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Vins have luxury of Summer' break!


St Vincent's Eamon Fennel (left) and Tomas Quinn celebrate after beating St Loman's. Picture: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

St Vincent's Eamon Fennel (left) and Tomas Quinn celebrate after beating St Loman's. Picture: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

St Vincent's Eamon Fennel (left) and Tomas Quinn celebrate after beating St Loman's. Picture: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

THEY have been playing Tom Jones over in Páirc Naomh Uinsionn. 'It's good to touch the green, green grass of home'.

They'll welcome the Meath champions, Summerhill, to Parnell Park on Sunday for the AIB Leinster SFC Club semi-final.

All along the Malahide Road, and up the majestic sweep of Griffith Avenue, the blue and white bunting is fluttering on the breeze.

During the week, the Ardscoil Rís kids were putting their kit-bags into the back of a coach. Another generation of Vincent's players well on the road.



Up in his heavenly bed, St Kevin (Heffernan) is sleeping even more peacefully these nights. Two-thousand-and-eight brings a host of golden memories. A success inspired by his forever friend Mickey Whelan.

Tommy Conroy was part of the management unit back then. Now he wears the bainisteoir's bib.

He was reared in the Vincent's tradition. He saw some great teams, played in great ones himself, and is generous in his estimation for the current crop.

"Yes, it's nice to be back in Parnell Park. That is an advantage. After what we have been through, a two-week gap feels like a bit of a luxury, but it's a short enough turn-around," he says.

He is expecting a royal variety performance. "Summerhill are the Meath champions. And they beat Newtown Blues in Drogheda.

"I have heard a lot of Newtown Blues. They are highly-rated and they have been putting in the work, so it says something when Summerhill went there and won."

Vincent's overcame St Loman's in Mullingar, their third match in a week. "It's the same thing every year with the fixture situation," he ponders. "In Dublin, we have a price to pay for the success of the county team. We all like to see Dublin being successful.

"That's something we don't want to change, but, from the club championship point of view, there has to be a better way.

"I am not sure what that is. I don't have the answers.

"I'm sure there are no simple solutions, but something has to be done about it."

The Dubs will be without Ger Brennan and Diarmuid Connolly. The Marino men are not dwelling on that.

"We have a big squad. We have fellas that can step up to the plate, so we'll just get on with it."

Getting on with it was the theme tune of their victory over Loman's. "The lads put it in again. You had the likes of Hugh Gill and Eamon Fennell. And Mossy's (Quinn) leadership was so valuable. But you could name them all. It was the team effort that got us through."

Summerhill beat Na Fianna to lift the Meath crown for the seventh time. It was their second title in three years.

The Meath midfielder Conor Gillespie earned the man-of-the-match accolade. Dublin-Meath clashes always tend to rumble.



Vincent's are the aristocrats of Dublin football. They have so many celebrated names. Brian Mullins arrived over to Parnell Park on his bike. His torch will never grow dim.

Jimmy Keaveney could clear the table without chalk ... and fuss. And when names like that have worn the jersey before you, it is a special privilege to don the blue-and-white shirt and follow in the footsteps of giants.

The last time Vincent's were on this stage, they topped the bill on St Patrick's Day. Nobody is thinking about that now.

With TC, it's one meal at a time. A top cat by name and nature.