St Gabriels 5-16, Kilburn Gaels 1-16
By Damian Dolan.
It may be early July but champions St Gabriels sent out a message loud and clear with a performance as scorching as the weather at Ruislip on Sunday, that they are very much the team to beat in this year’s championship.
On this evidence it’s going to take something very special to prevent Tommy Duane’s star-studded line up from making it back-to-back titles. Four goals better than Kilburn, they brushed aside the challenge of their nearest rivals with a display of clinical finishing that fully justified their tag title favourites.
Giving championship debuts to Martin Ryan (ex-Galway senior), Bernard Gaffney (ex-Clare Senior), Eoin Kelly (ex-Offaly Senior), and Kevin Coen (Galway U21), Gabriels had just too much fire power against a Kilburn side that did little wrong and enjoyed more than its fair share of the play, but was still on the wrong end of a 12-point defeat.
And Gabriels still have Kieran Hernon (ex-Offaly Senior) and Martin Finn to come in – a frightening thought. It could be a very long hot summer for their rivals.
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