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Saturday 16 December 2017

Plunkett's stars to dazzle Raheny

TONIGHT's previews - Dublin SFC Second Round

ST OLIVER PLUNKETT'S/E RUADH v RAHENY Tonight, Parnell Park, 6.45 (Winners Section)

RAHENY have been wearing their Sunday Best on every day of the week. They sit at the summit of Division 2.

The candle on the cake was their championship victory over St Mary's.

It was an honours maths test up in O'Toole Park, but the longer the tie went on, the more assured Raheny looked.

This will be another step up again. Plunkett's would love to capture the big one. And they have the personnel to do so.

They were only a breath away in 2008, and just two points worse off than Brigid's in last year's final.

They are laced with experience and calibre. Nesty, Jayo and the Brogans love to bring home a healthy harvest.

Raheny will strive to continue to make their own hay. The game will tell them where they are.

Plunkett's experience and greater goal-scoring prowess to see them past a very fit and game Raheny.

VERDICT: St Oliver Plunkett's/ER

ST PEREGRINE'S v KILMACUD CROKES

Tonight, Parnell Park, 8.15 (Winners Section)

WHEN it comes to handing out the claret jug, not many look too far beyond Crokes.

In the modern era of Dublin football, they are perennial championship contenders.

The depth of the Stillorgan river will ensure it remains thus. They didn't have an easy journey against St Maur's.

And they'll be focused from the off against Peregrine's who have in Robbie McCarthy one of the most elegant footballers in the city.

The Saints were moving well against Clontarf. The same can be said for Darren Magee against Maur's. The midfield maestro was back flying without wings.

VERDICT: Kilmacud Crokes

NAOMH MEARNóG v

FINGAL RAVENS

Tonight, Naul, 7.30 (Losers Section)

THERE will be a firm 'country' handshake between the Deegans, Conor and Mick.

Conor is in charge of Mearnóg, while Mick is managing Ravens.

This could be a close tussle. Fingal didn't make the most of their chances against Na Fianna, who won handsomely. The Portmarnock club forced Trinity Gaels to extra-time.

Mearnóg possess the Dublin U21 All-Ireland winning captain in Kevin O'Brien and the finishing skills of John Madden.

Mick Deegan knows the Ravens will have to go deeper into the mine to smell the roses.

VERDICT: Fingal Ravens

O'TOOLE'S v ST SYLVESTER'S

Tonight, Drumnigh, 7.30 (Losers Section)

SYLS were Division 1 champs a year ago. They have been one of the most consistent sides in the county.

They were going well against Templeogue Synge St on opening night before Synger responded brilliantly.

They have top performers in Gavin McArdle, Brian Sexton, Ross Hazley, Gary Sweeney and Darren Clarke.

O'Toole's continue to give it the full Monty -- in hurling and football. They fell to Parnell's in the first round.

Ger O'Meara, Philip Brennan and Graham and Andrew Morris will don the overalls.

VERDICT: St Sylvester's

THOMAS DAVIS v BALLINTEER ST JOHN'S

Tonight, O'Toole Park, 7.30 (Losers Section)

BALLINTEER nearly knocked out Lucan. They were blooming at the Iveagh Gardens.

The boss-man, Declan Sheehan, knows the Dublin terrain. Nicky Devereux and Páraic O'Connor are highly valued Saints.

Davis put it in against the champs. The hour always sparkles when the Kiltipper kids are in the playground.

Dano Hennessy will mind the sticks. Peter Boland will watch the back door, and Paul Hudson and Shane McGrath will add thrust.

VERDICT: Thomas Davis

-- BY NIALL SCULLY

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