Tuesday 17 January 2017

Diarmuid Connolly steers Vincent's to narrowest of wins over 14-man Ballymun to book final spot

St Vincent's 0-12 Ballymun Kickhams 0-11

Michael Verney

Published 26/10/2016 | 21:40

Diarmuid Connolly of St Vincent's during the Dublin County Senior Club Football Championship Semi-Final match between St Vincent's and Ballymun Kickhams at Parnell Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Diarmuid Connolly of St Vincent's during the Dublin County Senior Club Football Championship Semi-Final match between St Vincent's and Ballymun Kickhams at Parnell Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Diarmuid Connolly was at his irresistible best kicking four exquisite points to help St Vincent’s book their place in the Dublin SFC decider after eventually grounding down Ballymun Kickhams in Parnell Park tonight.

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In an eagerly anticipated clash pitting the 2014 All-Ireland kingpins against the 2013 All-Ireland finalists, it was Connolly’s class that proved the difference in the closing period.

The sides were tied nine times over the hour it was heading for extra-time as Dublin team-mates Dean Rock and Connolly swapped scores but substitute Albert Martin came up trumps with the winner for the Marino outfit.

Ballymun spurned two glorious goal chances in the opening minutes when All-Star wing back James McCarthy blazed wide while Alan Hubbard’s effort was smothered by Dublin reserve keeper Michael Savage.

Connolly opened the scoring and Ruairí Trainor was unlucky to not hit the Ballymun net when firing over before Rock and Tomás Quinn traded frees to leave it 0-5 apiece as Jason Whelan’s 24th minute dismissal had minimal effect on proceedings.

Ted Furman fired over two points upon resumption but it was tit for tat with Connolly, now wearing No 35 after ripping his shirt, causing John Small all sorts of trouble and firing a hat-trick of points while Rock was unerring from frees.

When Quinn was dismissed for two harsh yellow cards within 60 seconds it looked like the tide could turn and Rock levelled affairs with injury time approaching but Martinstepped up to secure the win for Tommy Conroy’s side, who will play the winners of tonight’s other semi-final pitting St Jude’s and surprise packets Castleknock.

SCORERS – St Vincent’s – D Connolly 0-4, T Quinn 0-3 (2f), E Varley 0-2 (1f), R Trainor, G Brennan and A Martin 0-1 each. Ballymun – D Rock 0-8 (6f, 0-1 ‘45), T Furman 0-2 and J Burke 0-1.

ST VINCENT’S – M Savage; M Concarr, J Curley, C Wilson; B Egan, G Brennan, C Diamond; D Murphy, S Carthy; G Burke, D Connolly, C Diamond, R Trainor, E Varley, T Quinn. Subs: J Feeney for Burke (41), A Martin for Murphy (48), K Golden for Diamond (60), J McCusker for Trainor (62).

BALLYMUN – S Currie; K Connolly, E Dolan, P McMahon; D Byrne, J Small, J Burke; A Elliot, J McCarthy; D Rock, J Whelan, K Leahy; P Small, T Furman, A Hubbard. Subs: L O’Donovan for Byrne (BC 21), D Keating for O’Donovan (50), E Reilly for Leahy (57), L Young for K Connolly (61)

REF –  B Tiernan

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