Vins and Mun all square
DUBLIN finalists go to extra time again with 11 nominations each for football Dubs Stars
LEGS eleven for St Vincent's and Ballymun Kickhams. Joint top of the Dublin Bus/The Herald Dubs Stars football nominations.
No fewer than 14 clubs are represented in the prestigious annual awards scheme.
It's highly appropriate that Vins and the Mun should lead the way. There wasn't a wafer between them in the two riveting county finals last week.
A packed Parnell Park was enthralled by their deeds. Those two matches will live on.
The lights sparkled. The atmosphere crackled. The football dazzled. A county held its breath.
The original game was a classic. Everybody was humming 'what a swell party this is'.
They were saying the replay didn't quite reach the same level. But there was still drama and entertainment a-plenty. The half-time show will take some beating. Two tots played with a football down at the Church End goal.
They were nephews of the St Vincent's captain Ger Brennan. They had the audience spell-bound. Every little thing they did was magic. The cheers rang out for the two little boys with their one little toy.
Madonna at the Super Bowl wouldn't have got as much attention. It was priceless.
The stage was slippy and John Travolta supplied the football. That made it hard for Vins and Ballymun to reproduce their strawberry sundae showing.
Yet it was still compelling stuff. They say the Dublin Senior Football Championship is the best in the land. Vincent's and Ballymun underlined the argument.
The feeling among some judges beforehand was that Ballymun had left it behind them the first day.
You wouldn't have thought so in the first couple of pages. Vincent's ran into a Ballymun blizzard.
Vincent's recovered, but Ballymun still had the winning of it. They got plenty of ball into the forward line, but the Palmolive just kept slipping out of the gloves.
It has been a long two years. The hard day's night finally caught up on them.
How they'd love another crack at the All-Ireland. All of Dublin would wish that too. Their brisk brand of football earned them a new fan club.
They'll put on the slippers over Christmas and maybe, just maybe, they'll get to walk in the St Patrick's Day parade once more.
St Vincent's last secured Dublin crystal in 2007. They went on to claim All-Ireland gold. Mickey Whelan was made a Freeman of Marino.
Last Wednesday night, Pat Gilroy jumped off a fast plane from London. A mural of Kevin Heffernan was draped over the wall behind the goal at the Church End.
Tommy Conroy looked up to the heavens and thanked all the saintly stars. It was significant that the jackpot shot should come from a right half-back.
It was the most crucial stage of the match. It was level and the clock was ticking. But Vins kept their heads, and the ball.
Slowly, but with purpose, they moved it here and there, and then spread it out wide like your auntie's favourite Sunday afternoon table-cloth.
Into the frame came young Cameron Diamond. He showed the nerve and accuracy of Phil 'The Power' Taylor. And over she sweetly sailed at the scoreboard end.
The score summed up the work ethic of the side. Tommy Conroy saluted the deep resolve. The Vincent's men had shown the grit of a Yorkshire miner.
The victory meant so much to this club of clubs. The famous St Vincent's, steeped in so much tradition and folklore. The pictures on the wall in Páirc Naomh Uinsionn spark a million golden memories.
The Clery Cup was welcomed back home across the Malahide Road like a favourite son. How Heff would have enjoyed the night.
He'd also be writing poetry about Diarmuid Connolly. He cheered up the city this Fall.
His semi-final performance against Ballyboden St Enda's was the work of a genius. He had borrowed the boots of Billy Dane.
Boden, managed by Conor Deegan, can be pleased with their championship campaign ... and their tidy haul of Dubs Stars nominations.
They got eight, putting them in their place on the table, one ahead of St Jude's, who were back in the semis for the second successive year.
St Sylvester's are never far away from the business end of the championship. They made the quarter-final. They receive six Dubs Stars nominations.
Kilmacud Crokes are next best, on four. There's three apiece for Parnell's and St Brigid's. Great to see that old bobby-dazzler, Mark Vaughan, back in the picture.
Raheny secured two nominations, and there's also room on the 60-seater bus for Peter O'Curry, Darren Daly, Ross McConnell, Ciaran Farrelly and Conor McHugh.