Vinnies hope to reel in the years
Marino men must halt ‘Boden juggernaut to bridge 17-year gap
Friday October 29 2010
ST VINCENT’S last took Dublin hurling gold in 1993. They beat Crumlin.
When they met in their Championship Group match earlier that season, Vincent’s won by a staggering 24 points.
Three months later, at the end of July to much surprise, they met again on the big day.
An even bigger surprise was that Crumlin were seven points up at half-time in the final.
Granted, they had played with the strong breeze, but things were looking bleak for Vincent’s, especially when Shane Dalton had to leave the pitch injured.
All-Star Brian McMahon, playing at wing-back, was causing havoc for Crumlin. But when Damien Loftus was detailed to mark him, it was the beginning of the Marino revival.
Present Vincent’s manager, Shay Fleming, was a principal figure in the comeback. He played at centre half-back and his long-range points and conviction lifted his colleagues.
In the end, two late goals saw Vins home by two points, 3-10 to 2-11. They still trailed by a point going into the last minute until a brilliant Seánie McDermott goal decided it.
“Seánie was a wonderful corner-forward,” recalled Tom Quinn senior, who played in the Vincent’s defence back in ’93. “He was always good for a goal or two in a match.
“His free-taking was also very accurate, and he’d always snatch a goal for you from nowhere.
“We just about pulled through that day. It was a close encounter. They were really coming at us.
“We beat them handy in the Group tie, but they came back to almost haunt us in the final.
“The one thing I remember from the game is my good friend, Canice Hennebry, who was playing for Crumlin. We were both coming to the end of our careers and there was a lovely picture of us taken together after the match.”
The late Canice was the type of person that gave his soul to Dublin hurling. Shay Fleming is another.
“Shay was such a committed hurler. He was steady and he was skilful,” states Tom.
“The way the team are playing now reflects his own style as a player.”
Antrim’s Ciarán Barr was also playing for Vins. “Ciaran gave us a lot of strength and scoring power up front,” recalls Tom, who is looking forward to a busy hurling day on Sunday.
He’ll be up early for the Junior ‘C’ Hurling Championship final involving Vincent’s and Na Fianna in O’Toole Park before heading for Donnycarney.
“It’s great to be involved in finals. That’s what hurling people live for,” he muses.
He’s a fan of Ballyboden. “Boden are Boden. They are not the three in-a-row champions for nothing.
“They are a very good team and they have raised the bar in Dublin. It’s up to us to reach that level on Sunday.
“We have had a good run to the final. And what has impressed me is the work rate of the lads.
“They are combining as a unit and they are scoring well. Yet I wouldn’t read too much into the semi-final win over Crokes. Everybody thought it would have been much closer.
“I’d say the Crokes people are disappointed themselves with their performance.
“Boden will be a different match altogether.
“They are so strong all over the pitch and they deserve to be the favourites.
“But Vincent’s are Vincent’s, and the lads will be giving it everything. Hopefully there will be a decent crowd and a good atmosphere.”
> EVENING HERALD DUBLIN SHC ‘A’ FINAL
Ballyboden St Enda’s v St Vincent’s , Sunday, 4.0.
– Niall Scully