Jayo lands killer blow on Vincent's

Diarmuid Geraghty



A JASON SHERLOCK goal midway through the second half proved enough for St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh to progress to the semi-final of the Evening Herald Dublin SFC.

The veteran attacker benefited from a clever pass by Dublin star Bernard Brogan and the 1995 All-Ireland winner made an agile finish to the net from inside the small rectangle.

But the big inspiration for this win came in the form of another county player. Ross McConnell was outstanding, winning his individual battle with his Dublin colleague Eamon Fennell and driving his team forward at every opportunity.

Indeed, both the Plunkett's goals came as a result of McConnell's long passes into Brogan. The 2010 Footballer of the Year first played in David Matthews just after half-time before repeating the trick with Sherlock.

It was all done in the absence of Brogan's successor as the finest player in the land, as his brother, Alan, was forced to watch from the sidelines due to a knee injury although he is expected to make a return to action for next Saturday's semi-final against Lucan.


But Vincent's were also not without their injury problems. Ger Brennan missed out with his own knee problems, while Pádraig Lee was forced to retire with an eye complaint after only 15 minutes. In a cruel blow, Lee's replacement, Ruairí Trainor, who scored 1-1 upon his introduction, was unable to resume after the break because of an ankle problem.

At that point Vincent's led by 1-5 to 0-6. Trainor's superb individual goal was all that separated two well-matched teams at the end of the first half.

In the opening 30 minutes Brogan gave the winners an early advantage with two frees and a superb point from play while Sherlock also raised a white flag.

Diarmuid Connolly, Ciarán Dorney and Lee responded for Vincent's, the latter's goal attempt just scraping over the bar.

Brogan again slotted a free to keep Plunkett's noses in front but Tomás Quinn repeated the trick at the other end, before Trainor made his entrance off the bench to give Vins a slight advantage.

Matthews' goal was the first action of the second half while Kevin Golden was denied by a superb Philip Brogan save. Connolly then swung over the first of his double of sweetly struck 45s to restore parity but then came the defining moment when Sherlock found the net.

Brogan and Connolly again traded scores as Vincent's pressed hard for the goal that was needed to get them back in the tie. But it was not to be and Philip Brogan was again to the rescue when his wonderful low save thwarted Connolly. Quinn also went close.

However, it would fittingly be McConnell who made the final significant contribution, when he caught Connolly's '45' under the crossbar and ensured a last-four clash with Lucan.

SCORERS - Oliver Plunkett's/ER: B Brogan 0-6 (3f), J Sherlock 1-1, D Matthews 1-0, R McConnell, A D'Arcy, 0-1 each. St Vincent's: R Trainor 1-1, D Connolly (2 45s) 0-3, T Quinn (1f) 0-2, C Dorney, P Lee, A Baxter 0-1 each.

ST OLIVER PLUNKETT'S/ER: Philip Brogan; R O'Connor, S Lyons, M Brides; C Evans, Paul Brogan, P Curtin; R McConnell, C Walsh; D Matthews, G Smith, A D'Arcy; A Moyles, B Brogan, J Sherlock. Subs: C Daly for D'Arcy (51), P Bergin for Brides (55), C Dunleavy for Moyles (56), P Houlihan for Matthews (59).

ST VINCENT'S: M Savage; R Stapleton, E Brady, W Lowry; M Concarr, T Diamond, N Billings; E Fennell, M Loftus; K Golden, P Lee, C Brady; C Dorney, D Connolly, T Quinn. Subs: R Trainor for Lee (16), S Carthy for Trainor (ht), D Murchu for Loftus (50), A Baxter for C Brady (50).

REF: B O'Shea (St Mark's).