herald

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Parnell stage set for Ballymun and Vincent's to do battle again

St Vincent's manager Tommy Conroy. Picture: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
St Vincent's manager Tommy Conroy. Picture: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

BALLYMUN KICKHAMS v ST VINCENT'S (Parnell Park, Tonight 7.45) - IT'S the match that has got Dublin talking.

They say it was one of the best county finals of them all. It ebbed and flowed like the Electric Light Orchestra.

You'd travel the 32 counties and not see better. It was a duel that went around the world in 80 minutes. And now a second helping beckons.

Sunday had all kinds of everything. All the drama lacked was Dana coming out to sing the national anthem.

The action resided on Quality Street from start to finish. Pace, panache and courage beyond the call of duty. The tempo never dimmed. The accuracy was extraordinary.

Gavin Burke got one of the best of them all. It was in the first half. Vins began the move near enough to their own goal at the score-board end.

They exchanged passes like a game of pinball wizard. Mossy Quinn and Diarmuid Connolly were involved. And when the ball came to Burke, he arched over a beauty that nearly kissed the Donnycarney sky.

 

Smashing

Burke had a smashing game. His right peg was stirring the tea. There was plenty of sugar in his laces.

The duel had so many magic moments. The selection box overflowed. It wasn't easy opening the back doors. Goal chances were few.

One chap said he could watch Alan Hubbard all day. "A marvellous footballer," stated the gent.

Another marvelled at the genius of Connolly. It was an arts and crafts show that would have been at home in the RDS.

The managers would have loved to have played in it. Late on Sunday evening, a large media presence waited for Paul Curran and Tommy Conroy outside the pavilion.

They both broke into songs of praise about their own side ... and the opposition.

They both agreed that it was now all about 'R&R'. The dressing-rooms had used up all their petrol. The priority was to get the bodies bouncing again.

Connolly's late, late free put the ribbon on a remarkable contest. The attitude of his manager was even more impressive.

"If he had missed it, so what," mused Tommy (pictured), who stressed that the most important thing was that his players had given their all. And PC said amen to that.

Dublin football is now blessed to have another night at the opera. An open page awaits. It is full of intrigue and possibility.

NEAR FM (90.3) have cleared the schedule to broadcast it live. Jerry Grogan will be on the tannoy.

The Ballymun boss admitted that improvement is imperative. The Marino men will seek to scale the same heights again.

The pity is that the time-gap is so short. But Leinster is calling. The winners will be off to Joe Dolan country on Sunday.

Back in the capital, they are calling for more and more and more. The Mun and Vins will hope to, once again, send them home sweating.

Two-thousand-and-eight was the last football final replay. Kilmacud Crokes beat St Oliver Plunkett's/ER that night. The theatre was thronged.

The lights will add to the show here. And it will be standing room only as another massive crowd is expected.

Classical county finals are rare enough. But this was certainly one. Is it too much to ask for an action replay. Oliver had no such problem.

This could be another North Dublin sizzler. A packed Parnell Park under the lights, you can't beat it.

It's Wednesday night at the Parnell Palladium.

It could be another Rock and Roll show. Come on and feel the noise.

VERDICT: Ballymun Kickhams

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