Back-to-back Leinster titles for Vincents

Leinster club final

A dank old day in December isn’t the ideal time of the year to be deciding a match of any importance but today’s Leinster club football final at Navan’s Pairc Tailteann was a contest of considerable significance, both for the silverware that was on offer and the ticket that victory provided to the All-Ireland semi-final in the New Year. The day wasn’t hectic and, to be honest, neither was the contest as my local club, Dublin’s St Vincents, skated to a ten-point victory over Offaly champions Rhode, winning by 1-13 to 0-6.

On the sports bulletin on RTÉ’s six o’clock news this evening, the winners were described as the ‘Marino Giants’. While such a moniker is certainly appropriate within Dublin GAA circles – where they hold 27 football titles, way more than anyone else – it’s not really one that can accurately be used beyond the county boundaries. Today’s Leinster title win was the club’s sixth, easing them into second place (one behind Portlaoise, one ahead of Carlow’s Éire Óg) in the provincial roll of honour while their three All-Ireland titles places them joint third (along with Cork’s St Finbarr’s) on that particular leaderboard, where they trail the Rangers of Nemo (with seven wins) and Crossmaglen (six). So while Vinnies is a club with considerable achievements at provincial and national level, there are other big fish in these waters too.

But what the Marino lads undoubtedly have right now is momentum. Today’s win marks the club’s first ever back-to-back Leinster title success in a year where, for the first time in thirty years, they successfully retained their Dublin title. It’s little wonder, then, that tonight they’re priced at 5/4 to retain the Andy Merrigan Cup next March, though it should be noted that their opponents in the All-Ireland semi-final next February, Connacht champions Corofin, are also on offer at exactly the same odds.

Today’s Leinster final was a bit of a non-event. From the instant that Eamonn Fennell rose to fetch the ball from the throw-in they were always on top and had already spurned a few goal chances before the match was five minutes old. With just over ten minutes on the clock and already two points clear, the inevitable goal arrived when Diarmuid Connolly’s deftly weighted pass sent Mossy Quinn in on goal and he buried it in the corner. And that, in truth, was that.

Rhode had the wind with them in the first half but they failed to trouble the umpires until Niall McNamee pointed from play in the 23rd minute – by which time they were 1-5 in arrears – and Vinnies reached the break with a healthy six-point cushion behind them. It went from bad to worse for the Offaly lads early in the second half when their captain Paraic Sullivan got into a stupid tangle with Diarmuid Connolly and received a second yellow for his troubles. It was plain sailing for Vincents from then on, with two superb Mossy Quinn points from play the highlight of the second half as the defending champions closed out an impressive ten-point win.

So the Vinnies juggernaut continues to roll on, with their unbeaten club championship run, which now incorporates all of 2013 and 2014, set to extend into 2015. How long it lasts then remains to be seen – their All-Ireland semi against Ballintubber’s conquerors Corofin will be a significant step up from the kind of opposition they’ve had to face over the last few months – but that’s one for the New Year.

40 thoughts on “Back-to-back Leinster titles for Vincents

  1. Back to Mayo football…Anyone else at the U21 County Finals today? I thought the A final was a poor enough game and only really got going in the final 10mins of normal time. Good performances by James Shaughnessy for Claremorris and Sean Regan for Ballina. However, the overall depth of talent and standard of football on show today by both sides surely must be a somewhat of concern for both County U21 and Senior management teams. Still credit to both teams for giving it everything and never giving up even when the game looked as if it were about to slip away from both sides in the closing stages. A draw was a fair result in the end. Also congratulations to Kiltimagh on their victory in the B final.

  2. The Vincent’s – Corofin game should be a hard fought tight game. I thought corofin would have won today’s game by more… It will be an interesting contest for sure.

    Is there any Mayo footballers with Vincent’s now? I know there was a strong connection a few years back with pat kelly, Niall dunne & Brian Maloney all togging out for them.

    Take it easy on the U21s. What do you expect from young guys in mid December playing on the beach that it currently mchale park? Any game this time of year especially at underage won’t be a classic by any means.

