ST PATRICK’S DONABATE 1-6
ST VINCENT’S 2-18
It’s only when you come up against the top teams that you discover where you are at, and while St Vincent’s may be a team in transition, they are nonetheless a club with a very proud tradition.
Going down from the top tier in 2019 would have hurt them quite a bit, but they have regrouped and are now just a game away from retaking their place at the top table.
It was yet another sunny afternoon up in Balgriffin as St Vincent’s took on a St Patrick’s Donabate team who have surpassed everyone’s expectations in what has been an exceptionally difficult year for the club.
For 30 minutes at least, Donabate were very much in contention - until the ill winds of fate blew and carried the game away from them.
We had predicted in the week leading up to this fixture that former Dublin dead-ball specialist Tomas Quinn would be the player they needed to stop if they were to have any change of progressing.
And once more he finished the game as top scorer, his 0-9 tally testament to his unwavering consistency over the course of the last two decades and more.
The winning of the game itself was secured in the first half when St Vincent’s hit Donabate for two quick goals.
Given the conditions they probably needed to be closer to their opponents facing into a difficult breeze in the second half.
Donabate had taken a while to get into the game, with an early score from William Costello followed up by two scores off placed balls by Quinn.
Eventually Donabate settled down, with Adam Darby taking a return pass to open their account 10 minutes into the game.
Shortly after that Evan Brooks narrowed the gap to a point, but with Sean Lowry showing well at full forward Vincent’s knocked over two points in quick succession.
Adam Dunne floated over a terrific point from the left with 12 minutes to go in the half.
Rob Wallace then produced a fine save to deny Nathan Mullins from close in before Vincent’s struck for their first of two goals on 25 minutes when James McCusker ghosted in from the right before beating the keeper with a firm finish.
Moments later, Lowry found a gap to register Vincent’s second major and that extended the gap eight points.
But with Darren Maher making some good runs from corner back, Donabate were thrown a lifeline just before the break when Stephen Dempsey turned the ball home from an acute angle to leave it 2-5 to 1-3 at the interval.
Vincents began the second half with a point from former Dublin forward Gavin Burke, but Vincent’s needed a good save from Michael Savage to keep their goal intact after a close-in effort from Dempsey.
It proved a big turning point in the game, with Vincent’s gradually pulling away as Quinn pulled the strings up front.
Donabate had their moments, with Dunne sending over another terrific score from distance, but Vincent’s strength in depth told, with seven different players making the scoresheet in the second half.
For Donabate their championship comes to an end, but a crucial Division 3 promotion play-off against St Margaret’s the weekend after next means they won’t have much time to dwell on the defeat.
ST PAT’S DONABATE: Rob Wallace, Darren Maher, Paddy Costello, Ben Gaston, Kieran Conroy, Jamie Mullins, Adam Dunne 0-2, Adam Darby 0-1, Cian Redmond, Stephen Dempsey 1-1 (0-1f), Matt Molloy, Killian McKeon, Ollie Brooks 0-1, Niall Collins, Evan Brooks 0-1. Subs: Fionnan Turner for Killian McKeon, Tom McKeon for Costello (both H-T), Evan Connolly for Niall Collins (38), Joey Collins for Cian Redmond (45), Liam Watson for Darren Maher (51).
ST VINCENT’S: Michael Savage, Conor O’Brien, Craig Wilson 0-1, Michael Concarr, Mark L’estrange, Brendan Egan, Shane O’Leary 0-1, Gavin Burke 0-1, Nathan Mullins, James McCusker 1-1, Albert Martin, Sean O’Malley, William Costello 0-1, Sean Lowry 1-2, Tomas Quinn 0-9 (0-3f , 0-1 ‘45’). Subs: Jarlath Curley, Sean Lambe, Joshuach Kelly, Cian O’Brien 0-1. Adam Giblin.