Vincent’s ready to tame Brigid’s and collect 25th title

IF tradition was the chief barometer on which to forecast a result for tonight’s Dublin SFC final then St Vincent’s would take the title without breaking so much as a sweat.

The most celebrated club in the county, thanks to 24 football titles and 13 in hurling, the Marino side has given the GAA some of its most iconic figures in the shape of men like Kevin Heffernan, Jimmy Keaveney, Tony Hanahoe, Gay O’Driscoll, Des and Lar Foley and Brian Mullins... to name but a few.

Their richest seam was struck in the 1950s when they claimed a record seventh football title in the middle of the decade and they famously provided 14 of the Dublin team that won the NFL in 1953.

Though they were formed within a year of one another in the early 1930s, the contrast with tonight’s opponents could hardly be more stark. The biggest achievement recorded by the Blanchardstown outfit in that same decade was the Intermediate football title in 1958.

Recent history has been more kind to Brigid’s however.

Their first senior title was captured four years ago and a Leinster title followed. Vincent’s last success was in 1984. Defeated by UCD in last year’s decider, five of their panel suffered the same fate against Ballyboden St Enda’s in Friday night’s hurling final. The ability of Dermot Connolly, Ronan Fallon, Ruairi Traynor, Neal Billings and Stephen Loughlin to put that disappointment behind them will be crucial here.

Vincent’s chances of a double may be over but Brigid’s are chasing success on the minor and senior fronts this evening and they have the more striking team on paper. Managed by 2002 Armagh All-Ireland winner Justin McNulty, the team sheet is dotted with inter-county talent like Peadar Andrews, Declan Lally, Barry Cahill and Rory Gallagher.

Full-forward Kevin Bonner has been nursing an injury all week and it remains to be seen what part he plays while, in Mossie Quinn and Dermot Connolly, Vincent’s pack some punch up front.

They surprised everyone by scoring 2-11 against championship favourites Kilmacud Crokes in the last round and only the concession of two late goals put a dampener on an otherwise impressive performance.

Brigid’s were comfortable in seeing off the challenge of St Jude’s in the other half of the draw but it is hard to see either side claiming the title pulling up.

A determination to make up for the defeats on Friday and last year, as well as the manner of their display in the last four, would suggest that Vincent’s may finally be ready and able claim title number 25.

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