Defending Dublin SFC champions St Vincent’s were made to sweat before claiming back-to-back titles for the first time since 1977.
At a packed Parnell Park last night, a 57th minute Alan Brogan goal, followed by a Bernard Brogan free, threatened to undo all of Vincent’s good work in the second half. But in the end they held out to become the second team in 11 seasons to win successive titles, after Kilmacud Crokes in 2005.
There was no third time lucky for Plunketts as they were outshone by a starring half-forward line of Gavin Burke, Diarmuid Connolly and Shane Carthy.
Leading 0-7 to 0-5 after two late first-half points, Vincent’s momentum wasn’t halted by the break. Bernard Brogan may have scored the opening second half point but a quick-fire couple of points from Shane Carthy, followed by a Ciaran Dorney effort, reflected their superiority, especially around the middle where their half forwards grafted impressively.
Bernard Brogan broke Vincent’s sequence but it was a short respite for Plunkett’s, who were losing too many individual battles. Substitute Cameron Diamond and Gavin Burke stuck over scores in almost immediate succession to extend the gap to five.
A Smith 45 wasn’t much in response and again Vincent’s bagged two rapidly from Ruairi Treanor, who could have sealed the game but for a great Alan O’Mara save in the 52nd minute. Treanor’s second sent Vincent’s six up and seemingly out of reach before Plunketts’ late surge.
For the first quarter, the Navan Road club were the brighter outfit. It wasn’t that St Vincent’s were lacking vigour but a moment’s pause and an attacker would find himself in a cul de sac due to the numbers of Plunkett’s men tracking back.
And yet by the 15th minute, they were back on level terms after Bernard Brogan and Andy Smith had scored the first three points of the game. Brogan’s second was a free after older brother Alan was fouled while Gareth Smith added another in the sixth minute.
From the resulting kickout which was poor, Michael Savage had to save spectacularly from Bernard Brogan. The ball strayed behind the end-line for a 45, which was picked up by the umpire, but referee Dave Feeney allowed play to develop from which Gavin Burke assumed he scored Vincent’s first point of the game. However, Feeney’s attention was eventually caught and the score was ruled out.
Vincent’s did get up and running in the 12th minute via Eamon Fennell and two more came within the next three minutes from Diarmuid Connolly and Ciaran Dorney, the Vincent’s full-forward the pick of his club’s attack in the first half.
Smith pushed Plunkett’s back into the lead in the 16th minute only for Burke to fire over an equaliser when it appeared a goal chance was beckoning after a through pass by Shane Carthy. Alan Brogan again restored his side’s lead only for Dorney to add his second.
After Smith and Tomás Quinn both missed frees they’d have otherwise converted, Quinn sent one over from distance in the first minute of injury-time to put Vincent’s ahead for the first time in the game. Vincent’s, now appearing to get on top of things, won the following kick-out, performing a quick succession of passes before Burke flew over his second point.
Scorers for St Vincent’s: C Dorney, G Burke (0-3 each); S Carthy, R Treanor (0-2 each); E Fennell, D Connolly, T Quinn (free), C Diamond (0-1).
Scorers for St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh: B Brogan (0-5, 3f); 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 D Murphy (39); T Diamond for Dorney (50); M Loftus for E Fennell (56); Cormac Diamond for S Carthy (57).
ST OLIVER PLUNKETT’S EOGHAN RUADH: A O’Mara; D Kelly, R O’Connor, E Clarke; D Brogan, D Lally, J Brogan; P Brogan, C Dunleavy; S Lyons, C Walsh, A Brogan; G Smith, B Brogan, N Walsh.
Subs: St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh: R McConnell for P Brogan (27); P Brogan for D Brogan (43); P Lee for S Lyons (47); P McNulty for C Dunleavy (52); D Matthews for N Walsh (56).
Referee: D Feeney (Parnell’s).