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Buoyant Ballyboden primed to crush Vincent's ambitions

BODEN were motoring against the Barrs. They took the Rolls Royce out of the garage and they cruised off down the Firhouse Road.

It looks like the old mojo is back - the spirit and determination that brought them an incredible five championships on the spin. Against Fionnbarra, the job was oxo as they stirred the tea at half-time.

In contrast, Vincent's had much to think about over their supper. They lost to St Patrick's of Palmerstown. They had their chances. It was nip and tuck. Two points in it when the final whistle blew.

The Billings boys did well. Aidan Moore was busy and inventive at top of the right. But now comes a very stiff exam indeed.

It will rekindle the memories of the finals between the sides in 2007 and 2010. When 'Boden stormed away in the second half to win their first title, their balloon just filled with the air they call confidence.

They have enriched Dublin hurling with their brilliance and application. And now everybody is asking can they climb back up on the podium. Early days yet. But they have some team-list - Maguire, Hiney, Curtin, Keaney, Travers, Lambert, McCormack, and the man that can take the soot off the chimney pot, Paul Ryan. VERDICT: Ballyboden St Enda's

ST VINCENT'S v BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S (TONIGHT, PARNELL PARK, 8.15)

 

CRAOBH GRIT TO SEE THEM EDGE LUCAN

CRAOBH CHIARáIN v LUCAN SARSFIELDS (TONIGHT, PARNELL PARK, 6.45)

A BIG match. An early bird special down at the Neller. Both will be desperate to get something out of it. They know each other well.

They have been hovering around the summit of Dublin hurling for quite a while now. Both clubs will have to bring the same bags of grit this evening. Both lost their opening ties by a whisker. Craobh were ahead against Cuala going into injury-time, while Lucan were right in it until the closing bell against O'Toole's.

Alan McCrabbe was Craobh's top-scorer. Francis Usanga gives them pace and power up front. The Kellys help to keep the windows shut and then there's Ger Ennis in his 20th year of senior hurling.

The Craobh means everything to Ger. And the Championship is the bread and butter of the club. They'll give this a right rattle.

And so will the Sars. Kevin O'Reilly shot 1-6 against the Larriers. It was level five times. They'll look to Chris Crummey and Aidan Roche to pinch a couple of points. VERDICT: Craobh Chiaráin

 

TREACY AND CONNOLLY HOLD CUALA KEY

O'TOOLE'S v CUALA (TONIGHT, O'TOOLE PARK, 7.15)

A GAME that should see the Crumlin coliseum rock and roll. There won't be much room on the terraces.

O'Toole's carved a notable win against Lucan. And Cuala edged past the Craobh. It was a battle against Chiarain's. Cuala trailed going into injury-time. Strikes from David Treacy and Cian Waldron decided it.

O'Toole's also had to go the distance. Vital second half goals came from Andrew Morris and Ger O'Meara. Joey Morris was pleased with the conviction. O'Toole's are building the bricks again. There have a dash of youth but experience too. Brendan McLoughlin, Michael Carton and Co know well the scent of the championship.

A win for either side would certainly help to nudge open the door towards the last eight. Harry Roberts steered Cuala to the final last year. It was their first time there in 19 years. The win over Chiarain's will help the morale, but Harry knows this tussle will be just as demanding.

Seán Moran did well the last day. Barry Connolly and Treacy were the top scorers and Mark Schutte was a prominent presence. VERDICT: Cuala


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