ST VINCENT’S 0-12 BALLYMUN KICKHAMS 0-11
St Vincent's maintained their recent 'Indian Sign' over Ballymun Kickhams when they edged out their opponents by the minimum in Wednesday night's Dublin SFC semi-final at Parnell Park.
An almost capacity crowd flocked to the Donnycarney venue and were not disappointed by the intensity and tit-for-tat nature of the battle with ultimately the brilliance of Diarmuid Connolly separating the sides with sub Albert Martin's excellent 57th minute point sorting them out on the scoreboard.
The Dublin senior footballer slotted four points from play of outstanding quality to add to the ever growing reel of his club and county highlights. Sometimes Connolly's contributions frame a game and this was one of those occasions.
However, it was Kickhams who carried the greater early threat. James McCarthy threw down the gauntlet with a trademark surging run in the second minute that carved apart the Vinnies defence but cracked his thunderbolt wide of Michael Savage's left half post.
Three minutes later Connolly sliced over off the left from a near impossible angle before James Burke brought the sides level by the seventh minute.
Ballymun's second clear sighting on goal came shortly after by Alan Hubbard was denied from close range by Savage before a Dean Rock free edged Kickhams in front, 0-2 to 0-1.
While goal chances were at a premium Ruairí Trainor had to settle for a point after being put through one-on-one with Seán Currie by Tomás Quinn.
An Enda Varley point in the 17th minute saw Vincent's steal in front but the loss of Davey Byrne by the Mun to a black card was the first of two dismissals that was to cost they very dearly.
Rock brought the sides level before Jason Whelan was dismissed on a second yellow card, for a high tackle on Connolly, and the loss of the in-form centre-forward deprived the Mun of the best driving force in this year's championship to date.
Two Quinn points gave Vincent's a two-point advantage with half-time approaching before Rock slotted one from play, after Paddy Small won the initial possession, and converted a '45' to bring the sides level by the break, 0-5 each.
Four minutes into the second half Ted Furman put the final touches to a fine Mun move involving James McCarthy and John Small but typical of the night Enda Varley tied it up within a minute.
Points from Rock (free) and a superb Furman strike with the outside of his right boot pushed the Mun two clear, 0-8 to 0-6.
But the failed to push on with the old double act of Quinn and Connolly bringing it back to a draw game with just over 15 minutes remaining.
Rock moved Kickhams ahead before Man of the Match Connolly crafted an equaliser.
The Mun full-forward had a chance of a goal with 14 minutes left but his flicked effort from a Liam O'Donovan point effort flew outside Savage's right post as the Vinnies goal remained intact yet again.
Heading into the concluding ten minutes Connolly made a 50-metre point from play look straightforward before Rock again replied - 0-10 each.
With seven minutes of normal time remaining the busy Ger Brennan showed all his guile to join the attack at the opportune moment and split the posts.
Two minutes later Quinn was sent to the line for his second yellow card in quick succession before extra-time loomed when Rock converted a free to draw the game.
But with three minutes of normal time to go sub Martin split the posts with the winner and see Vincent's progress to yet another county final.
Check out the match highlights:
SCORERS – St Vincent’s: D Connolly 0-4, T Quinn 0-3 (0-2f), E Varley 0-2 (0-1f), G Brennan, R Trainor, A Martin 0-1 each. BallymunKickhams: D Rock 0-8 (0-6f, 0-1 ‘45’), T Furman 0-2, J Burke 0-1.
ST VINCENT'S: M Savage; C Wilson, J Curley, M Concarr; B Egan, G Brennan, Cameron Diamond; D Murphy, D Connolly; G Burke, S Carthy, Cormac Diamond; R Trainor, E Varley, T Quinn. Subs: J Feeney for Burke (41), A Martin for Murphy (48), A Baxter for Varley (55), K Golden for Cormac Diamond (60), J McCusker for Trainor (62).
BALLYMUN KICKHAMS: S Currie; K Connolly, E Dolan, P McMahon; D Byrne, J Small, J Burke; A Elliot, J McCarthy; D Rock, J Whelan, K Leahy; P Small, T Furman, A Hubbard. Subs: L O’Donovan for Byrne (20, Black Card), D Keating for O’Donovan (50), E Reilly for Leahy (57), L Young for Connolly (61).
REF: B Tiernan (O’Dwyer’s).