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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Plunkett’s packed to pip Fianna

PREVIEW: DUBLIN AFL DIVISION 1 SEMI-FINAL

ST OLIVER PLUNKETT’S/EOGHAN RUADH v NA FIANNA (St Margaret’s, Tonight, 7.30)

THE Glasnevin club won’t start as favourites. It’s how they finish that will most concern them.

The championship-winning days on the Mobhi Road are a few pages back on the calendar now, but the modern-day Na Fianna are still a match for all-comers.

They proved it in the third round of last season’s championship when the eventual title winners, St Brigid’s, had to cash the overtime dockets to proceed.

Na Fianna showed a commendable work ethic on that Donnycarney evening. And with sharper finishing, they might have rattled Brigid’s even more.

Nobody has to tell Plunkett’s about the merits of the boys from Russell Park.

Brigid’s beat them in the 2010 championship semi-final and again on the big day last November.

Plunkett’s have been within a fingernail of the claret jug. Lifting the league title would be some compensation – for now.

They’ll have to have the overalls on to emerge from this one. They were rewarded with five Dubs Stars in 2011 – Philip Brogan, Shane Lyons, Ross McConnell, David Matthews and Bernard Brogan. Matthews is currently in Australia while Bernard returned this morning from Oz.

They won 11 matches from 15 outings in the league. That’s impressive form. And they’ll be hoping that Nesty, Jayo and Alan Brogan bring the boot polish to the north county. They’ll have to be hitting the double top to beat Ryan O’Flaherty. Eoin Rutledge, Aidan Downes and the Coopers have brought much to the shirt.

David Quinn, Paddy Quinn and Adam Caffrey have also made an impression, while Senan Connell still has TV3 vision.

The likes of Rory O’Connor, Michael Brides and Conor Evans help to keep the golden gates of the Navan Road firmly bolted, while the roving Royal, Anthony Moyles, has added considerably to the Plunkett’s package.

VERDICT: St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh

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