PLUNKETT’S FRUSTRATE BALLYMUN TO CLAIM SHOCK VICTORY.
St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghand Ruadh 2-12
Ballymun Kickhams 0-10.
Plunketts pulled off what many would feel was a shock result this afternoon in Parnell Park knocking out many people’s favourites for the Dublin Senior Football Club Championship crown Ballymun Kickhams.
Plunketts set their stall out early and packed their defence with bodies to frustrate the Ballymun forwards and hit them on the counter attack.
Dean Rock’s accuracy from dead balls had given Ballymun an 0-4 to 0-3 lead with 14 minutes gone in the first half. But a minute later the game turned on its head when James Brogan found himself surprisingly unmarked behind the Kickhams full-back line and he finished the ball to the back of the net.
James had originally started the move that led to his goal and the ball was well worked inside to him after some great play from both Gareth Smith and Conor Walsh.
The expected response from Kickhams didn’t come and four minutes later the Ballymun keeper Seán Currie was bending down again to pick the ball from the back of his net.
Currie had no chance to stop Alan Brogan’s clinical finish and Plunkett’s had suddenly opened up a five point lead with the scoreboard showing them ahead 2-4 to 0-5.
Coming up to the half-time Kickhams reduced the deficit with a free from Rock and an excellent long-range effort from Seán George to cut the deficit to four points and as they headed to the dressing rooms Plunketts were in front by 2-5 to 0-7.
The talk from the crowd in Parnell Park at halftime was of an expected backlash from Ballymun in the second half. But it was Plunketts who drove on with four unanswered points in a ten minute spell which all but finished the game as a contest.Craig Dunleavy got the first of them after a good passage of play from Niall Walsh and the influential Alan Brogan.
Bernard Brogan then got in on the act with the next two points the first a classy point off his left peg and the second was a booming effort from under the stand and Plunketts lead had pushed out to seven. Gareth Smith after a great move up the pitch popped over another polished finish and Ballymun were in serious trouble.
Ballymun pressed forward looking to get back into the game but Plunketts put up the Thou Shall Not Pass signs and defended brilliantly turning the ball over time after time and they made the Ballymun players to run into cul de sacs.
The tackles at this stage got a little on the tasty side with the referee having to dish out some cards to keep it from boiling over as Kickhams started to get frustrated.
Two late points from substitute James Burke was the best Ballymun could muster and the 2012 champions just could not find a way to unlock the Scrooge like Plunkett’s defence.
So it’s back to the drawing board for Ballymun while Plunkett’s dream of their first ever Dublin SFC title goes on and who knows maybe this year is their year. After today’s display it will take something special to stop their dream coming true. -Nigel.