Giants of ash set to sparkle
DUBLIN SHC SEMI-FINAL
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S v KILMACUD CROKES
(Parnell Park, today, 5.30)
GER Cunningham will see two accomplished gate-keepers here. And also, hopefully, a cracker-jack of a match.
The Kilmacud goalie, Matt Collins, is from Ger's part of the world. Gary Maguire is Boden born and bread.
He has been at the top of the tree for so long now.
And he was at the head of the queue to congratulate All-Star nomination, Alan Nolan, the ever-dedicated second-in-command.
As Gary could happily whistle: 'It must have been cold there in my shadow.'
The clubs met in the 2008 final. Boden won it by ten points.
Gary was between the sticks for Boden, while Richie Sweetnam was the Kilmacud number one.
No goals were scored against either gent.
It's also a championship semi-final weekend for Richie. He manages the Ballyboden St Enda's senior camogie team who meet Lucan tomorrow.
Crokes are the only team left with a 100 per cent record. They beat 'Boden at the group stage.
But the Stillorgan faithful weren't ordering an open topped 46A. The climate will be different here.
'Boden are the champs. They overcame the then holders, Crokes, in the quarter-final last year.
'Boden had four points to spare. They got three goals that day. Paul Ryan got two of them. Conal Keaney the other. 'Boden went on to defeat Brigid's in the semi-final and Lucan in the final to take the prize for the sixth time. Liam Hogan had led them to the famous five.
Current boss Jonny Kenny came from the 'Boden bootroom.
Crokes have Ollie Baker in the control tower. Clare FM was buzzing as Kilmacud tasted Sevens success for the first time.
Their other pool wins came over St Oliver Plunkett's/ER and St Patrick's (P).
In the quarter-final, they accounted for St Vincent's. Ryan O'Dwyer and Ross O'Carroll got the goals.
'Boden also had group victories against Pat's and Plunkett's. They had a point to spare against the 2012 runners-up, Cuala, in the quarter-final.
Shane Durkin excelled. Stephen Hiney and Conor Robinson showed their class.
Niall McMorrow, Simon Lambert and David Curtin combine craft and guile, while King Keaney is a trump card.
Kilmacud possess highly regarded defenders like Niall Corcoran, Rory O'Carroll and Jack Doughan.
Dillon Mulligan can inject verve, while Seán McGrath will sink the putts. And also contribute on the fairway.
It's a match to savour. The timing is perfect for the new man on the bridge.
The Cunningham Road is paved with optimism. And big Ger's mood should even be brighter after this one.
A real show-case that the best that Dublin hurling has to offer.
A tea-time Saturday night treat in the Donnycarney Dome.
VERDICT: Ballyboden St Enda's