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Syls out to bite as 'underdogs' against Crokes

St Sylvester's and Kilmacud Crokes will hope to follow in the footsteps of 2011 winners Castleknock when the clubs face each other in their eagerly anticipated Dublin Minor 'A' Football Championship final this Sunday at Parnell's Chanel College ground (throw-in 11.0).

The Malahide outfit have eked out encouraging results en route to the final, but team manager John Sexton is well aware that a significant improvement is required if a team as talented as Kilmacud Crokes are to be toppled.

"I'll be honest with you when admitting that we haven't played especially well all the way through the championship and we've been behind in a number of games but just about managed to survive.

"The way that we're playing at the moment wouldn't be near good enough to get a positive result against Crokes, who were very impressive in their semi-final win over Na Fianna last Sunday week," said Sexton.

That said, Sylvester's have managed to make the final with a series of disciplined displays, in which they won a tough round-robin group that included St Vincent's, Ballyboden St Enda's and Templeogue Synge Street on points difference.

They appeared in difficulty when trailing to Vinnies in their semi-final, but a superb Eoin O'Byrne save helped galvanise his side with Colm Byrne's scrambled goal sealing a 1-8 to 1-4 victory.

Their inactivity, in contrast to Sunday's opponents, will not help their cause, but their collective synergy has stood them in good stead and their character cannot be questioned given their unbeaten run.

"Kilmacud always have a very good team at minor level and this year's group is no exception. The long break from our semi-final is certainly a disadvantage as far as I'm concerned with the challenge games we've played not at the same intensity as their match against Na Fianna," added Sexton.

"There would be no superstars in this Sylvester's team, with only Stephen Cunningham making the Dublin team last year, and all the games we've played have been very tight and there's no doubt that we enter the final as underdogs."



Peter's eye a perfect match in 'Boden tie

It has been a long road for St Peter's, but the North County team can help consolidate their standing when they meet Ballyboden St Enda's in the Dublin Minor 'D' Football Championship final at Balgriffin this Sunday morning (11.0).

The side was first formed in the early 1980s, amalgamating players from Ballyboughal and Clann Mhuire, and their third reinvention at the start of the year has helped foster genuine hope of a bright future for the team, according to manager Liam Rogers.

"It's a very important match for the team and we just hope that we can keep it going. At underage level, both clubs just can't do without each other as the numbers aren't there.

"It was good to get the team back up and running this year and there has been a very good attitude from the lads. They are training hard and beating Raheny in the semi-final was a very good scalp."

That victory followed on the back of wins over St Monica's and Castleknock in the quarter-final, with St Peter's able to call on the services of both Adam Rogers and Cathal Flynn, who were part of Dublin's extended All-Ireland minor-winning panel of last year.

Cormac Flynn, Ciarán McGinley and James Rooney have also been highly influential but they'll have their work cut out against a 'Boden team that has developed after a disappointing start to the year.

Despite losing their opening three league matches, St Enda's, managed by Noel Madden, finished in third spot in MFL4A, and have progressed to the final following comfortable wins over Cuala B, Ballyfermot DLS and Naomh Olaf.

Midfielder Evan Flanagan's progress has mirrored his team's, with his long-range free-taking a huge asset, while Joe Mernagh and Adam Carney have been superb in defence and attack respectively.

"The lads would be fairly confident going into the final. We have a settled team and the most positive thing about the year is how much they have improved with every game," said Madden.