EVENING HERALD DUBLIN SFC THIRD ROUND
St Brigid's v Na Fianna
(Parnell Park, Today, 5.30)
BRIGID'S had some year of it last season. They raced through Division 2 like a presidential candidate pressing the flesh.
Then came the march to the Evening Herald Dublin SFC final. Their semi-final win over Plunkett's was the performance of the year.
There'll be two top 'keepers on duty in this North Dublin derby. Young Ryan O'Flaherty had a marvellous 2010. And Shane Supple looks every inch a classical goalkeeper -- they finished 2010 as Dubs Stars' goalkeeper and replacement Dubs Stars' netminder.
The Mobhi men are building again after their golden era.
They have brought through some excellent footballers -- the produce of reaching the last four Dublin MFC 'A' finals (winning two, losing two narrowly) under the tutelage of Philip McElwee.
They'll have to be motoring from the off to stick with Brigid's, who contain such class as Dublin's All-Ireland winners Barry Cahill, Seán Murray, and Declan Lally.
However, the Russell Park men will be without Kevin Bonner (cruciate injury) so will look to Paddy Andrews and Dublin under-21 Philly Ryan to keep the umpires busy.
Brigid's charges have also been boosted by the addition of Laois senior, John O'Loughlin. His powerful presence either at midfield or centre-forward will test the heart of the Na Fianna rearguard.
Niall Cooper, Paddy Quinn, John Kelly, David Quinn and Aidan Downes will keep the Glasnevin side in the frame -- Paddy Quinn in particular is having a fine season for Stephen McGlinchey's side.
And then there's Farrell Aughney, Carl O'Connor, and Adam Caffrey. They also have the wily experience of Senan Connell and Ciarán Duignan to steer their young players through choppy waters.
The scent of promise lingers in Dublin 9. The great days will be back again, no doubt.
Brigid's have a match-winner in Andrews, one of the most natural forwards in the city. Give him a yard and the ball is in the trolley.
Like their relegation from the top flight two years ago, Brigid's loss to the Synger will have concentrated the mind.
And when Brigid's are in the mood, it takes a mighty team to stop them.
LAST YEAR -- St Brigid's: Runners-up. Na Fianna: Quarter-final.
LAST TIME CHAMPIONS -- St Brigid's: 2003. Na Fianna: 2001.
SFC 2011 -- St Brigid's: Lost to Templeogue/SS. Beat Mark's. Na Fianna: Beat Raheny. Lost to Maur's.
WINNERS TO MEET: Kilmacud Crokes.
VERDICT: St Brigid's