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Brigid's in fine fettle


THE lights came on in Parnell Park on Saturday evening. This third round Evening Herald Dublin SFC tie also cheered the climate.

Na Fianna will have mixed emotions with their hour's work. Underdogs entering the fray, they kept in the frame until the last rain drop fell but were left to rue a number of missed opportunities at a key juncture of the second half as they dropped several balls short which the assured Shane Supple collected impressively.

"We expected that," responded Brigid's manager, Mark Byrne.

"It was always going to be a tight one. We prepared well for it. We knew they were going to give us a right rattle, and that's exactly what they did.

"They are a very good team. They are well organised. They work hard.

"Their players gave it everything and we are just happy that we came out on the right side of the result."

The reward for last year's runners-up is a meeting with Kilmacud Crokes. It's a repeat of last season's final which Paddy Carr's classy Stillorgan men won by two clear goals, 2-12 to 0-12.

As Byrne said, the Russell Park side had to graft to earn that appointment. The Mobhi men never led but they refused to go away.

David Quinn gave Brigid's some problems wide on the right as the Glasnevin club attacked the score-board end in the first half.

Quinn has nimble balance and pace. Dublin All-Ireland winning U21 captain, Jonny Cooper, also enjoyed some menacing moments.

Brigid's introduced Dublin senior panellist Seán Murray into their full-back line after only 19 minutes and he helped to calm the choppy waters.


Jonny Cooper decorated his wholehearted contribution with three tidy points. And even deep in the contest, he was still carrying the game to the opposition.

He struck the last point of the opening period. As Na Fianna sipped their tea, they were behind by 0-9 to 0-6.

But within eight minutes of the restart, they were level following strikes from Adam Caffrey, Niall Cooper and his younger brother Jonny again.

Brigid's had to lift it. And they did so with four unanswered points from Paddy Andrews, Lorcan McCarthy (converting a '45'), substitute Philly Ryan (a Dublin U21 this year) and Mark Cahill (free). Jonny Cooper and Paddy Quinn replied for Na Fianna to leave just two points between them entering the last five minutes.

Mark Cahill then popped over a free, but still Na Fianna kept chasing, and in injury-time, Paddy Quinn, 30 yards out and to the right of the posts, went for the jackpot, but his free was blocked down.

SCORERS - St Brigid's: K Darcy 0-3 (2f), Mark Cahill (2f), G McIntyre, L McCarthy, (1 45) 0-2 each, A Daly, C Moran, G Kane, P Ryan, P Andrews 0-1 each. Na Fianna: J Cooper, P Quinn (f) 0-3 each, D Quinn 0-2, N Cooper, M Jarocki, A Caffrey (f) 0-1 each.

ST BRIGID'S: S Supple; C Freeman, Martin Cahill, G Norton; G Kane, C Moran, A Daly; B Cahill, J O'Loughilin; Mark Cahill, K Darcy, K Kilmurray; G McIntyre, L McCarthy, P Andrews. Subs: S Murray for Freeman (19); P Ryan for McIntyre (39); C Mullins for Kilmurray (52); O McCann for McCarthy (58).

NA FIANNA: R O'Flaherty; E Ledwith, E Rutledge, E Connolly; J Cooper, A Downes, J Kelly; N Cooper, J McGuirk; P Quinn, B Downes, N McGovern; A Caffrey, M Jarocki, D Quinn. Subs: O ó Maolaidhaigh for Jarocki (36); S Connell for B Downes (44); C Deignan for N Cooper (52); JJ Martin for Caffrey (54).

REF: J Fagan (Erin's Isle).