Marino men march on

by Dave Donnelly

ST VINCENT’S manager Brian Mullins said their Dublin senior football championship final against Ballymun Kickhams ‘went as expected’ after the Marino side eked out a 1-8 to 0-8 win.
Diarmuid Connolly’s well-taken goal in the 13th minute proved the difference-maker in an attritional and low-scoring game at Parnell Park on Monday night.
It’s the fourth time in five years that Vincent’s have lifted the county title, and their second final win over Ballymun in that time, as their golden generation continues to flourish.
Ballymun manager Paddy Carr said his team “will look back with regrets” at a game where, despite the closeness of the scores, they rarely looked like challenging for the win.
“It went like we had expected,” Mullins said after the game.
“We have huge respect for Ballymun, they’re a very good team and we were determined that we were going to try and play the game our way and I think, for the most part, we succeeded in that.
“It was based on an awful lot of hard work and tackling and moving the ball quickly which I think we did.
“The dividend out of that effort and mentality is four out of five so they’re very happy with that, though they don’t like talking about the one that got away so we’ll not talk about that today.”
At the heart of Vins’ success was a determined defensive effort, led by captain Ger Brennan, which denied Ballymun any space in the attacking part of the pitch.
“I can’t run – that’s why I was [in defence] the whole time,” Brennan joked in a post-match interview with broadcaster Eir Sport.
“Their game-plan is fairly obvious in that they try to pull you wide and run down those channels.
“In the first half they got through on a couple of occasions and we wouldn’t be happy with that but, for the most part, we snuffed them out.”
Carr was sanguine in his post-match interview, and admitted that the scoreline didn’t reflect the gulf in quality between the north Dublin rivals on the day.
“We can have no arguments. We were out-performed. We’ll look back with regrets. It didn’t really come together.
“At no stage did we look like we were going to drive on. If we knew that was the way we were going to play we’d be very disappointed.
“We didn’t do ourselves justice and that’s in no way taking away from St Vincent’s. They were the better team tonight, by far the superior team.
“They did what they had to do to win but I think they’ll probably feel they didn’t really get out of third gear and yet they were still ahead of us.”

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