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Conroy demands more after Vins mix resilience and style to see off Garrycastle

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Diarmuid Connolly, St Vincent's, in action against Damien Rushe, Garrycastle

Diarmuid Connolly, St Vincent's, in action against Damien Rushe, Garrycastle

Gavin Burke, St Vincent's, in action against Gary Dolan, Garrycastle

Gavin Burke, St Vincent's, in action against Gary Dolan, Garrycastle

Tomas Quinn, St Vincent's, in action against Jack Donohoe, left, and Matthew Guiheen, Garrycastle

Tomas Quinn, St Vincent's, in action against Jack Donohoe, left, and Matthew Guiheen, Garrycastle

Diarmuid Connolly, St Vincent's, in action against Damien Rushe, Garrycastle

Diarmuid Connolly, St Vincent's, in action against Damien Rushe, Garrycastle

Shane Carthy, St Vincent's, celebrates scoring his side's second goal

Shane Carthy, St Vincent's, celebrates scoring his side's second goal

A general view of Parnell Park during the game

A general view of Parnell Park during the game

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Diarmuid Connolly, St Vincent's, in action against Damien Rushe, Garrycastle

TOMMY Conroy's All-Ireland champions have three weeks to digest the positives and negatives of an exciting clash with Garrycastle at Parnell Park before facing Rhode in the provincial final.

For Conroy and his St Vincent's players, the time will be spent on preparing for one more huge effort before the Christmas break, and Rhode had better beware: the Vins won't surrender their crown easily.

Conroy and his scoring ace Tomás 'Mossy' Quinn were not glowing with satisfaction despite the five-point margin at the end.

"I would call it a real reality check now for us. At this level anyway, you just cannot take your foot off the pedal," said the manager.

"I think the lads realise there's huge room for improvement - on that performance anyway. I mean, there were some things that were very good; but there's a lot of things we need to work on."

Quinn, scorer of 2-2, including a goal from a second-half penalty, said: "It was a bit of a weird game.

"It's a strange feeling really because we've won the Leinster semi-final by five points but we're walking out of here quite disappointed.

"On one hand it's positive but, yeah, a lot of work still to do."

One aspect Vincent's will not want to change is the manner in which they started the game.

The Dubliners romped into a high-tempo, high pressure mode right from the start and got an early reward as they were 1-1 up after three minutes.

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Quinn arrowed a beautifully struck shot from a difficult angle for the goal after Eamon Fennell and Diarmuid Connolly combined to give him the opening.

From the next play, Shane Carthy powered over a point.

Garrycastle were gasping for air as Vincent's dominated the exchanges over the next 20 minutes.

Connolly (two), Gavin Burke (two) and Shane Carthy with Vincent's second goal after 24 minutes, plus a Ger Brennan point, left the Dubs on 2-6 after 25 minutes.

The trend of play and possession was evident in Garrycastle being restricted to just two points - one by Matthew Guiheen and another by Dessie Dolan - up to the closing stages of the half.

Then, a late flurry of scores lifted the siege - a combination of renewed effort by Garrycastle and Vincent's easing off the throttle slightly.

James Dolan got two points, Dessie Dolan scored from a free and Justin Barrett also got on the scoreboard for a half-time score of 2-6 to 0-6 in favour of Vincent's.

Garrycastle manager Dessie Dolan Snr refused to countenance any further concessions to the Dublin champions for the second half.

"We made a couple of changes but what I said to them was basically, 'go out and play your own football, don't be afraid. You are giving these guys far too much respect," said Dolan.

None did better than his son, Dessie Jnr, but Garrycastle had plenty of strong performers, including Gary and James Dolan, Gary McCallon, and Barrett, backed up by subs James Duignan and David O'Shaughnessy in a hectic finishing period.

Dessie Jnr's brace of points early in the second half was followed by a blistering shot to the Vincent's net for a 37th-minute goal which fanned the flames of defiance for the Westmeath men.

Michael Monaghan followed up quickly with another point, leaving the score at 2-6 to 1-9 after 42 minutes.

But Vincent's didn't become a champion team by accident.

With a 44th-minute score by Quinn from a free - their first point of the second half - and a rare but welcome Brennan contribution for a point two minutes later, Vincent's bought themselves some breathing space.

The turning point came in the 54th minute when Garrycastle keeper Cathal Mullin conceded a penalty by hauling down Ruairi Treanor, and earned himself a black card dismissal.

Amid some confusion, sub keeper Shane O'Connell came on for Garrycastle, but was powerless to prevent Quinn slotting home goal number three from the penalty.

At the other end, Vincent's keeper Michael Savage made an important save from a powerfully-struck shot from James Dolan.

Garrycastle had only one score left in them, and that came from a 59th minute free by Dessie Dolan, while a Quinn point rounded off the Vincent's scoring in the 62nd minute.

Scorers - St Vincent's: T Quinn 2-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), S Carthy 1-1, D Connolly 0-2 (1f), G Burke, G Brennan 0-2 each. Garrycastle: D Dolan 1-5 (3fs), J Dolan 0-2, M Guiheen, J Barrett, M Monaghan 0-1.

St Vincent's - M Savage; K Bonnie, J Curley, H Gill; B Egan, G Brennan, M Concarr; E Fennell, D Murphy; G Burke, D Connolly, S Carthy; R Treanor, C Dorney, T Quinn. Subs: Cormac Diamond for D Murphy (37), Cameron Diamond for C Dorney (37), Tiernan Diamond for G Burke (56), M Loftus for E Fennell (59), S Byrne for G Brennan (BC, 61).

Garrycastle - C Mullin; J Donohoe, M McCallon, A Fox; K Henson, J Gaffey, G McCallon; J Barrett, A Browne; M Guiheen, D Dolan, D Rushe; M Monaghan, G Dolan, J Dolan. Subs: A Gardiner for D Rushe (h-t), D O'Shaughnessy for A Browne (46), J Duignan for A Gardiner (47), S O'Connell for C Mullin (BC, 54), C Cosgrove for M Monaghan (60).

Ref - J Hickey (Carlow)


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