Connolly’s Dubs Stars double is tinged with disappointment after St Vincent’s fell short
IT HAS been a somewhat strange year for St Vincent's ace Diarmuid Connolly. The dual star excelled for the Marino men but was forced to suffer defeat in the latter stages of both the hurling and football championships.
On a personal level he has received many plaudits, a fact recognised in his winning of an Dublin Bus/Evening Herald Dubs Stars award in both codes.
Connolly was in reflective mood when asked about his thoughts on the 2010 season. “It's great to get individual accolades and it is nice to be recognised for how you played,” he said.
“But at the end of the day it is all about the team, and I think any player would say the same. It was a disappointing season in the finish if I'm honest.
“The football in particular is a big regret. “We came so close to in the semi-final against (Kilmacud) Crokes, losing by a point and missing a free. We feel that we left that game behind us.”
There is no doubt that the close nature of that defeat by Kilmacud is something that must play on the minds of Connolly and his team-mates over the winter months. But the hurling final loss to four-in-a-row-winning Ballyboden St Enda's was equally as agonising, albeit for different reasons.
The 24-year-old was brutally honest in his assessment of that particular day. Vincent's were thought to be the one team capable of stopping the 'Boden juggernaut but were blown away by a complete performance.
“We didn't have a snowball’s (chance) against ’Boden that day,” Connolly mused. “There was nothing unlucky about it. We felt good going into the game but they blew us out if the water and we just weren't good enough.”
Such defeats can leave a feeling of dejection among teams which can be difficult to recover from. Connolly though, is in a positive frame of mind when looking ahead to 2011.
“We have a very young team in the hurling and we have more talent coming through as well so hopefully we can build on this year,” he explained.
“I suppose in the football we have always been there of thereabouts. We were unlucky this year, two years ago Crokes beat us in a replay and the season before we won the All-Ireland.
“We are usually in the top two or three teams so I hope that can carry on.” There was further honour for the Connolly family with Diarmuid's younger brother, Thomas, also winning a spot on the Dubs Stars hurling side.
Connolly senior was quick to give his sibling some much deserved praise:
“He was only out of minor this season and had a great year. He was taking the frees and rarely missed.
“He was probably one of the most consistent players on the team and he has been called out with the Dublin under-21 team now so it was a great year for him.”
A player of such rare talent as Diarmuid will surely be donning the sky blue of Dublin this year?
“We won't say anything about that. No comment,” laughed Diarmuid. Only time will tell.