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Plunkett's to prevail

REMARKABLY, Plunkett's are the only unbeaten team left at the table. But they almost fell to Vincent's when they met in the first round back in April.

On that Parnell Park afternoon, the Fat Lady had not only sung. She was also well on her way to the chipper.

With three minutes of normal time left, Vins were ahead by six points. Yet Plunkett's prevailed after an extraordinary comeback.

After it, the faithful were saying that Mr Houdini is alive and well and living on the Navan Road.

Now for the re-match.

It's being billed as the tie-of-the-round. Certainly it's a match that is worth installing the Saorview for.



ELIMINATED

With Crokes eliminated, the door has opened a little more for the rest of the field. And Plunkett's are certainly among the leading contenders. They came within a breath of landing the jackpot three years ago. Crokes beat them in a replay.

Those two games brought them in their thousands to Donnycarney. And what drama there was under the lights as Dermot Kelly came within a whisker of glory.

Mick Galvin is now the chief pilot. Last Tuesday himself and Jayo won the International Pairs golf competition in Loch Lomond -- they'd swap it for a win in Parnell today!

Mick knows better than most the threat that Vincent's pose. They overcame UCD in O'Toole Park last Sunday. Playing against the students is always a tricky assignment.

But the Marino men enjoyed a blistering start. Goals from Ciarán Dorney, Tomás Quinn and Pádraig Lee gave them a boot-hold. Vins have a lot of class about them.

Eoin Brady is a champion of full-backs. And Michael Savage is one of the best keepers around. Willie Lowry and Neil Billings will also put in honest shifts.

Eamon Fennell brings a powerful, polished presence and Vins always get 100pc from one of the hardest workers in Dublin football, Tiernan Diamond.



GRACEFUL

The graceful Diarmuid Connolly can open envelopes with either foot and if he and Mossy get going they can be the best forward double-act in town and will pose major problems for the Plunkett's rearguard. But the St Oliver Plunkett's/ Eoghan Ruadh defence won't be carrying any loose change.

Paddy Curtin, Rory O'Connor and Conor Evans are reliable sentries.

There will be industry in the donations of Meath senior Anthony Moyles, Ross McConnell and David Matthews.

Then there's the guile of former Dublin panellist now Cavan senior, Gareth 'Nesty' Smith, and Jayo, plus the Brogan collection.

All-Star and this year's Footballer of the Year, Alan, missed last weekend's victory over O'Toole's and remains an injury concern for today's clash of the titans.

LAST YEAR -- St Vincent's: Semi-final. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: Semi-final.

LAST TIME SFC WINNERS -- St Vincent's: 2007. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: Never.

SFC 2011 -- St Vincent's: Lost to Plunkett's. Beat Mearnóg, Trinity Gaels and UCD. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: Beat Vincent's, Erin's Isle and O'Toole's.

VERDICT: St Oliver Plunkett's/ER