Crumlin ready to close in on title at expense of Na Fianna

QUARTER-FINAL: CRUMLIN v NA FIANNA (Tonight, Parnell Park, 7.30)

Niall Scully

NA FIANNA beat Faughs and the Barrs to earn their place at the table. They had already qualified when they lost to O'Toole's in their last pool game, writes Niall Scully.

Just like Crumlin, the Mobhi Road club can produce the poetry. They have youth and ambition, plus a fair sprinkling of experience.

In their three-team group, Crumlin had a fine win over St Jude's but lost to St Brigid's, but they took many positives from that encounter. And the chance of a semi-final place will have the blue blood sprinting through the veins.

Crumlin have a compact squad. And the O'Toole Park faithful will be hoping that Rodney Elliott, Adam McGreal, Wes O'Brien and Shane Ryan will have oiled the hurls.

Crumlin also always get notable offerings from Colin Martin, Colm Hennebry, Jamie Maher and Shane Martin. The Martins' dad, Liam, captained Dublin to the All-Ireland minor hurling title in 1965.

Tomás Brady, Joey Boland and Fergal Breathnach are Glasnevin Gladiators.

Na Fianna have quality in the sticks of Peadar ó Laoire, Mikey Brennan, Aidan Keogh and Eamonn Cassidy.

Both sides will see this as a big opportunity. The experts are saying there won't be a sausage between them. On paper, it looks close enough. And it could be the same story on grass.

VERDICT: Crumlin