    Ballintubber won 12 awards last night at the mayo news club stars awards. Alan Dillon got a standing ovation winning the senior player of the year award. Diarmaid O Connor won the young player of the year award. On the first 15 Ballintubber had 8 reps, garrymore 2, Castlebar 2, Ballyhaunis 2 and knockmore 1. All in all Ballintubber got 12 gongs. James Horan also received an award for his tenure as Mayo manager.

  3. Finals, particularly under-age club finals, are rarely show case events for talent spotting. For some it may be their first major final and they may have greater difficulty in coping with the anxiety of the day. Secondly, generally the stand out players are very tightly marked, if not double marked, and this can remove them from proceedings. Finally, the hunger for silverware/ fear of losing can inhabit teams who sometimes revert to safety first.
    As the saying goes, “play the game, not the occasion!” Easier said than done though.

  4. The only one now is Kevin Malone, the ex-Castlebar Mitchels player, and the only other ‘outsider’ is Brendan Egan from Sligo. Apart from that, aside from Eamonn Fennell who transferred from O’Toole’s a few years ago, this group is pretty much all homegrown.

  5. Re: Mayo News GAA All Stars? A joke, same as GPA all stars. Couldn’t believe Barry Moran not getting an award. The player of the year beats all. The Mayo News picked 2 players from the same team Dillon and Broderick from Ballintubber. If you look at the selection from all the matches that both Dillon and Broderick played in together the Mayo News gave “The Main Man” award to Broderick more times than Dillon. So how come Dillon gets player of the year by the same paper. If you look at the share out of awards and look at the sports people who judges them. Eamon Clarke Knockmore and his club gets 2, McLaughlin didn’t play against Garrymore and wasn’t seen against Ballintubber and the other fellow (who is he). John Casey Charlestown, Rodgers from Ballaghadereen , what did he do. In fairness to Prenty he won the final for Ballyhaunis. South Mayo again a Garrymore rep and they get 2 awards.
    West Mayo a joke. 4 county players don’t play nearly half the club games for Ballintubber and they get rewarded and the team who they beat in final and runners up in the league only get 3 awards. If you look at this set up you will see its a joke. A case of keep everyone happy and we will have another load of fools next year to pay €60.00 each again to fool them. Its time this bullshit stopped. A case of who you know.

  6. I think you are being harsh there. I agree Barry Moran deserved one ahead of Mcloughlin but that’s about all the changes I would have made. Mcloughlin and Kieran Langan were the only players who turned up against Ballintubber in the semi final for knockmore and that’s why Mcloughlin probably got one. Barry was hard done by though.

    Dillon was outstanding in the county final and had a hand in virtually all the scores Ballintubber got. There was no doubt that he was the man to get it. He got MOM in all the media too for his performance. It was fully deserved in my opinion.

    The €60 cost of the ticket is for a good cause, Pieta House. I’d be surprised if anyone had a grudge in paying that for a very worthy cause.

  7. Patriot. So you tell me that just because Dillon played well in County final he should automatically get Player Of The Year, This makes this award a bigger joke. As for McLaughlin and Langan playing well for Knockmore against Ballintubber and they Knockmore getting hammered those 2 fellows should get an award. The mind boggles.
    Breaffy deserved an award if Langan got one. Even Gibbons for Ballintubber should have got it before Langn. So it now appears only the championship semi finals is where you will be selected from. That does nothing for the ” All Stars”, Then maybe you to are a Ballintubber supporter.

  8. It wasn’t just the county final that Dillon shone. He was consistently good all season. He was the heartbeat of the team in the group stages, He kicked some great scores against ballagh in the 1/4 final, he was running the game against knockmore and Castlebar couldn’t handle him in the county final. I used the county final as an example because those are the days where you have to step up. Dillon was the main man on the field that day and Ballintubber are county champions because of his passing, skills, movement, scores, workrate, experience and never say die attitude. The players around Dillon respond to his effort. Jason gibbons said it in speech afterwards that it was Dillons pitch and that the team looked up to him. That’s why I felt he deserved the award. He led them to victory.

