Connolly and Quinn can help Vincent’s retain Dublin crown

All-Ireland champions should have too much firepower for Brogan-led Plunkett’s

THERE HAS been a greater tendency recently for clubs to challenge annually in the provincial and All-Ireland club championships but it's still a huge ask. All-Ireland champions St Vincent's are back in this evening's Dublin final and the long road again beckons.

They do have a very potent attack. Diarmuid Connolly, in his best year yet, is capable of racking up big scores; Mossy Quinn remains the definitive snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.

This could be riveting. For a team with two former Footballers of the Year in their attack Plunkett's have embraced a deep-defence, counter-attacking style and with Alan Brogan orchestrating and brother Bernard applying the finishing touches, it's proven a success.

Within Dublin, the sense of Plunkett’s has been of a team that didn’t strike when the iron was hot, most notably three years ago when overcome by neighbours St Brigid’s. This makes them dangerous, as they will be aware that title chances won’t keep recurring.


Blanket defence

Under Pat McDonagh they’ve developed a disciplined game plan, based on blanket defence and quick breaks. They also cracked opposition codes impressively, interfering with Ballymun’s kick-outs last time and disrupting the game-plan of the 2013 All-Ireland finalists.

So much will be dictated early on. If Plunkett’s can get in front and establish a lead worth defending they will exert pressure on Vincent’s to come at them and give themselves the space to sit back and pick off scores on the counter. If, however, Vincent’s take control, Plunkett’s will have to reconsider the rigidity of their structures.

The view here is that Vincent’s have too much energy getting forward and experience of playing their game. Although the challengers have a plan, momentum and hunger, the champions have big-game know-how and formidable firepower up front.

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times