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Monday 11 December 2017

Plunkett's show title credentials

St Oliver Plunkett's/ER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-12 Ballymun Kickhams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-10

First-half goals by James Brogan and Alan Brogan set St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh on course for a deserved eight-point victory over a struggling Ballymun Kickhams in their Dublin SFC quarter-final at Parnell Park last Saturday afternoon.

It was a significant result for Plunkett's and highlighted once again how dangerous an opponent they are with Bernard Brogan underling that fact with a glorious score inside the opening minute.

FATIQUED

In contrast, Kickhams looked laboured and fatigued in much of their play although the free-taking prowess of Dean Rock ensured that Ballymun Kickhams remained in contention in the opening quarter.

However, it was evident already that their forward line were struggling to impress both collectively and individually and their troubles deepened in the 15th minute as James Brogan joined the attack to telling effect after an exchange of passes with Gareth Smith.

Rock replied with Ballymun's first score from play a minute later but the cohesion of the Plunkett's counter-attack was proving difficult to subdue and Smith once again turned provider in the 19th minute as he released Alan Brogan for a cracking finish past a sprawling Seán Currie.

A Smith free six minutes later left six points between the sides but Ballymun handed themselves a degree of hope when kicking the final two points of the half through Seán George, from long-range, and Rock to trail by just 2-5 to 0-7 at the interval.

As Ballymun Kickhams committed men further up the field, both Smith and Bernard Brogan revelled in the open spaces and the former kicked the critical first score of the second-half to help restore his side's momentum.

John Small replied in kind for Kickhams but a lack of patience in Ballymun's approach play undermined their challenge with their opponents taking full advantage to force numerous turnovers and dispossessions.

A well-worked team score by the impressive Craig Dunleavy added to Kickhams' woes before Bernard Brogan illuminated the contest with a brace of sublime points to reinforce his side's superiority.

Smith added a brace of his own soon after and with the tireless Niall Walsh gaining reward for an industrious display when pointing in injury time, Ballymun's woes were complete as they finished the tie with just 13 players following the dismissal of Jason Whelan and Ronan Noonan's black card in the dying embers of the game.

Scorers - St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: G Smith 0-5 (3f), B Brogan 0-4, J Brogan, A Brogan 1-0, C Dunleavy 0-2, N Walsh 0-1. Ballymun Kickhams: D Rock 0-6 (5f), J Burke 0-2, S George, J Small 0-1 each.

St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: A O'Meara; S Lyons, E Clarke, D Kelly; D Brogan, R O'Connor, J Brogan; C Dunleavy, P McNulty; C Walsh, A Brogan, D Lally; G Smith, B Brogan, N Walsh. Subs: P Brogan for McNulty (48), S O'Connor for R O'Connor (57).

Ballymun Kickhams: S Currie; K Connolly, S George, Eoin Dolan; J McCarthy, J Small, A Hubbard; R Noonan, Davey Byrne; K Leahy, D Rock, J Whelan; F Andrews, T Furman, Derek Byrne. Subs: P McMahon for Connolly (28), L O'Donovan for Andrews (39), E Reilly for Leahy (44), M Brady for Derek Byrne (49), J Burke for Hubbard (61).

Ref: Gary McCormack (Naomh Barróg).

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