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Their first back-to-back Dublin Senior Football Championship titles since 1977.

The famous class of Mullins, Hanahoe and Keaveney.

Diarmuid Connolly would have excelled in their company. He'd be a delight in any generation.

His volleyed goal against St Sylvester's was one of the highlights of the 2014 county championship.

It was a work of art. A goal that could have come from a top designer's table in Paris.

Diarmuid's genial ways would light up the Champs-Élysées.

As the man in Parnell Park said one evening, he's the player they come to see.

Connolly and Mossy Quinn top the bill in all the show previews.

But the Páirc Naomh Uinsionn production is much more than a two-card trick.

cast

And 13 of the cast have made the nominations for the Dublin Bus/Herald 2014 Dubs Stars.

You could have put in the whole team. And, indeed, some of those on the bench as well.

The manager, Tommy Conroy, is among Diarmuid's biggest admirers. He came from the same cloth himself.

But, in the post-match interviews, Tommy is always quick to salute the players around the Marino magician.

And his words turned into reality on the big final night when the likes of Gavin Burke, Shane Carthy and Ciarán Dorney stood tall.

Jack Nicklaus always said that the great champions have to scramble. It's not all about walking down the 18th fairway on the Sunday of the British Open with a couple of shots in the pocket.

And that's the way it is with this Vincent's side. There's a modesty about them, and a very high level of industry. Every-time he goes out, Ruairí Trainor runs a marathon.

And then there's genial Ger.

He's the man that conducts the orchestra and sets the room temperature.

In the centre half-back position, he's like a quantity surveyor weighing up his options.

He always seems to have time and space on the ball. And that doesn't happen by accident.

His passing is neat and simple. Little off-loads here and there.

And he has the knack of finding a way around the rush hour traffic.

If he has to go long, the ball arrives at a team-mate's front door, bouncing into his arms with the softness of a cushion.

That favourite old television programme, Dad's Army, had the famous catch line - "Don't panic, Captain Mainwaring".

There's never any fear of the skipper of the All-Ireland champions doing panic.

He was his usual, majestic presence on the Bank Holiday Monday night.

9,000 people under the lights in Parnell Park. The most talked about county final in the country.

Getting national headline news on the radio that night and on the following morning.

Plunkett's know all about such occasions. And many felt it was going to be their year.

Especially when they knocked out two of the big heavyweight contenders, Kilmacud Crokes and recent champs Ballymun Kickhams.

Manager Pat McDonagh has done a super job. It was their third final.

Each time, they were only a knuckle away. Up on the Navan Road, maybe the Cleary Cup is only around the next corner.

Their system made them hard to beat. The first lesson of sport.

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Their defensive shield worked a treat. And they had the qualit y to do damage on the counter.

With Alan and Bernard Brogan in the building, you always have a chance.

And then there's Nesty Smith, still playing top quality football.

He keeps on spinning the discs with all the style of Larry Gogan. He is one of the finest forwards of his generation.

Niall Walsh and Conor Walsh made stellar contributions to the Plunkett's journey. Like Vincent's, it was very much a team effort.

Plunkett's beat St Jude's in the semi-final. They were always in control.

Jude's had one of the biggest result of all when they eliminated St Brigid's in the quarter-final.

It was a tremendous tussle on a Sunday afternoon at a throbbing O'Toole Park.

Brigid's didn't manage a score until the end of the first half. Nobody did more to lift them than Daire Plunkett.

John O'Loughlin gave it his all at midfield and in the second period Emlyn Mulligan's accuracy kept Brigid's breathing.

Kevin McManamon scored a hat-trick of goals, one in the first half and two after the tea.

Curbing his drive and pace is a hard day's work.

And, overall, it was a fantastic year for the Templeogue club, who saw their hurlers reach their first senior county championship final.

Brigid's almost nearly didn't make the last eight. Skerries Harps came within seconds of beating them at Parnell's. It was one of the games of the championship. It went to extra-time.

It was a marvellous display from Harps. And it had Harry Dawson popping them over from all angles.

If Skerries had won, and they were still going strong in the extra-time, it would have been the shock of the tournament.

And that underlines the wisdom of re-introducing the knock-out system.

The group model has its own merits, but when it comes to championship, knock-out is the only game in town.

When Kilmacud went out in round one, it was the talk of the parish.

And it was the same when many people's pre-tournament favourites, Ballymun, were eliminated.

Ballymun made the last eight as did Lucan Sarsfields and Templeogue.

Synger had the considerable distinction of defeating Na Fianna.

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The Glasnevin side gained ample compensation when they won the second biggest prize in the city, the AFL Division 1 title, last Friday night.

As ever, Conor McHugh showed his class, and he also makes it into the short-list.

Lucan got past Raheny in a fine contest at Balgriffin. It contained some sparkling football.

Lucan sprinted clear at the first bend. But Raheny caught up.

It made for compulsive viewing in the second half under the Balgriffin bulbs.

Paul Casey showed all his expertise. Moving with wisdom from defence to slip in perceptive passes.

Emmet ó Conghaile is the genuine target man. He collects and protects the ball so well.

Boden beat Lucan in the quarter-final. They have a smashing young forward in Sam Molony.

And back in the engine room, Declan O'Mahony is putting coal on the fire with more gusto than ever.

Ross Hazley and Gary Sweeney are Malahide maestros, while Naomh Maur have two names in the mix, Ciaran Reddin and Conor McGuire.

The Rush club had a memorable year, winning the Dublin Senior B Football Championship and reaching the AFL Division 1 final.


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