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Ballymun get the job done

BALLYMUN KICKHAMS 1-16 ST JUDE'S 1-7 - FURMAN leads way as Ballymun blast their way past St Jude's into decider

BACK in the big time. 1989 was the last occasion Ballymun were in the Dublin SFC final.

They have suffered many a last-four heartache since. Last year they lost to Brigid's after extra-time in the semi-final.

But yesterday at sun-drenched Parnell Park, they always had one foot on the blue carpet.

The new Dublin boss, Jim Gavin, was there to see them do it. And there was a big audience too.

In the corridor after the game, the Jude's boss, Ciarán McGovern, stood to shake hands with the Ballymun players as they left for home.

During the hour, Ballymun boss, Paul Curran, was shielding his eyes from the glare on the stand-side. He liked what he was seeing.

The pitch had recovered well from last week's rain, and Ballymun were using every blade of grass.

They used the ball very well - far better than their opponents. They had pace, and their link-up play was commendable.

Yet this, the second of the Evening Herald Dublin SFC semi-finals didn't reach the excitement of the Crokes-Brigid's clash.

Kickhams were ahead 0-10 to 1-4 at the turn as they attacked the church end. Jude's, the county finalists in 2009, were finding it hard to get a grip on the rope.

Ballymun had purpose at the back, and polish in attack, where Kevin Leahy and Ted Furman were combining energy with accuracy.

On the half-hour, the Templeogue club got a welcome penalty. Declan Donnelly struck it low to the right corner.

It lifted their hearts. Their best spell came in the early pages of the restart. Donnelly hit a charming point, but the Tymon lads weren't able to build on the promise.

Furman and Dean Rock sent over Ballymun points before the telling goal arrived 13 minutes into the half. Elliott Reilly, who always put in an honest shift, found Furman in space... loads of it.

Ted kept his composure and brilliantly knocked the ball past Paul Copeland - 1-12 to 1-5. Derek Byrne and Leahy added points and that essentially was that.

On the way out the gate, the great Barney Rock had a beat in the feet. Like the rest of the 'Mun family, he won't mind missing Coronation Street next Monday night.