    I couldn’t pick a player from breaffy who deserved an award and I watch them a lot. They let themselves down bigtime in the 1/4 finals against an average knockmore team. Keith Rogers probably got one because Cillian struggled against him when they met and he played well. I’m not saying the club stars are perfect. Of course there was some dubious decisions but by and large I felt that 90% of the selections were correct. Barry Moran is the standout omission.

  9. Patriot: See you are still waffling on about Dillon. Nearly all the matches he played with Broderick, Mayo News gave the” Main Man” award to Broderick. Now how does that sit on making Dillon player of the year. If he was that good then Broderick must be something special. He was after all the man who guided Ballintubber to their titles and he deserves the credit. Just because he was not born in Ballintubber and only joined this club this year he is not one of the “flock”? Give credit to where credit is due and the Mayo News should have done likewise. You seem to pick your stars for only one match performance and that seems the way the Mayo News did the same thing. The Mayo News should take a leaf from the Connacht Telegraph ” Be Just and fear not”

  10. Broderick had a very good year and started to shine for Ballintubber from the knockmore game on. He was full forward in the early stages of the championship and wasn’t moving too well. When he went to midfield he flourished alongside Gibbons. He played very well against Crossmolina but was injured for the 1/4 finals against Ballagh. I wouldn’t begrudge Broderick the award but I just feel Dillon had more of an impact.

    PS I dont waffle. I say it how I see it and let’s just agree to disagree.

  11. True Grit – can you please refrain from attacking other posters and making up reasons why people express opinions? There’s a rule in the book on this (two in fact) – house rules 6 and 7 refer (here).

    PS: You’re clearly having a laugh in saying that the Mayo News could learn anything from the Connaught Telegraph!

  12. Patriot: All I want to know is how Mayo News selected Dillon as player of year seeing that they gave Broderick more “Main Man” awards when he lined out with Dillon on team.
    You can waffle all you want about Dillon which you are entitled to do, and I am not going to say anymore on this topic until Mayo News gives a reply.

  13. True Grit,the club stars are a knees up at the end of the year and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.Broderick and Dillon both had great years.The ‘Main Man’ each game is picked by one person,mostly Finno, wheras the POTY is picked by a panel.
    As for the Mayo News taking a leaf from the Connacht….I wouldn’t take a leaf from it to wipe me arse!

  14. Opt2misteek; They way I see it is the reporters go and see the matches and they make
    their decision based on what they have seen and it appears Finno makes the player of the year without having seen all the matches. If you call it a” knees up and not to be taken seriously” then its fools who will pay €60 for something that is CRAP. Now I don’t begrudge the monies going to a very worthy cause, but if that’s the way Mayo News treats it from now on I might not now keep taking a leaf from it to clean my arse.

  15. Where the term “giants” applies most in comparing St Vincents and Rhode most is in terms of the resources available to both clubs. This is a question I often raised before in various fora but never got an answer. I do not know what the population of the St Vincent’s catchment area is but I am sure it is somewhere in the region of 15 – 20 times that of Rhode. I have often questioned whether the bigger urban clubs [and this applies to the likes of Castlebar and Ballina as well] can cater properly or the population they attempt to serve. What proportion of young people get the opportunity to play Gaelic games in Dublin clubs? I am also aware that clubs catchments are no longer confined to their immediate location. Will parents of ambitious young GAA footballers be more inclined to bring their kids to Vincent’s or to a perhaps more convenient O’Toole’s esp. since the Fennell transfer imbroglio? I do know of two Dublin fathers bringing their sons from south Meath into their old Dublin clubs

  16. vincents have shown they are very good side with back to back leinster club titles , but whats the story with diarmuid Connolly, Rhodes not very happy with him , ????

  17. I know you have huge interest in Dublin club football but I don’t understand why it gets so much focus, almost as much as Mayo club football does.
    Personally, and I dunno if anyone else agrees, I couldn’t care less how good St Vincents are and they’re team of stars, I’m only interested in the well being of our own county.
    I can’t see a Dublin gaa blog being clogged up with Balllintuber and how good Cillian O Connor is.

