Tuesday 24 October 2017

Brigid's and Plunkett's set for capital fireworks

THE Navan Road is set to converge on Parnell Park on Sunday after St Brigid's and St Oliver Plunkett's/ ER booked their places in the Evening Herald Dublin SFC final on Saturday.

The derby decider was secured by a Brigid's surge in extra-time that finally saw off a dogged challenge from Ballymun Kickhams by 1-18 to 1-12 and booked another bite of the cherry for last year's beaten finalists.

Ballymun must have thought their first final since 1989 was coming into view when they led by six points at half-time of normal time, with Davy Byrne starring and Derek Byrne adding a goal.

But back came the Blanchardstown men, who scored seven points without reply to go ahead. Ballymun rallied through James Burke and Dean Rock to edge back in front, before Ken D'Arcy secured extra-time with a late free.

Extra-time was nip-and-tuck but with Ted Furman and Davy Byrne receiving second yellows for Ballymun, Brigid's edged in front before Philly Ryan beat two defenders and hit the net.

Ryan then capped the win with a point to see his side through.

The first semi-final was a more straightforward affair as Bernard Brogan scored 1-7 (2f) of Plunkett's total as they beat Lucan Sarsfields 1-12 to 1-8.

Brogan scored his goal midway through the first half and that was the difference as his side led 1-6 to 0-6 at the break.

Although Dermot Gallagher narrowed the gap with a goal, Brogan and Ross McConnell chipped in with the insurance scores to book Plunkett's first final place since they went agonisingly close against Kilmacud in 2008.

Clarinbridge into decider

All-Ireland club champions Clarinbridge qualified for a second successive Galway SHC final for the first time in their history after a 0-18 to 0-13 victory over Craughwell yesterday.

They will now meet Gort in Sunday's final after holding off the challenge of Craughwell in this refixed semi-final at Ballinasloe.

Clarinbridge trailed by a point after 24 minutes but the All-Ireland champions led 0-9 to 0-6 at the break.

Midway through the second-half three points in a row from Craughwell's Fergal Healy and Niall Healy (2) momentarily put just four points between the sides.

The champions should really have wrapped up the victory as both Kerins brothers, Alan and Mark, missed good goal chances.

But a tidy point from Alan Kerins and another Mark Kerins free settled the maroon side's nerves as they reached their sixth county decider, against Gort.

Irish Independent

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