St Brigids (Dublin) v Portlaoise preview

Updated: December 3, 2011

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Venue: Parnell Park, 2pm

The most successful club team in Leinster head to Parnell Park this Sunday knowing a win over St Brigid’s guarantees them another shot at provincial glory.

Portlaosie have dominated Laois football for the past number of years but have failed time and again to transform their county prowess to national success.

Their record in Leinster might be impressive but their last appearance at Parnell Park brings back unpleasant memories and, Dublin club sides have been the bane of the Laois champions for some time now.

Having reclaimed the Laois title two years ago and easily defeated the Louth champions, they faced St Vincent’s who duly brushed the Laois champions aside and the Dublin outfit went on to capture Leinster and All-Ireland titles.

More heartache followed last year as Dublin champions, Kilmacud beat Portlaoise at home and reclaimed the provincial title.

St Brigid’s, who are based close to the Navan road, beat Oliver Plunketts in a low scoring final, 0-10 to 0-8. However, before that saw off Ballymun Kickhams scoring 1-18 to 1-12 after extra time.

They travelled to Navan easily beating Summerhill 2-15 to 0-11. Current Dublin under-21 star Philly Ryan knocked over five points while Ken Kilmurray and Dublin captain Barry Cahill got the goals.

The All-Ireland-winning Dublin veteran, Cahill, turned down a team holiday to San Diego to play here, while the influence of Paddy Andrews must be curbed if Portlaoise are to progress to another final.

The Laois champions are worried over the fitness of midfielder Adrian Kelly but the in-form pairing of Cahir Healy and Kevin Fitzpatrick in defence, along with Craig Rodgers in mid-field and, the well-travelled Colm Parkinson up-front suggests Portlaoise has enough quality to progress.

Paraic Collins

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