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Saturday 10 December 2016

Vinnies to prevail if they protect centre against Sarsfields

St Vincent’s Diarmuid Connolly is the one to watch against Lucan Sarsfields in Parnell Park tonight. Pic: Sportsfile
St Vincent’s Diarmuid Connolly is the one to watch against Lucan Sarsfields in Parnell Park tonight. Pic: Sportsfile

In what is a repeat of last year's quarter-final, St Vincent's will look to produce a more defensively secure display against a free-scoring Lucan Sarsfields team.

Despite beating Na Fianna last Sunday week, Vinnies looked vulnerable down the middle with Michael Savage tested more often more than he'd like.

Despite that deficiency, the 2013 and 2014 winners still managed to win by eight points with Enda Varley looking a key cog in their attack, kicking four points over the hour, while Nathan Mullins popped forward from wing-back for a couple of typically composed scores.

Maraud

With Eamonn Fennell missing through injury, Shane Carthy will seek to provide both a fair degree of possession at centrefield allied with an ability to maraud up front and provide another scoring option to Tommy Conroy's charges.

Lucan enjoyed a similarly comfortable win over Ballinteer St John's the previous Friday with Brendan Gallagher confirming his reputation as one of the most dangerous inside forwards in the county.

Gallagher kicked 1-5 that night and could well have doubled that tally but for some uncharacteristically errant shooting but his ability to threaten is something that Vincent's will be acutely aware of.

Jack Carey looks a fine addition in attack too and they should enjoy a fair degree of possession through their aerially proficient trio of Brian Collopy, Darren Gavin and Andrew Hope.

Lucan can also call on the much-needed experience of Paul Casey and Stephen O'Shaughnessy, players that can offer the leadership so essential at this level and their contribution could prove pivotal come the final whistle.

Of course, Diarmuid Connolly remains the key player on show for either team and if he is handed sufficient latitude, he has the ability to win the game on his own or through creating space for the likes of Varley, Joe Feeney, Ruairí Trainor and Tomás Quinn.

Vins won by 2-21 to 2-11 at the corresponding stage twelve months ago and assuming they have ironed out some of their defensive lapses, they should prevail once again this evening, by a narrower margin however.

Verdict: ST VINCENT'S

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