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MATT Collins showed perfect timing. He picked the biggest night of the year to produce his best performance.

Ger Cunningham was looking on from the stand at Parnell Park.

He knows a good goalkeeper when he sees one, and the Crokes custodian is certainly that.

Only for the excellence of Collins, St Jude's could well have taken gold.

The game went to extra-time. Kilmacud were grateful for that. It was only then that they began to hum, much to the relief of Ollie Baker.

Ross O'Carroll, Jack Doughan and Cian Mac Gabhann had exceptional campaigns in defence.

The solid Stillorgan back door was at the core of their success, their sixth county crown.

Their previous victory had come two years previously.

Dillon Mulligan was the 2012 Dubs Star Hurler of the Year. He's continuing his flourishing form.

Ross O'Carroll's input against Jude's was also crucial. He made one goal and set up the second for Seán McGrath.

It was Seán's privilege to hold aloft the trophy. The Jude's lads, down below, joined in the applause.

Ger McManus looked up at the podium. The disappointment of the result was written on his face.

ACHIEVEMENT

But Jude's could feel more than content with their achievement.

It was their first final, and it was their first time to be in the semi-final as well.

Ciarán Mangan accompanied Ger in the Tymon defence. They had an All-Star in the number 11 shirt.

Danny Sutcliffe has done wonders for hurling at Jude's.

When he was out injured, he was the Jude's water boy. And happy to do it.

Danny and his team-mates were getting good ball to the full-forward line. And no better man to profit than Fionn Ó Riain Broin.

He's a very tidy finisher. He cheered up the summer, and he shortened the winter.

Immediately following the victory over O'Toole's in the semi-final, the Jude's manager, Seán Fallon, was quick to pay tribute to the Blunden Boys.

He says they are always the team to beat. The club that make the most of themselves. The crew that leave everything out there on the turf.

Joey Morris is a remarkable manager. He also runs the senior footballers. Andrew Morris had a storming year. And young Conor Carton continues to excel.

The surnames tell all - Morris and Carton. The pedigree runs deep.

There's no lack of calibre at Ballyboden St Enda's, the modern day masters of the small ball.

Shane Durkin's quality and consistency was again at the heart of their effort as they battled to hold onto their title.

Crokes ended their run in the semi-final. And Crokes saw for themselves the calibre of Shane Stapleton.

Shaney Boy has been delivering big scores, and big displays, for years.

Out in Glenaulin Park, the banners have long been up - Stapo for Dublin.

On a charming May evening in O'Toole Park, Pat's gave Crokes a page of problems.

And Stapleton was very much involved. It was only eight minutes from time, that Kilmacud found parity as Pat's produced a fabulous offering.

And Shane hit 12 points, seven frees and one sideline. It was a master-class. Even a high calibre goalkeeper like David Quinn would have to be at his very best to save one of Stapo's arrows.

Quinn makes the Dubs Stars bench, a prized collection in itself.

It includes Ger O'Merra, still delivering the ten out of tens. He has long been one of the most accomplished half-backs in the county.

A diamond of a defender, just like his sister, Elaine, who has been a role model for Dublin camogie.

HEROIC

Rob Hardy of St Jude's enjoyed a memorable term. He was central to their heroic effort, driving the side forward with his inspirational play on the half-back line.

He's joined in the dugout by his Jude's colleague, Paul Maguire, an elegant, energetic midfielder, while two talented Crokes forwards also get the call, Oisin O Rorke and Caolan Conway.

Cian O'Callaghan would have his hands full trying to curb that pair. But he wouldn't have too far to go for a tip or two.

The Da, Maurice, was a dual jewel. For club and county.


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