Dublin SFC: St Jude’s shock Vincent’s to set up Crokes decider
Diarmuid Connolly comes off the bench but underdogs cruise home with plenty in hand
Daire Walsh at Parnell Park
St Jude’s 2-11 St Vincent’s 0-8
St Jude’s produced a stunning performance at Parnell Park on Sunday afternoon to spectacularly eliminate St Vincent’s from the Dublin senior football championship.
The Templeogue men were rank outsiders for this semi-final encounter against the three in-a-row chasing Vins, but in spite of a difficult start to the contest, they will now face southside rivals Kilmacud Crokes in the upcoming county decider.
Dublin star Kevin McManamon was a star attraction in the Jude’s line-up, but it was Seamus Ryan and Padraic Clarke goals in each half that truly gave flight to their title credentials.
While the much-discussed Diarmuid Connolly was once again held in reserve, Vincent’s nevertheless enjoyed a blistering start to the action. In addition to long-distance efforts by the centre-field pairing of Nathan Mullins and Eamonn Fennell, Gavin Burke and the evergreen Tomas Quinn were also on target for Vins.
Jude’s finally opened their account through ace marksman McManamon, only for Westmeath’s Lorcan Smyth to respond at the opposite end. The game plan of Padraic Monaghan’s charges started to take shape as the half progressed and they produced an extraordinary purple patch to leave Vins reeling at the break.
After unanswered points courtesy of Niall Coakley, Clarke (two) and Ryan cancelled out their deficit, the impressive Clarke flicked over the advancing Vins goalkeeper Michael Savage for a 27th-minute goal.
McManamon’s influence was also growing and he converted a 50-metre free to give Jude’s a surprise 1-6 to 0-5 interval advantage.
The introduction of Connolly and former Mayo footballer Enda Varley looked set to spark Vins back into life on the resumption, but their expected surge never materialised.
Instead, it was Jude’s who continued to play the more expressive football. A Simon King point extended their cushion, before McManamon released the raiding Ryan for a composed finish to the Vincent’s net.
With the clock running against them, Quinn’s converted free on the third-quarter mark was a timely boost for the Marino outfit. This was their first score since the 15th-minute of the opening period, but Jude’s quickly responded with back-to-back efforts by Tom Devlin and Coakley.
Following Ger Brennan’s agonising miss from close-range, a brace of Varley frees briefly raised the possibility of a late Vincent’s fightback. However, with Connolly struggling to make an impact, late points from Coakley and Chris Guckian sealed a magnificent nine-point triumph for a jubilant St Jude’s.
St Jude’s: L Mailey; O Manning, C Fitzpatrick, C O’Reilly; T Lahiff, N O’Shea, C Guckian (0-1); M Sweeney, S Ryan (1-1); R Joyce, S King (0-1), K Doherty; N Coakley (0-3, 1f), K McManamon (0-2, 1f), P Clarke (1-2, 0-1f). Subs: T Devlin (0-1) for Joyce (38), N Mangan for King (52), A Sweeney for M Sweeney, B Sheehan for O’Shea (both 60), D Donnelly for Clarke (61).
St Vincent’s: M Savage; M Concarr, F Breathnach, J McCusker; B Egan, G Brennan, G Burke (0-1); E Fennell (0-1), N Mullins (0-1); L Galvin, L Smyth (0-1), C Diamond; A Baxter, S Carthy, T Quinn (0-2, 2f). Subs: D Connolly for Diamond, E Varley (0-2, 2f) for Baxter (both h-t), J Feeney for Smyth (48 mins), R McBride for Mullins (56 mins), S Lambe for Burke (59 mins).
Referee: D O’Connor (Naomh Mearnog).