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Vincent's can break 'Laoise

YOU'VE heard all the stuff about Connolly and Mossy and even about the attacking back-up - but to be strictly fair about it, St Vincent's defence was just as influential in the county final as those ahead of it.

They are, simply, a team of great depth and variety.

From Hugh Gill's pacey, sticky man-marking to Jarlath Curley's more bulksome influence to Ger Brennan's calm, back to Mick Concarr's scorching speed and Brendan Egan's measured assurance, Vincent's have a team of substance.

They also have the experience and confidence winning an All-Ireland club title brings.


All of which makes them favourites to win in Portlaoise tomorrow but, as everyone connected Dublin football should know now, having the better team doesn't guarantee anything.

Yes, Vincent's have had a fortnight to celebrate, repair and prepare.

But Portlaoise, such is their dominance of Laois club football, have had about 11 months to get their heads around another Leinster campaign and yet another tilt at the Dublin champions.

Are they any better than last year, when they went down by three points to Vin's in the provincial decider in Tullamore?

Hard to say. But the ease with which they won their Laois semi and final suggests they definitely haven't reversed in quality.

Plus, they have Zach Tuohy, likely to play at full-forward and test the undoubted potential of Curley, perhaps a medium-term challenger to Rory O'Carroll for Dublin were he to get the chance.

Without him, the usual characters did the business in beating Arles Killeen by 11 points in the county final, the likes of Paul Cahillane, 'Bruno' McCormack and Craig Rogers.

And, as alluded to above, every team has an area at which they can be got at.

Get at it enough and they can be beaten. It's just tough to know where that soft spot lies in this St Vincent's team.

And in Mossy Quinn, Diarmuid Connolly and Brennan, they have top quality and real leadership.

Those men are on the roll of their lives. Winning almost seems to have become an addiction.

We don't expect they're ready for cold turkey just yet.

ODDS: Portlaoise 11/5, Draw 15/2, St Vincent's 4/9

VERDICT: St Vincent's