. Lucan are a seasoned outfit. They made the quarter-final last time, having defeated Parnell's and Raheny. Boden beat them in the quarter.

There will be no free quarter-pounders in Clondalkin tonight. Sars are also simmering in Division 2. Should be a good one.

VERDICT: Lucan Sarsfields

 

ST SYLVESTER'S v ST PAT'S (P)

(Blakestown, Tonight, 7.0)

LUCK didn't smile on Pat's last season. They drew St Vincent's in round one.

They are mid-table in Division 2. Syls have won one and drawn one in Division 1.

Ex-Croke, Robbie Brennan, is the boss. He has aces in Ross Hazley and Gary Sweeney (pictured).

The Malahide men also met Vincent's last year, having accounted for Naomh Maur in the first round.

In 2013, Vins edged past Syls by a point in the quarter-final.

VERDICT: St Sylvester's

 

 

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