THERE will be no club-versus-country debate for Stephen Cluxton or Colm Begley after Ballymun Kickhams edged out 14-man Parnell's 1-9 to 0-7 in this Evening Herald Dublin SFC quarter-final clash at Parnell Park on Saturday.
Much of the pre-match build-up was dominated by what the aforementioned pair, given their involvement with Anthony Tohill's International Rules panel.
But all the speculation looked redundant once their club-mate, Conor Talty, was dismissed after 25 minutes for a second yellow card. At that stage the eventual winners lead by five, thanks in the main to a superb Elliot Reilly goal five minutes before Talty's dismissal.
Gathering the ball on the left touchline, the wing-forward cut inside before unleashing an unstoppable effort past Cluxton.
Dean Rock also hit two points for the Mun, his effort from play was sublime in it's execution. At the other end, Parnell's struggled badly for scores and were guilty of missing some straightforward chances, including two frees from the usually unerring boot of Johnny Murtagh.
But, to their credit, the Coolock men rallied before the interval and points from John Peyton and Barry Byrne left them trailing by a goal at the break, 1-3 to 0-3.
Ballymun quickly extended their lead after the restart thanks to a fisted point from Derek Byrne and a neat effort from the marauding Alan Hubbard.
Laois senior MJ Tierney, who cut a subdued figure, traded scores with Karl Connolly before the former's side enjoyed their best period of the game.
Murtagh, substitute Joey Collins and Colm Begley all found the target to leave just two between the sides with four minutes on the clock. But Ballymun found the extra gear required to see out the game, and a brace from sub Eddie Christie along with a James Burke point secured the win.
SCORERS - Ballymun Kickhams: E Reilly 1-0, D Rock (1f), J Burke, E Christie 0-2 each, A Hubbard, K Connolly, Derek Byrne 0-1 each. Parnell's: J Murtagh 0-2, B Byrne, C Begley, J Peyton, J Collins, MJ Tierney (1f) 0-1 each.
BALLYMUN KICKHAMS: S Currie; J McCarthy, P McMahon, Eoin Dolan; A Hubbard, K Connolly, J Small; B McCullagh, Davey Byrne; E Reilly, D Rock, J Burke; T Furman, K Leahy, Derek Byrne. Subs: T Hayes for McCarthy (ht), C Weir for Derek Byrne (47), E Christie for Furman (56).
PARNELL'S: S Cluxton; B Byrne, A Hurley, G George; L Browne, C Begley, A Doyle; R Quinlivan, C Talty; C Sugrue, J Murtagh, MJ Tierney; J Peyton, D Rooney, N Collins. Subs: J Collins for Browne (38), M Gleeson for Peyton (43).
REF: K Tighe (St Anne's).