St Vincent’s came from behind to win their 25th Dublin SFC title in a dramatic finish with a 1-09 to 1-08 win over holders Ballymun at Parnell Park, with defender Cameron Diamond the winner a minute from the end.
Dean Rock smashed home a third-minute penalty, but Ciaran Dorney grabbed a Vincent’s goal on 15 minutes.
Rock’s 1-03 tally helped the champions to a 1-05 to 1-02 interval lead, but Mossie Quinn’s five-point tally brought Vincent’s back into it, and they hit four points in the final quarter to swing it.
But now the newly crowned champions face a hectic schedule, with three games in the space of a week.
They take on St Loman’s of Westmeath in the Leinster Club Championship on Sunday, and must do so without ace attacker Diarmuid Connolly, who received a straight red card in the closing stages on an engrossing replay battle in Donnycarney.
In his victory speech, captain Ger Brennan paid an emotional tribute to the late Kevin Heffernan, who passed away earlier this year, crediting the Dublin legend for a massive footballing legacy he left within the Vincent’s club.
The Kickhams made a furious start, laying siege to the Vincent’s goal for the opening five minutes, during which they raced into a five-point lead, scoring one goal and missing another gilt-edged chance.
Rock was at the centre of everything, converting a 20-metre free, before getting on the end of Liam O’Donovan’s cross to punch just wide.
And in the third minute, Ted Furman unleashed a shot which was saved at point blank range by Michael Savage, but referee Darragh Sheppard penalised the goalkeeper for a foot block, and Rock almost burst the net with the penalty, smashing an unstoppable shot to the top corner.
When Furman hoisted a tidy point, the defending champions led by 1-02 to no score, but Vincent’s got their challenge going slowly but surely.
Mossie Quinn managed to get his cross in despite the attentions of ‘keeper Sean Currie, for Ciaran Dorney to finish to an empty net in the 16th minute.
Having shot five wides, they finally found the range, with Diarmuid Connolly and Quinn, from a free, bringing them level on 20 minutes.
Ballymun went 18 minutes without scoring and it was that man Rock who got them going again, hitting three points, two of them from frees, to send his side in with a 1-05 to 1-02 interval lead.
Sub Derek Byrne stretched the advantage 20 seconds after the restart, with Quinn responding with a couple of frees, but that man Rock was in the mood, thumping over a 45-metre free to restore his side three-point cushion.
Vincent’s now had the slight breeze in their favour, but struggled to get the ball in to the front men, and while Connolly did arrow over a gem from distance, they were unable to break down a Ballymun defence in which Sean Goerge and Eoin Dolan were outstanding.
Mossie Quinn nailed his first score from play to narrow the gap to two going into the final quarter, and Vincent’s were finally in business.
The former Dublin attacker clipped over his fourth free to narrow the gap to a single point, but major incident in the 52nd minute saw both teams reduced to 14 men.
Connolly was dismissed on a straight red following an off-the-ball incident involving Philly McMahon, who was also sent off on a second booking.
But it was Vincent’s who had the staying power. Sub Kevin Golden brought them level from a free, and they went in front for the first time when Diamond popped up with a glorious winner.
Ballymun: S Currie, P McMahon, S George, E Dolan, A Hubbard, K Connolly, J Small, Davey Byrne, J McCarthy, E Reilly, T Furman (0-1), K Leahy, A O’Brien, D Rock (01-05, 0-4f), L O’Donovan (00-01).
Subs: Derek Byrne (00-01) for O’Brien, M Brady for Leahy
St Vincent’s: M Savage, B Egan, J Curley, H Gill, C Diamond (00-01), G Brennan, M Concarr, D Murphy, E Fennell, G Burke, D Connolly (00-02), S Carthy, R Trainor, C Dorney (01-00), T Quinn (00-05, 4f).
Subs: K Golden (00-01, f) for Murphy, A Baxter for Carthy, N Mullins for Dorney, R Pocock for Trainor
Referee: D Sheppard (Round Towers).