SATURDAY'S Parnell Park Evening Herald Dublin SFC fourth round tie began in bright sunshine. The climate then presented 50 shades of grey. But the football remained compelling reading.
ST BRIGID'S 2-12
THOMAS DAVIS 1-8
Thomas Davis can feel well pleased with their day's work. They more than tested the champions.
And midway through the second half, the Tallaght side led by two points, 1-8 to 1-6. It was a lead their crisp passing style and sweet movement deserved.
In the end, it was the extra guile and experience of the holders that carried the vote against the TDs. And Barry Cahill's blockbusting goal, 10 minutes from time, paved the way for the late spurt. Barry's midfield partner, John O'Loughlin, was also central to the victory. He's as strong as the Bull Hayes, and he made many a lung-bursting run.
Alan Daly also covered the green acres of Donnycarney, while Paddy Andrews never forgets to polish the boots. "We expected a real battle from Thomas Davis, and that is exactly what we got," said the Brigid's co-manager, Mark Byrne.
"We knew Thomas Davis would come out with all guns blazing. They are a good footballing side. But our lads showed great fight in the last 15 minutes."
Gavin Carruth, nephew of the Olympic gold medallist, Michael, was on Davis duty. Eoin Kirby led the Kiltipper charge. He was impressive at centre half-back, often venturing forward to begin an attack.
Shane McGrath showed why he's a Clare champion. Dano Hennessy put in his usual honest-to-goodness shift.
In the opening period, Dano made the bravest of blocks at point-blank range from O'Loughlin.
At the turn, it was the Russell Park lads who led 1-4 to 0-5. The highly influential Andrews arrowed in their goal at the scoreboard end, low to the left, 14 minutes in. There was also 14 minutes gone in the second half when Ciarán Farrelly produced the Davis goal, and it was a beauty.
He managed to cut in along the right end-line, and, from an acute angle, strike a shot that nearly ripped up the slates.
McGrath edged Alan Byrne's lads two points in front, but then came the Brigid's response. A point from O'Loughlin, Cahill's goal, following a pass from Andrews, and further returns from Andrews (2), O'Loughlin, Gavin McIntyre and Craig Kilmurray. The winning margin was somewhat unkind on Davis. Late on, Hennessy was given a red card.
Brigid's will meet Templeogue/Synge Street or St Patrick's (P) in the quarter-final.
SCORERS: St Brigid's: P Andrews 1-2, B Cahill 1-0, L McCarthy (1f), J O'Loughlin 0-3 each, S Supple (45), C Kilmurray (f), O McCann, G McIntyre 0-1 each. Thomas Davis: C Farrelly 1-2, P Hudson 0-3 (2f), S McGrath 0-2, D Ryan 0-1.
ST BRIGID'S: S Supple; A Daly, C Freeman, S Murray; G Kane, M Cahill, C Moran; B Cahill, J O'Loughlin; C Kilmurray, O McCann, D Plunkett; L McCarthy, K Darcy, P Andrews. Subs: C Doyle for Kane (inj, 5); G McIntyre for McCann (inj, 13); E McGuire for McCarthy (47); K Bonner for Darcy (50); A Creagh for Moran (55).
Thomas Davis: D Brennan; D Hennessy, D Shanahan, B Kirby; P Boland, E Kirby, G Carruth; S McGrath, J O'Connor; D Ryan, E Behan, J O'Reilly; P Hudson, C Farrelly, S Reilly. Subs: R Sharkey for O'Reilly (48); S Payne for McGrath (57); S McKeown for Ryan (59).
REFEREE: S McCarthy (St Vincent's)