dubs decider

St. Vincent's v Oliver Plunkett's: 5 talking points ahead of the Dublin SFC final

The game throws in at 7.45pm in Parnell Park this evening.

Bernard Brogan celebrates scoring a goal Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

1. Plunkett’s bad final record

St. Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh head into the senior football final this evening looking to break their hoodoo in county finals at this level. Plunkett’s have only been to two finals in their history, but they lost them both – in 2008 and 2011 to Kilmacud Crokes and St. Brigid’s respectively. In both games they ran their opponents close but lost by two points and were left ruing missed chances.

With plenty of All-Ireland winners in their ranks and players of inter-county experience like Alan O’Mara, Gareth ‘Nesty’ Smith, Declan Lally and Shane Lyons in the side, Plunkett’s will be hoping they can finally deliver a county title for the club.

Diarmuid Connolly and Darragh Nelson

2. Managing Diarmuid Connolly

Connolly’s exhibition in the semi-final win over Ballyboden St. Enda’s was typical of the form he’s enjoyed over the last 12 months. Dublin might have surrendered their All-Ireland crown, but Connolly ended the inter-county year with his first ever Allstar at wing-forward and a nomination for Footballer of the Year.

His form for St. Vincent’s has been spectacular and he’s been inflicting terror on defences in the Dublin club scene once again as Vincent’s look to retain their Dublin, Leinster and All-Ireland crowns. But he’ll come up against a well-drilled, tight defence in Plunkett’s, who’ve smothered the scoring exploits of Ballymun Kickhams and St. Jude’s in the past two games by flooding 12 men behind the ball.

How well that plan suffocates Connolly could decide the outcome of this one.

Tomas Quinn and Cameron Diamond celebrate Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

3. Can St. Vincent’s win back-to-back titles

With 26 SFC titles to their name, St. Vincent’s are the undisputed kingpins of the club football scene in Dublin. Their nearest challengers, O’Tooles, trail them by 15 crowns and haven’t been senior champions since 1946.

Vincent’s went from 1985 to 2006 without a senior title but since then they’ve twice claimed Dublin, Leinster and All-Ireland honours. They haven’t put together back-to-back titles since 1977 though, and tomorrow represents the chance to reestablish their dominance in within the county. It would be a fine achievement given the challengers in Dublin to retain their senior crown and would certainly highlight their consistency over the past couple of years.

Kevin McManamon under pressure Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO Lorraine O'Sullivan / INPHO / INPHO

4. Plunkett’s blanket & counter attack

Plunkett’s have been operating a very effective game plan which saw them shock championship favourites Ballymun in the quarter-finals and repeat the trick when they turned over St. Jude’s in the last four. They typically drop the half-forwards behind the ball and break forward at pace, with the likes of Bernard Brogan and Gareth Smith inside and ready to exploit the space.

With James Brogan and Lally marshaling the defence and a solid inter-county goalkeeper in the form of O’Mara behind them, Plunkett’s will be looking to suffocate the space in defence, but equally as important is their swift counter attack which they will hope to turn into scores tomorrow.

Diarmuid Connolly scores a goal Cathal Noonan / INPHO Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

5. Kick-outs

Just like the Dublin footballers, St. Vincent’s try to make use of quick kick outs to get the ball back into play and an attack underway as fast as possible. They have an excellent habit of turning short kick outs into scores and it’s something Plunkett’s will have to be wary of.

In the semi-final, Plunkett’s prevented St. Jude’s from hitting their half-backs and midfield with short restarts but allowed the full-back line receive easy possession. It remains to be seen whether they will do so again or concede short kick-outs and set up a defensive line further outfield.

‘There’s something different about Plunketts this year but St Vincent’s will win, just’ – MDMA

Here’s your 5 talking points ahead of the Kerry SFC final

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