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THEY are known as the aristocrats of Dublin football.

Footballing royalty. They won their 27th senior championship title this season.

Their first back-to-back since 1977. They combine industry and artistry.

And now they have been rewarded with nine places on the 2014 Dublin Bus/The Herald Dubs Stars football team.

Tommy Conroy is the manager. He ensures there's no need for any parachutes over in Páirc Naomh Uinsionn.

Vincent's are Dublin, Leinster and All-Ireland champions. But the feet never leave the ground. Every St Vincent's team has giants at their shoulders. The clubhouse wall contains many legends.

Tommy says he has no doubt that this current crop deserve their place in the choir. Winning the Dublin crown these days is quite a trick. Retaining it brings it to a new level altogether.

Yet the only swagger you see from these lads is when they are actually on the ball.

They don't dwell long in the after-glow of victory. Putting in the effort is what it is all about.

All talk about the Marino Tenors - Brennan, Connolly and Quinn.

But it's the entire orchestra that produces the Blue Danube.

Emerged

The St Vincent's bench is made of solid oak. And very often players have emerged from the dugout to give the side that fresh injection that gets them through.

And yet Diarmuid Connolly's class has brightened the scenery for so many. The football is like an extension of his body. He strikes the ball so purely. Sometimes, it's like as if he's in a different time zone. Little passes and clever flicks that keep winding the clock.

He brings such a relaxed elegance to the stage. He has a tape measure in the boots.

Team-mates know that when Diarmuid is in possession they can expect a shampoo pass - soft and gentle.

And he's also supremely accurate from the placed ball. He always seems to give it just enough to scale the fence.

Vins needed all their guile to overcome St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh in the county final.

Plunkett's possess a defence that is as solid as the Great Wall of China. They had the hardest road of all, and they came within a breath of the Holy Grail.

And like Vincent's, hard work was at its core.

They toppled Kilmacud Crokes and Ballymun Kickhams. And they were still very much in the ring come closing time on Bank Holiday Monday night.

It was their third final. And their third defeat. So close but still no cigar.

Dermot Kelly, Mick Galvin and Pat McDonagh have come so near to harbour.

If they were to do it anytime soon, everybody would be cheering them home.

Each final they have been in have been memorable occasions, especially the episodes under the lights against Crokes and indeed this season.

A packed theatre enjoying every second of the drama.

Craig Dunleavy excelled in the engine room, and their goal against St Jude's in the semi-final summed up their campaign.

Their defensive shield was so hard to penetrate. But once on the attack, they showed the pace of the panther.

And so it was with that goal as Alan Brogan released the brother, and Bernard did what he does best.

The highlight for the Tymon club was their stirring quarter-final win over St Brigid's. Kevin McManamon produced a hat-trick in a very complete all-round team performance.

Resolve

Ballyboden St Enda's also made the last four. They are one of the most consistent sides in the capital.

Andy McEntee had them playing good football. And they tested the resolve of the champions in the semi-final.

Another result that fed Twitter was Temploeogue Synge Street knocking out Na Fianna.

Reaching the last eight was an achievement of some merit for the Synger boss, Dave Cullen.

The squad may be small in number, but it's big in heart.

And just like St Vincent's, the Hoops just keep rolling along.


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