herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

Plunkett's can pull final date

Eoghan Ruadh to edge out neighbours St Brigid's

EVENING HERALD DUBLIN SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL

ST BRIGID'S v ST OLIVER PLUNKETT/ER

(Tonight, Parnell Park, 6.0)

OLIVER GOLDSMITH would feel at home on the Navan Road tonight.

The Navan carpet will be transported to Donnycarney for the neighbour's very special tea party.

Derby nights write their own script. Form goes out the window, and the front door too.

Plunkett's will carry the burden of favourites. The quality of their team sheet determines that.

So does their lingering desire to lift Dublin's Ryder Cup. That replay defeat to Kilmacud Crokes two years ago still stings.

Plunkett's have been playing like a side that mean business. They had to go into the trenches to defeat both St Jude's (after extra-time) and Ballymun Kickhams while they showed all their panache when outclassing Lucan in their quarter-final

St Brigid's progress has been less eye-catching but they did progress through Division 2 like Yifter the Shifter with a 100pc record.

Brigid's beat UCD in the quarter-final with Kevin Bonner kicking an impressive three points from play.

Victory over the students always represents a good night's work.

Seán Murray played with much invention. He sparked many of the Blanchardstown moves.

Shane Supple is a first-rate keeper. His defence, when it mattered most, showed admirable discipline and concentration.

Peadar Andrews came off the bench and is likely to start tonight in the absence of the suspended Martin Cahill. The Kilmurrays are still rockin'. Memories of their 2003 success.

Barry Cahill, Ken Darcy, Bonner and Paddy Andrews are established footballers. Alan Daly, Martin Cahill, Graham Norton and Mark Cahill all add to the mix. Norton in particular has been in top form in this campaign and another installment will be required here to halt this vaunted Plunkett's attack.

Barry Cahill is likely to be put on policing duty on the roving Alan Brogan and if he can dull his influence Brigid's have a chance.

However, the Russell Park men will need to get a goal and probably two but with Ken Darcy at full-forward they won't shy away from letting it in long and high.

Jayo's sharpness can't be bottled. He has the quick hands of the three-card trickster. He created a hatful of goals against Lucan in the quarter-final.

The Plunkett's rearguard impressed in that win. They only conceded one pointed free. James Brogan was outstanding.

Brogan was so good at winning the ball and breaking for the border. Any stray crumbs fell into the pockets of Adrian Darcy, Anthony Moyles, Michael Brides and Rory O'Connor. Bernard Brogan, Alan Brogan and 'Nesty' will be on the prowl. David Sweeney and Liam Fleming will graft.

There's real determination about Alan's play to deliver a historic first Dublin SFC title for the Navan Road club.

Hopefully, they have re-scheduled evening mass in the parish. Everybody has signed up for the Pilgrimage to Parnell Park. The Promised Land is only an hour away.

Last Year -- St Brigid's: 4th Round. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: Quarter-final.

Last Time Champs -- St Brigid's: 2003. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: Never.

2010 Championship Road -- St Brigid's: Beat Ballymun 2-10 to 0-15. Beat St Anne's 0-17 to 0-5. Beat St Jude's 2-10 to 1-10. Beat UCD 0-9 to 0-8. St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh: Beat Fingal Ravens 1-20 to 0-7. Beat St Sylvester's 1-12 to 3-5. Beat Ballymun 0-11 to 0-8. Beat Lucan 4-11 to 0-7.

Form -- St Brigid's (Div 2): W14. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER (Div 1): W5 D1 L7.

VERDICT: St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh

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