  18. I’m open to correction but I think in the Dublin final and Leinster ties against portloaise,Garrycastle and Rhode last Sunday D Connolly has only scored 0-4 combined. For a player regarded as one of the best county forwards in the game right now surely he should be scoring more freely at club level?

    Mossy Quinn who must be in his mid 30s now is still Vincent’s main scorer and will be big void to fill when he retires.

  19. One thing that I think should be noted after the week-end is that the London club champions, Tir Chonaill Gaels gave Corofin a much tougher game than the Mayo and Leitrim champions or any of the clubs in Galway. Tir Chonaill Gaels were only a point behind at half-time. It’ll be interesting to see who will win between St. Vincents and Corofin anyway…
    Good news to hear that Alan Dillon is staying on for another year, hears hoping that 2015 will be a successful year for him and the rest of his Mayo teammates!
    It was interesting to hear James Horan’s comments in relation to our new County Board Chairman, he reckons Mike Connolly is the right man for job and should have a positive effect on Mayo football, roll on 2015!

  20. Corofin seem to have switched off since winning the Connacht title, last week they need a late free to draw the Galway league final against Annaghdown. They have two months to fine their form again.

  21. In True Grits world, everyone must agree with him or otherwise suffer his wrath! Difference of opinion? Free speech? No such thing in True Grits world. He’s right and everyone else is an idiot.
    True Grit, If you are so puzzled as to the selection process used by the Mayo News why don’t you take your complaints/queries to them instead of attacking any poster that just happens to have a different opinion to yours.
    As for “The Mayo News should take a leaf from the Connacht Telegraph ” Be Just and fear not””, and “it is the reporters go and see the matches and they make their decision based on what they have seen”!!! You are surely being ironic here, you cannot be serious?? Of all the newspapers that you could have used as being unbiased, fair, accurate and balanced in it’s sports reporting you could not have picked a worse one than that rag. You obviously don’t pay alot of heed to the match reports published by the Connacht. Stevie Wonder with ear muffs on would do a better match report than some of the rubbish printed by that paper.
    But, of course, I’m wrong. Because I have a different opinion than True Grit.

  22. Top class entertainment from True Grit. Fair play, the suggestion that the Mayo News has anything to learn from the Connacht Telegraph gave me the best laugh I’ve had in a while.

    Second to that was ‘I am not going to say anymore on this topic until Mayo News gives a reply’. Who wants to volunteer to tell True Grit that ‘Mayo News’ may not actually read this thread, that it has its own website with its own contact details and that it might be an idea to contact them rather than sulking on this thread waiting for a ‘reply’ that will never come?

    Oh, and Pebblesmeller, you forgot one thing – if you are talking about anything that offends True Grit, you are ‘waffling’!

  23. It’s not just scoring, though, mayomagic – it’s what he does to create scoring chances for everyone around him. Virtually every score Vincents get has his prints on it somewhere.

  24. Despite not having any real interest in Dublin club football or any other county’s club football, I have to hand it to Vincent’s. Dublin club football is probably the hardest club competition to win. There’s a few ‘superclubs’ in there and for Vincent’s to win the Dublin title again and to swot off whatever Leinster has thrown at them afterwards for two years in a row takes some going. Any chance you might share any of the success to our own clubs here in Mayo WJ? 😉

  25. At the risk of boring the proverbials off Mickey Mac and others with no interest in Dublin GAA, I’ll attempt to answer your point Andy, based on what limited knowledge I have from being involved at helping out at under-age level up here. In terms of population and catchment area, that ballpark figure you put out could well be right, though the key thing is what kind of active playing population is out there, given other sports (especially soccer and rugby, both of which are popular locally). In terms of local catchment area, Vincents is only one club among many on the Northside – Na Fianna, Whitehall and Clontarf are all in the locality and all have strong numbers (especially Na Fianna who have higher numbers than us at most underage groups) and there’s also Parnells, Craobh Chiarain, Erin’s Isle and Ballymun not that far away too. The vast majority of kids who play for us come from the immediate catchment area and go to the local schools, with a small sprinkling of others whose parents have strong links to the club but who don’t live locally. We’ve gained a few kids (at U9 level) over the past year – this may or may not have something to do with the seniors’ success but unless the set-up is right and the kids are enjoying the experience, this won’t be enough to hold them.

