Sunday 17 December 2017

Connollys can provide firepower for famous Vins win


Kilmacud Crokes v St Vincent's

(Tomorrow, Parnell Park, 2.30)

PREDICTING a victor here is akin to selecting the winner of the Grand National. Or even getting the six numbers tonight.

Both have sampled the big day in recent times -- Vincent's in 2007 and Kilmacud Crokes the following season. Both were beaten finalists as Ballyboden St Enda's captured their first two Dublin SHC 'A' crowns.

Crokes have no shortage of bricks and mortar at the back. That's where they do their best work. There's always a river of possession flowing to the forwards. In the quarter-final victory over St Brigid's, Kevin O'Loughlin enjoyed a jackpot day.


He went home with the match ball, the player-of-the-match award and 1-11 (0-6f, 0-1 pen) in his pocket.

Niall Corcoran, Ronan Walsh and Rob O'Loughlin will help to keep the windows closed, while there's craft and conviction in the hurls of Conor Clinton and Ross O'Carroll. Only time will tell if Rory O'Carroll makes the trip back from France but it does not look likely, what with rail and train chaos across the channel.

Barry O'Rorke, Aodán de Paor and James Burke were all on the money against the Russell Park men. But, overall, Crokes will be looking to be sharper around the hall door.

Marino defenders Rory Pocock and Ruairí Trainor flourished against Jude's. Vincent's are the most consistent side in the county. They haven't lost a game.

The tie is a repeat of the Group tie on All-Ireland hurling final morning in Silver Park. Vincent's won it by three points (0-11 to 1-5). The margin could have been bigger. They missed some chances.

As Crokes battled back, Ronan Fallon, in front of Anthony Daly, was superb. Willie Lowry, Damien Russell and Diarmuid Connolly also earned the lift home. Vincent's have had a compact look about them all year. Cathal Billings at number six and Tom Carroll between the sticks. Thomas Connolly is landing the frees, while Keith Connolly can strike quicker than a French railway worker.

Predicting the outcome of this one should carry a Government Health Warning.

SO FAR -- ST VINCENT'S: Beat Pat's, Palmerstown 2-15 to 1-12. Drew with Faughs 1-13 to 3-7. Drew with Ballyboden St Enda's 0-17 to 1-14. Beat Crokes 0-11 to 1-5. Beat O'Toole's 1-14 to 1-5. Beat St Jude's 1-14 to 1-12. KILMACUD CROKES: Lost to Ballyboden St Enda's 1-15 to 2-23. Beat Faughs 1-10 to 1-8. Beat O'Toole's 2-14 to 1-15. Lost to Vincent's 1-5 to 0-11. Beat Pat's, Palmerstown 1-11 0-11. Beat St Brigid's 1-16 to 0-15.

VERDICT: St Vincent's

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