Monday 11 December 2017

Mossy's magic won't quite do the trick against Crokes



(Tomorrow, Parnell Park, 4.0)

WITH Mossy in the building, you always have a chance. One thing is for sure, one of Dublin's most enduring favourite sons will never have his car clamped.

Time after time, year after year, he looks into his bag of tricks and pulls out a new one. A dash or two of that old Mossy Magic and the tightest game can turn.

He was at it again in Parnell on Wednesday night. He hit a crucial goal and came within inches of another one, just like in the first game against 'Boden.

Vincent's have grown so much into the season. Some thought they had missed the last bus when they drew with 'Boden the first day, especially with Conal Keaney back in the frame.

But they registered another morale-boosting victory, and they did it without the injured Ger Brennan, who looks set to be ruled out again.

Crokes always bring a high work-rate to the stage. And the Marino men share that belief.

Ruairí Trainor, Austin O'Malley and Timmy Doyle have run more miles than Sonia. Willie Lowry, Eoin Brady and Paul Conlon keep out the breeze from the back door.

Hugh Gill and Shane Byrne will also empty give their all. Off the bench against 'Boden came Kevin Golden, a most elegant footballer.

Diarmuid Connolly can also switch on the charm, he has kicked some gems in this campaign but needs to readjust the radar at times. And there will be two solid 'keepers on duty, Michael Savage and David Nestor.

Savage and Nestor possess one of the best goalkeeping traits of all -- consistency. There's never any fuss about him. That's what the Goalkeepers Union like to see.

The McGraths, Nicky and Brian, plus Conor Lamb keep things simple. Kevin Nolan adds drive. The industry of Adrian Morrissey, Pat Burke and Brian Kavanagh runs through the Stillorgan fabric. Paddy Carr's only request is honesty of effort.

Niall Corkery and Cian O'Sullivan will bring power and panache. And Liam óg ó hEineachain is the thinking man's footballer.

Crokes and Vincent's are two of the icons of modern-day Dublin football. And this latest debate could all come down to a sharp piece of finishing. Mossy is the leading professor of that art, but Kavanagh on his day can also tap dance with the best of them. It has all the ingredients of a thrilling Sunday afternoon at the Dublin Palladium. Despite their absentees the fresher Crokes to edge it by the minimum.

Last Year -- Kilmacud Crokes: Semi-final. St Vincent's: 4th Round.

Last Time Champs -- Kilmacud Crokes: 2008. St Vincent's: 2007

2010 Championship Road -- Kilmacud Crokes: Beat Parnells 3-12 to 1-10. Beat Naomh Maur 2-11 to 0-6. Beat St Sylvester's 0-14 to 1-8. Beat Na Fianna 0-15 to 1-10. St Vincent's: Beat St Mark's 2-14 to 0-5. Beat St Jude's 2-15 to 0-8. Beat St Mary's 2-15 to 0-5. Beat Ballyboden (replay) 2-9 to 0-13.

Form -- Kilmacud Crokes (Div 1): W5 D1 L7. St Vincent's (Div 1): W9 L5.

VERDICT: Kilmacud Crokes

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