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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Cathal Noonan/INPHO
# Northside Derby
'I'll be trying to clip the heads off them!' Dublin team-mates set for war as Vincent's meet Ballymun
A host of Dublin’s All-Ireland winners will be in action when St Vincent’s take on Ballymun this evening.

AFTER SOLDIERING TOGETHER for the best part of the year, Dublin’s band of brothers are ready to turn on each other.

With Sam safely stowed, the club championship resumed in the capital this week.

And there will be no love lost when northside rivals St Vincent’s and Ballymun Kickhams go toe-to-toe in Parnell Park later this evening (5.30pm).

It’s a repeat of the enthralling 2013 county final which saw Vincent’s eventually prevail in a replay before going on to capture the All-Ireland title.

That this clash arrives at the last 16 stage, ending one side’s campaign before it has the chance to get going, only heightens the anticipation.

“It’s a big game in Dublin, there will be big interest,” James McCarthy said after trading in the blue of Dublin for the red and green of Ballymun.

“In a way it’s great that that’s the game to come back to.

“We’ve a nice rivalry with Vincent’s so it will be a very tight game. There’s nice matchups over the pitch here and there.

It’s a bit weird to think it’s a last 16 game in the championship. One of us are gone after this.

McCarthy is one of four starters from last month’s All-Ireland final set to be involved this evening, joined by team-mates Philly McMahon and Dean Rock while Diarmuid Connolly lines out for the Marino men.

Mun also have current Dublin panellists John Small and Davey Byrne while Vincent’s boast All-Ireland winners Ger Brennan, Eamonn Fennell and Mossy Quinn.

Flicking the switch from team-mates to rivals so soon after All-Ireland euphoria is tough, McCarthy concedes.

I’d be good friends with Diarmuid and Ger for instance. Now I’ll be trying to clip the heads off them! That’s the way it will be on Saturday.

“We’re all good friends so there’ll be no bad blood or anything like that.”

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Even while the celebrations raged, the club rivalry started to seep in.

“Diarmo would be encouraging you to have a few more drinks,” McCarthy joked. “Little things like that.”

He added: “We had a disappointing year last year compared to the two years we had (Ballymun lost in the 2014 quarter-finals to St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Rua).

“We obviously lost to Vincent’s two years ago. We had two cracking games and just narrowly lost to them.

“We’re not far away, we’re pretty strong, and we’re hoping to have a good go at it this year.”

‘On the pitch he sometimes goes beyond the line, you’re not going to intimidate him’

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