Hackett hails stronger ever Dublin Senior Football Championship line-up

by Stephen Findlater

Ballymun Kickhams’ manager Brendan Hackett says this year’s Dublin senior football championship will provide the strongest winner in recent times with each club playing to their full potential.

His Mun side overcame Kilmacud Crokes 1-18 to 2-12 last Sunday in Parnell Park, getting through despite a pair of red cards which could see them miss Davey Byrne and Leon Young for the final.

Prior to that, both clubs served up a cracking display of attacking football with Dan O’Brien’s goal giving Crokes the early initiative.

Dean Rock, though, was accurate on numerous occasions – he ended with 0-8 – to keep the tie in the mix, 0-13 to 1-10. Dara Mullin edged Crokes in front with six minutes to go before Kickhams made their move with Jason Whelan scoring 1-3 off the bench.

It helped put them five points clear before a skirmish ended with the two reds. Paul Mannion netted to set the nerves jangling but Rock landed a late free to kill off the tie.

It sets up a final date with holders Ballyboden St Enda’s who beat St Jude’s 2-11 to 1-11 in the first semi on Saturday, super sub Simon Lambert scoring the crucial goal.

And Mun manager Hackett believes it is set up to a riveting decider.

“Two attacking teams both with a great set of forwards and both with players in any given line who can be game changers. It will be a good final, the one the neutrals will love to see.”

It has been the first year that his side has had full access to their plethora of Dublin county stars and Hackett believes this has made it a very special campaign.

“This is a championship where every club has been at full strength, no one tired from fatigue after All-Irelands.

“It was great for our club to give so much to Dublin and the county would have gotten the best out of them; we wouldn’t have got that because it is very hard to maintain that level of mental concentration and physical fitness for a whole year.

“We have had them back shattered in September before.

“This is our strongest team so if we are good enough, the result will be there, no excuses.”

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