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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Mun primed to edge Vins

Form guide suggests it will be Kickhams' night

Ger Brennan of St Vincent's in action against Ted Furman, left, and Jason Welby of Ballymun Kickhams
Ger Brennan of St Vincent's in action against Ted Furman, left, and Jason Welby of Ballymun Kickhams

A seismic encounter awaits us in Donnycarney this evening as Ballymun Kickhams and St Vincent's renew hostilities with a Dublin Senior Football Championship final berth at stake.

Both clubs have served up some wonderful fare of late with their drawn county final from 2013 and the subsequent replay highlighting the competitiveness and quality inherent in the county.

That Vinnies came through then and more comfortably in their second round encounter last year suggests they enjoy a psychological edge and that could prove vital come the closing stages tonight.

However, it is fair to say that the 2013 and 2014 winners do not look as imposing as in previous years, especially in defence which has looked particularly vulnerable in recent victories over Na Fianna and Lucan Sarsfields.

Yet, they have managed to come through these challenges while not hitting previous heights and there is no question that an improved performance is required if they're to reach their fourth final in succession.

They also have injury concerns to Hugh Gill and Nathan Mullins following their narrow win last week over Lucan.

Shane Carthy's form in midfield offers them grounds for optimism and with Diarmuid Connolly in situ, they can boast the finest attacker in the country.

On current form, Ballymun look a good deal sharper than their opponents and the expected return of the influential James McCarthy to their starting line-up can only strengthen their options.

There is a nice balance to the 'Mun attack with Jason Whelan in fine fettle at centre-forward while Dean Rock's enhanced confidence is serving his club well this autumn.

We have come to anticipate tight matches between these two and tonight should be no different but Kickhams look a more convincing option at the minute and are expected to prevail.

VERDICT: Ballymun Kickhams

Dublin SFC semi-final: St Vincent's v Ballymun Kickhams, Parnelll Park, tonight, 7.30

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