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5 talking points after St Vincent's win Dublin county final against St Oliver Plunkett's

There was only a point between the sides in Parnell Park but St Vincent’s were left celebrating.

St Vincent's players Diarmuid Connolly, Eamon Fennell and Hugh Gill celebrate.
St Vincent's players Diarmuid Connolly, Eamon Fennell and Hugh Gill celebrate.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

1. Back to back titles for St Vincent’s

St Vincent’s enjoyed a marvelous season last year when collecting Dublin and Leinster football crowns before proceeding to add an All-Ireland trophy on St Patrick’s Day. But their competitive appetites have not been sated as the team has pushed on to prove their consistency and reaffirm their reputation as a football force.

They endured a nervy finish last night in Parnell Park but their performance was strong enough to ensure their victory carried legitimacy. The success sees St Vincent’s retain their crowns and it’s the first time the Dublin aristocrats have achieved that since their three-in-a-row from 1975 to 1977. Back to back titles is an achievement they will savour.

2. More heartbreak for St Oliver Plunkett’s

While the good times continue to roll for St Vincent’s, there was more heartbreak for opponents St Oliver Plunkett’s. In 2008 they fell short by two points in the final against Kilmacud Crokes and in 2011 they lost by the same margin to St Brigid’s in the decider.

They were closer to their opponents on the scoreboard in last night’s final but suffered the familiar and agonizing outcome of defeat. The late scoring spree that yielded 1-1 from the Brogan brothers brought Plunkett’s within a point yet parity eluded them despite gaining possession to create a few last-gasp attacks. Their pursuit of a first Dublin senior football crown goes on and this latest defeat will be a tough blow to absorb.

3.  Third quarter proves crucial

We had extra-time in last year’s Dublin football decider and in last Friday night’s Dublin hurling final. In the first-half of last night’s football showdown, the teams were so evenly matched that the game bore the portents of one that would go all the way to the finish line and that the prospect of additional time could not be ruled out.

But St Vincent’s made a slight break before half-time to forge a two-point advantage and  then the third quarter proved the most crucial period of the game. Plunkett’s defence has been cohesive and well-organised all year but Vincent’s discovered the code to unlock it with penetrating runs and intelligent use of possession.

After Bernard Brogan cut the gap to 0-7 to 0-6 in the 32nd minute, St Vincent’s outscored their opponents by 0-5 to 0-1 over the next twelve minutes. Shane Carthy, Gavin Burke, Ciaran Dorney and Cameron Diamond all landed excellent points. They enabled St Vincent’s to create an advantage that ultimately proved unassailable.

4. St Vincent’s forwards make their mark

The wondrous nature of Diarmuid Connolly’s performances in the Dublin club championship this year – that stunning goal against St Sylvester’s, the 1-6 haul against Ballyboden – inevitably lead to plenty attention focused on the Allstar winner last night. Tomas Quinn is St Vincent’s other blue-chip forward and St Oliver Plunkett’s would have focused on shutting down that duo.

Connolly and Quinn only notched a point apiece but critically the four other starting members of St Vincent’s attack all sparkled. Gavin Burke was brilliant and hit 0-3, a total matched by Ciaran Dorney. Ruairi Trainor and Shane Carthy weighed in with a brace apiece. That return of 0-10 from play was in contrast to the Plunkett’s starting forward line as three of their forwards were held scoreless. In a game of fine margins, it proved decisive.

5. Leinster campaign now beckons for St Vincent’s

They’ll enjoy this victory but St Vincent’s will soon train their sight on targets outside Dublin. Leinster beckons and a quarter-final with Portlaoise – who they defeated in last December’s provincial final – beckons.

It’s a big first obstacle given Portlaoise’s competitive streak in Leinster in recent years. But St Vincent’s will gear themselves up for the challenge and their displays to date this season indicates that they have the ambition and hunger to mount a strong assault on Leinster.

As It Happened: St Vincent’s v St Oliver Plunkett’s, Dublin senior football final

St Vincent’s retain Dublin senior football title as they hold off St Oliver Plunkett’s late rally

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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