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Plunkett's in mood to win

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Padraig O'Connor (Ballinteer) Noel O'Neill (Plunketts) challenges Picture: Gerry Mooney

Padraig O'Connor (Ballinteer) Noel O'Neill (Plunketts) challenges Picture: Gerry Mooney

Padraig O'Connor (Ballinteer) Noel O'Neill (Plunketts) challenges Picture: Gerry Mooney

ST OLIVER PLUNKETT'S/ER v BALLINTEER ST JOHN'S (Tonight, Newcastle, 7.0)

ST FINIAN'S will have the grass cut. Mick Harney will have the kettle boiling. Plunkett's have been steaming in Division 1.

Four wins from four. Dermot Kelly is back as manager. He came within a lick of paint of bringing the claret jug back up the Navan Road in 2008. High drama on two compelling county final nights against Crokes before a thronged Parnell Park.

Mick Galvin then became manager. He led Plunkett's to a quarter-final, semi-final and final. They lost both the semi-final and the final to Brigid's. They'll tread with care here.

The Marlay men are top of Division 2. They are unbeaten. Ciarán Judge and Paul Cronin are in terrific form. Nicky Devereux and Peter O'Curry also bring much in the satchel.

Declan Sheehan can still call on James Oliver to man the engine room in midfield – himself and Pádraic O'Connor are veterans of previous championship clashes between this pairing in 2004 and 2006.

Craig Dunleavy and Jason Sherlock figure high on the Plunkett's pedestal. They are still hungry, but they know there will be no free bags of coal in Newcastle. Howver, Paul and Alan Brogan both miss out through injury.

VERDICT: St Oliver Plunkett's/ER


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