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Kennedy boys set standard

WHAT A SEASON 2009/10 was for the South Dublin Football League in terms of their representative squads, who did the league proud all season, with the icing on the cake coming at the Kennedy Cup last June.

Going into the competition, the SDFL were placed in the third-seed bowl and were drawn against Kildare, Dundalk and WWEC, and that was not the easiest of groups to get out of.

But the lads showed a great deal of skill and determination. And their results in beating WWEC 7-0, (Kieran McNamara, with two, Dylan McKeever, Sean Burke, Craig Fitzgerald, Giordano Cinelli and Michael Hogan were the scorers) were evidence of such.

Kildare resulted in a 4-1 score, with McKeever and McNamara netting two each, and drawing 0-0 with Dundalk meant that they topped the group and were not going to be a push over.

A 2-1 win over Midlands at the quarter final stage (Vincent Ogbe getting both goals) and a repeat of that scoreline over Wicklow in the semi final (McKeever and Hogan netting the all important goals), had the SDFL on cloud nine, as they set up a mouthwatering clash with the DDSL in the final.

It proved to be a game too far as the lads went down 2-1 to their Dublin city rivals after a gallant display when they lead 1-0 at the break, through Craig Fitzgerald, only for the DDSL to nick two in the second half to secure the trophy.

Six games in five days is a lot to ask of anyone, no matter what level they are playing at, and to see all the good work disappear in the final 20 minutes of the last game is hard to take, but these lads did the SDFL proud and everyone involved at committee and coaching level have nothing but praise for them.

Looking back, things could have well been different had leading scorer Kieran McNamara been fit for the final and Lee Higgins not gone off injured, but the lads can still be more than happy of their achievement.

And if they had any doubts about that it was well and truly banished when a large crowd turned up at the SDFL head-quarters in Ballyowen Park to welcome their hero's home, after what was a magnificent effort.

Prior to the Kennedy Cup kick-off the SDFL asked six players to keep a dairy of their experience while taking part in the competition, and passages from those can be viewed on the SDFL website at www.sdflsoccer.com