St Vincent's survived a late scare to successfully defend a Dublin title for the first time in 37 years at Parnell Park last night.
The reigning All-Ireland club football champions had to dig deep in a frantic finish as they saw a five-point lead reduced to just a point by a St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh side determined to land their first ever Dublin title.
Alan Brogan punched a goal on 56 minutes and Bernard Brogan followed up with a pointed free soon after to really put the pressure on the champions.
But Vincent's have been in this position so often over the last 18 months and they held their nerve in a dramatic finish.
"We've been in this position so often before and we've been able to stem the tide and keep hold of possession. I suppose that was in our favour tonight," said Vincent's captain Ger Brennan.
St Vincent's had controlled the game for large parts after absorbing all the early pressure but they lacked a ruthless touch and didn't score a goal for the first time in this championship.
Plunketts were seeking to become the 29th club to win a Dublin senior title and, having come so close in the 2008 and 2011 finals, the general expectation was that their time had come, especially after victories over Kilmacud Crokes in May and 2013 All-Ireland club finalists Ballymun Kickhams in the quarter-final.
But there was no fairytale success as they ran out of road against a smarter team.
Here are the highlights:
The throw-in time had to be delayed by 10 minutes to allow a crowd of close to 10,000 file in, once again proving what a draw a bank holiday Monday night can be for this fixture.
Plunketts stayed true to the game plan that has served them so well throughout this championship, especially the latter stages as they kept clean sheets in their last three games.
They operated with two sweepers, generally James Brogan and Shane Lyons, though the roles alternated from time to time. But they kept their structure and their discipline well, especially early on when Vincent's sought to pick holes by running at them.
Time and time again they held their ground and profited with impressive tackling from Declan Lally, who shadowed Diarmuid Connolly, Eamonn Clarke and James Brogan.
Connolly's first time on the ball drew the attention of three defenders and he was successfully relieved of possession before he could build momentum.
Alan Brogan looked lively early on, creating two of the first three scores as the Navan Road side took a 0-3 to 0-0 lead within five minutes.
Bernard Brogan got them off the mark with a trademark point and then converted a free after Alan was fouled, before Alan set up Gareth Smith as they took what looked like a commanding lead.
But Vincent's held their nerve in the face of such relentless pace and movement and gradually got a foothold.
Former Dublin midfielder Eamon Fennell got them off the mark before Connolly picked off his one and only point of the night, before Ciaran Dorney levelled on 14 minutes
Plunketts led again through Smith, who scored a second after good approach work from Niall Walsh but their success in keeping a firm rein on Connolly and Mossy Quinn was creating openings elsewhere and Gavin Burke was repeatedly the man to exploit that, equalising on 18 minutes after good link play with Dorney and Shane Carthy.
Alan Brogan briefly gave Plunketts the lead again but the reigning champions got right on top for the closing stages of the half with Dorney drawing them level before Quinn scored from a long-range free and the ever present Burke nudged them 0-7 to 0-5 clear at the break.
A Bernard Brogan free on the restart briefly gave his side renewed hope but it was short-lived as the 26-time champions flexed their muscles.
Plunketts were finding it harder to get possession as Hugh Gill, Michael Concarr and especially Sligo player Brendan Egan controlled matters at the back and Burke, Connolly and Dorney showed their class and understanding up front.
Carthy picked off two points to drive the lead out to three points before Dorney stretched it to four by the 40th minute.
By that stage Plunketts were abandoning their defensive positions and chasing the game. Inevitably it left gaps that they just weren't able to plug.
Bernard Brogan did reduce the lead with a fine 41st-minute point off his left, reacting well after a rebound off the post. But the momentum was all with Vincent's as they surged again, with sub Cameron Diamond executing a neat dummy on 42 minutes before Dorney set up Burke for his third point.
A '45' from Smith at the other end kept Plunketts in touch but the profit from that didn't last long as Ruairi Treanor fired over two more points to stretch their lead to six, the widest margin yet.
Substitute Paraic Lee kept Plunketts in touch with a point but they should have been killed off when Connolly drew five defenders and popped a pass to Burke, who offloaded to Treanor, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Cavan keeper Alan O'Mara. That lifted Plunketts' confidence somewhat and when Alan Brogan got a touch to Lee's speculative delivery it was game on again.
"We messed around with the ball and in fairness to Plunketts they never gave up and pushed to the end. Time beat them," said a delighted Brennan.
Vincent's now play Portlaoise in the Leinster club quarter-final.
Scorers: St Vincent's: G Burke, C Dorney 0-3 each, R Treanor S Carthy 0-2 each, E Fennell, D Connolly, T Quinn (f), Cameron Diamond all 0-1 each. St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh: B Brogan 0-5 (3fs), A Brogan 1-1, G Smith 0-3 (1 '45'), P Lee 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: Cameron Diamond for Murphy (38), T Diamond for Dorney (50), M Loftus for Fennell (50), Cormac Diamond for Carthy (55).
St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh: A O'Mara; D Kelly, R O'Connor, E Clarke; J Brogan, D Lally, C Walsh; P Brogan, C Dunleavey; S Lyons, D Brogan, A Brogan; N Walsh, B Brogan, G Smith. Subs: R McConnell for P Brogan (26), P Brogan for D Brogan (43), P Lee for Lyons (46), P McNulty for Dunleavy (52), D Matthews for Walsh (55).