Champions eye Sygner hurdle in last eight
HOPEFULLY, tomorrow night's party will be as good as last Friday's.
It was a cracking night's football in the Parnell Palladium. Na Fianna got off the floor to push St Jude's right to the line. Jude's will now meet Ballymun in the Evening Herald Dublin SFC semi-final this Sunday.
The 'Mun and Vincent's produced a belter of a game. Its tempo was a credit to the fitness of the players.
It was the Dublin Championship at its very best. At the start, Vincent's shone as brightly as the Donnycarney lights. But Ballymun slowly began to make their voice heard, and they edged it with Dean Rock's injury-time winning free.
Deano was dancing. Barney was smiling. That's what they call Amore!
Vincent's were unlucky not to force at least extra-time. Three times in the hour they hit the timber, but eight first-half wides cost them.
The winners from tomorrow's quarter-final cocktail will play each other in the semi-final. The holders, St Brigid's, will open tomorrow night's bill against Templeogue Synge Street.
The Hoops had to go to a replay against St Patrick's of Palmerstown last week, but they always looked likely to emerge from it.
They have beaten Syls and Parnell's already in the championship, and last year they defeated Brigid's in the first round, so the champions won't need much of a pep talk.
"We are only too aware that they beat us last year, and we are expecting another battle," says Brigid's co-manager, Mark Byrne.
"Thomas Davis gave us a right test the last day, but we came through it, and we are expecting another big challenge now.
"Some people might question have we the energy and the hunger to keep going. We have been at the top, or very near the top, for the last three years. But I think the lads answered those questions by the way they finished against Thomas Davis."
The Templeogue chief, Dave Cullen, is also anticipating a tough night.
"Brigid's are the champions. They are such a good footballing side, so we fully realise we'll have to lift our level now," stated Dave.
The Syls-Crokes quarter-final drips with intrigue. Syls recorded one of the big wins of the tournament when they eliminated Plunkett's. A late surge saw them do it. Kilmacud had to play 120 minutes of football before they got past 'Boden, courtesy of a smashing late goal from Pat Burke.
Crokes know the scent of the winner's enclosure in recent years. Sylvester's only title came in 1996.
But they have been one of the most consistent sides in the county for several seasons now.
"The lads have worked hard to get this far, and we just hope now that we can go on another step," remarks Malahide manager, Gabriel Bannigan.
"We beat Ballymun and Parnell's last year, and against Parnell's we were missing six key players.
"We are now near enough to full strength with the exception of Gary Sweeney and John Murphy, who are both out long term."
EVENING HERALD DUBLIN SFC QUARTER-FINALS
Parnell Park (6.45): St Brigid's v Templeogue Synge St
Parnell Park (8.15): Kilmacud Crokes v St Sylvester's
EVENING HERALD DUBLIN SFC SEMI-FINALS
Parnell Park (2.15): Templeogue Synge St/St Brigid's v Kilmacud Crokes/St Sylvester's
Parnell Park (4.0): St Jude's v Ballymun Kickhams