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Friday 15 December 2017

mun men to have last word

Kickhams strength in depth holds the key

DUBLIN SFC QUARTER-FINAL

ST OLIVER PLUNKETT'S/ER v BALLYMUN KICKHAMS

(Parnell Park, Today, 3.30)

THE big one. Anyone buying or selling a ticket?

In recent years, Plunkett's have brought so much to the county championship.

Memorable nights under the lights in Parnell Park with packed terraces.

Wonderful drama. Dermot Kelly came within a short putt of bringing home the claret jug to the Navan Road in 2008.

Tremendous duels with Kilmacud Crokes. Donnycarney was rocking.

A draw the first night. Crokes won the replay by two points.

The great Jonny Magee got two goals and the freedom of Páirc De Burca.

And then there was the big derby with their old friends, St Brigid's, in 2011.

There was nothing them on that occasion either. Two points.

And here they are back again with the result that captured the biggest headlines of all. Out went the mighty Crokes. And now into view comes another giant of Dublin football.

Brilliant Ballymun, the team that has brought the championship to an even higher level.

Mun are fit and fast. They can defend and they can sprint for the door like one of those fellas delivering a Dominio Pizza. Champions in 2012 for the first time in a quarter-of-century. A one point win against Kilmacud. Another night at the opera. Shane Forde got the golden goal.

EVEREST

They almost became All-Ireland champions. They'd love to have another go at Everest.

But Plunkett's in the quarter-final of the championship is a tall enough mountain for anyone to be considering.

Following the win against Crokes, Plunkett's overcame St Anne's, on an afternoon which their forwards shot a lot of wides. Bernard Brogan got the goal.

Alan Brogan, 'Nesty' Smith, Declan Lally and David Matthews will put in the miles. Rory O'Connor and Shane Lyons will sweep up any loose leaves at the back.

The Ballymun Kickhams rearguard rivals that of Kilkenny for intensity.

Seán Currie is a top Cat. And the Dolans, Enda and Eoin, are diligent and decisive. The energetic Alan Hubbard, James McCarthy and Karl Connolly can engineer a moment of promise in the twinkling of an eye.

Then there's Deano himself. Still topping the bill. Derek Byrne only needs half a yard, and Ted Furman only needs the right ball, he was excellent last day out.

Seán George and David Givney add to the mix. And it's a very appealing stew that chef Curran has cooked.

VERDICT: Ballymun Kickhams

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