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Plunkett's prolific attack may prove a cross too heavy for Brigid's to bear

THE ESB can turn off the lights on the Navan Road tomorrow -- there will be nobody home.



They will all be under the Donnycarney dazzlers for this most intriguing of Evening Herald Dublin SFC finals.

If this pairing hit the West End, it would out-run The Mousetrap. Everybody is talking about it. And nobody really knows for sure how the last scene is going to conclude.

Hopefully, it will be a spectacular ending in keeping with the year Dublin football has enjoyed. If it can match the drama of 2008, it will be a corker.

That was the first time Plunkett's reached the final. It went to a replay against Kilmacud. Both games were under the lights. The stadium was jammed both nights.

Another huge attendance is expected. And again the lights will be on from the get-go. A match under the lights always seems to have that extra appeal. The touch of the theatre.

Last year's semi-final between the two also took place under the bulbs. That was a fascinating encounter.

Brigid's won it by seven points. They produced a defensive master-class, restricting Plunkett's to a mere three scores from play. If they can repeat that, they have every chance of returning to Russell Park with the Clery Cup.

Or will the Plunkett's sat-nav be able to discover a few extra routes to the Blanchardstown hall door?

Both clubs won't be interested in the entertainment value. The result is the only game in town.

There will be more stars down on the pitch than in the sky. But industry is what marks both these sides out. The likes of Conor Evans and Alan Daly running the marathon.

And local pride -- not to mention bragging rights -- will spur them on even more.

Both teams have resolve in buckets. Brigid's showed it again last week against Ballymun in the semi-final.

They were in deep trouble at half-time, but in extra-time they were sprinting.

On paper, Brigid's have had the hardest journey to the final. They have beaten some of the biggest names in Dublin football.

But Plunkett's have also shown their character. And that was as early as the opening round when they carved out a remarkable recovery against St Vincent's.

Lucan tested their spirit again last Saturday. Indeed, both clubs were thrilled with their semi-final examinations. No better way to fine-tune the piano.

It will all come down to producing it on the day, with a few spoonfuls of luck thrown in. On county final day, it's always a blessing when a slice of fortune travels with you in the kit bag.

And that is the great unknown. Which team will turn up in their Sunday Best?

There's nothing they don't know about each other. Many of them grew up together, went to school and college together, played on the Dublin teams together, and remain good pals.

Barry Cahill and Ross McConnell are county colleagues. That could be the duel of the day. And the paths of the two captains might also cross -- the brilliant Brigid's 'keeper, Shane Supple, and genial Jayo.

Jayo forms part of a forward line that even Manchester City couldn't buy. It includes the excellent David Matthews, 'Nesty' Smith and the two successive Footballers of the Year in Bernard and Alan Brogan.

An amazing achievement for one county, let alone one club or family.

Graham Norton, Conor Moran and Seán Murray are among those that keep on producing at the Brigid's back door. John O'Loughlin is a good ball-winner, and Paddy Andrews, Philly Ryan and Ken Darcy are accomplished attackers.

And making the most of your chances will, as ever, be the golden key.

This is a match that will shut down a parish. A derby dish to savour. An hour to take all your cares away.

LAST YEAR -- St Brigid's: Runners-up. St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh: Semi-final.

LAST TIME SFC WINNERS -- St Brigid's: 2003. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: Never.

SFC 2011 -- St Brigid's: Lost to Templeogue/SS. Beat St Mark's, Na Fianna, Kilmacud Crokes, Ballyboden St Enda's, Ballymun Kickhams. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: Beat St Vincent's, Erin's Isle, O'Toole's, St Vincent's, Lucan Sarsfields.

ODDS: St Oliver Plunkett's/ER 4/6 Draw 6/1 St Brigid's 7/4

VERDICT: St Oliver Plunkett's/ER

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