    From what I can see, the super-club phenomenon is more of a factor on the Southside, where Kilmacud, Ballyboden and, in recent years, Cuala have hoovered up most of the playing talent and have probably stunted the growth of other clubs. That’s not really a factor on this side of town, though, where the clubs tend to be rooted more closely into their local communities. That’s my experience anyway.

  26. To Patriot, Opt2missteek, Pebblesmeller, Davy J. Happy Christmas, Don’t take it to serious. At least the Connacht Telegraph now has a insight on its readership. To all the people who writes to this website I wish them all the best for 2015. Its the best website to visit and may W J continue the good work. I for one enjoy the blogs and if everyone agreed with each other this site would fail. To all the lads and lassies who put on a jersey to compete in sport I salute you. In the end of the day there will be joys, sadness ,disappointments. May the next year bring as much to talk about as did 2014.
    Nobody is perfect and neither am I. I sincerely hope we will be here again this time next year and who knows we may be singing the praises of victory.

  27. Well said true grit, I think you may well be mixing it sometimes, all the best to you and yours and all on this excellent blog, wj yoy are a star to keep it going, may next year bring everything we need.for what its worth I think a dillon is a worthy winner who gives of his best for club and county

  28. Ahh, the Christmas spirit has kicked in TG-enjoy the turkey and lookin forward to more jousting in ’15.Hope you have a waffleful…ahem,wonderful Christmas and all the best in the new year

  29. I reckon there’s a good proportion of us living in the Pale who have more than a passing interest in Dublin club football. Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself 😉

    Incidentally, if anyone based in the Dublin area is looking for an excuse to avoid the shops on Sunday, Cuala are hosting Manhattan Gaels in a friendly at 2pm – it will be nice to see a few of the crew who were so hospitable on our trip to the Big Apple in Mayo and indeed there will be Mayo representation there too. It promises to be a nice sociable afternoon, and anything that gets you away from Christmas shopping is a good thing in my book!

    WJ, I’m happy to see that there is far more colour around the place in Marino this year than there was last March – there are blue and white flags everywhere on my commute. Vincents are feeling confident this year, but I’ll be hoping the cup makes it to Connacht all the same.

    Delighted to hear Alan Dillon is sticking around for another year – what I wouldn’t give to see him and Andy win an All-Ireland. (Well, obviously I’d like them all to win an All-Ireland.) Good to hear Mike Connoelly (I’ve decided that’s the new spelling, and quite appropriate too) get the vote of confidence from JH. Every day the hope is returning.

    Three weeks to the FBD folks, and we go again.

  30. Got me season tickets in the mail today! I’m all set for 2015
    Merry Christmas to yee all, see yee in September!

  31. Its great, when them season tickets drop in through the letterbox the year begins again! Can’t wait for the start of the FBD in 3 weeks, on we go again.

  32. Ya fair enough it’s your blogg I’m just saying that those articles don’t appeal to the target audience of the blogg like a st Vincent’s gaa blogg would.

  33. I too live in Dublin, and keep an eye on the club scene, but, i heard last week from a dublin colleague that the two o’sheas have been signed up by kilmacud for next season. Is this true? Does anybody know for sure? Im not trying to start a rumour or breach the rules but this guy seemed convinced? Cant be good for mayo club football if its true.

  34. I’ve heard nothing to that effect at any rate, Juan. Aidan is working in Westport nowadays so I somehow doubt it’s true. If either of them want an intro at Vinnies, though, I’d be happy to arrange it!

  35. WJ, haha yes i knw hes in westport alrite an doin well. Seamie is working up here so if either is to switch it would be him i suppose. Best of luck against corofin, but to be honest ye dont need it!!!.

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