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McCrabbe to point Craobh forward


St Brigid's v Craobh Chiaráin

Parnell Park, Today, 4.0

A REPEAT of the 2003 final. That was a memorable day for John Bourke. In an earlier life, John was a Craobh Crusader before becoming a Brigid's Brave.

It was Brigid's first senior final.

They were managed by Mick Callinan. Paddy McAvinue was playing. He's still clearing the table.

The Craobh won it. Mick McGuckian was the bossman. Aodán Mac Suibhne was the referee.

The Craobh goals came from Ger Ennis, Dave Kirwan and Dublin's third All-Star, Alan McCrabbe (pictured).

Mick Bermingham, Brian McMahon and McCrabbe will have to move over on the couch this year.

Daire Plunkett was part of Dalo's Revolution. He has more pace than Yifter the Shifter. Goalkeeper Alan Nolan is also a decorated Blue. He can drive the sliotar longer than Darren Clarke.

Brigid's have been making progress. Timmy O'Mahony is pleased with the commitment.

Making the quarter-final last term was a significant step. Getting over Chiaráin's would be another one. They are the championship specialists. No better boys to tough it out.

In the final of 2003, Connie Ring hit nine points, eight of them frees. In goal was Ger Ryan. Ger is now one of Davy Kelly's leading lieutenants.

Stephen Chester took over the number one spot from Ger.

The Donnycarney defensive wall is always solid.

Smiley adds that dash of panache.

Darren Kelly is a towering performer, and Craobh, the Division 1 champs, have made a habit of nicking valuable scores from the sticks of Kevin Warren, Robbie Mahon and Peter O'Boyle.

Brigid's have quality like Aodhán McEnerney, Tom Cleere, Jamie Winters, Conor Morris and Cian O'Mahony.

As always, McCrabber will be at the centre of the debate.

LAST YEAR -- St Brigid's: Quarter-final. Craobh Chiaráin: Quarter-final.

LAST TIME -- St Brigid's: Never. Craobh Chiaráin: 2006.

NEXT: St Vincent's in the quarter-final.

VERDICT: Craobh Chiaráin.