St Brigid's v Templeogue: Synge Street(Iveagh Grounds, Tonight, 5.0)
BRIGID'S went through Division 2 like a bat out of hell last season. And they carried on that run in the championship.
There were marvellous wins against top ranked Ballymun Kickhams, St Jude's, UCD and neighbours St Oliver Plunkett's Eoghan Ruadh. And many felt that the special Blanch brew would also undo Crokes in the final.
Not quite, but it was some charge all the same. And now a year older and a year wiser, Brigid's will be well in the frame again.
The Templeogue Synger bus was halted by Ballymun Kickhams. But Synger now boast a Division 1 address.
And there's no secret in the street desire -- consolidate their Division one status. Yet a nice little run in the championship would please them no end.
They possess some excellent footballers. Denis Bastick and Eoghan O'Gara understandably attract much of the attention, but there's always noble deeds in the work of names like McKiernan, O'Brien, O'Reilly and Treanor.
Brigid's don't lack top-of-the-bill artists -- Supple, Norton, Andrews, Martin and Barry Cahill, Murray, Bonner, Darcy ... you could go on.
LAST YEAR -- St Brigid's: Final. Templeogue/SS: 3rd round.
LAST TIME CHAMPIONS -- St Brigid's: 2003. Templeogue SS: Never.
FORM -- St Brigid's (Div 1): W3 L1. Templeogue SS (Div 2): W2 L2.
VERDICT: St Brigid's
Boost for Ballinteer
EVENING HERALD DUBLIN SFC FIRST ROUND
Ballinteer St John's v St Mark's
(O'Toole Park, Today, 3.30)
THE championship is a welcome relief for both sides. Life in Division 2 has been far from a party.
Mark's run was ended last season by Fingal Ravens at Balgriffin. There were only two points in it. Mark's, as they always do, battled till the cows came home, and went out again. Fergus Morris, Aidan Gildea, James McNeill, Stephen Tynan and Fran McCann wear out the studs.
To make their task all the more difficult, they won't have the talents of David O'Callaghan as he prepares for tomorrow's big Croker duel with the Cats.
Ballinteer's St John's pilgrimage was finished by St Mary's last season. Dublin senior panellist Nicky Devereux, Fionan Clabby, John Gillick and Johnny McNally have so often cheered up Marlay while the introduction of some of last year's minors like Fearghal Duffy and Peter O'Curry, both Dublin minors, have strengthened their hand considerably.
LAST YEAR -- Ballinteer St John's: 3rd round. St Mark's: Qualifiers.
LAST TIME -- Ballinteer St John's: Never. St Mark's: Never.
FORM -- Ballinteer St John's (Division 2): L4. St Mark's (Division 2): L4.
VERDICT: Ballinteer St John's