“History is what it is, it’s history”

By Hayden Moore

THOMAS Davis Senior Football team manager Paul Kelly has played down the length of time it has taken the club to make the county final again.

Juggernauts of Dublin football, Ballyboden St Enda’s are the only team standing in the way of the Kiltipper side achieving their fourth Dublin Senior Football Championship title this Sunday in Parnell Park, 28 years after their last appearance in the decider.

Thomas Davis V Kilmacud 01 compressor

Eoin Kirby captained Thomas Davis to a stunning win over defending champions Kilmacud in the Dublin SFC semis (Image: Paddy Barrett)

In their history Davis’ have already contested four finals, winning three-in-a-row between 1989 and 1991 with the latter marking the last time they were represented in the competition’s showpiece.

Kelly spoke of how the three-in-a-row side were “legends” but insists that it’s all in the past and holds no bearing on his panel heading into Sunday.

“Legends, absolute legends. History is what it is, it’s history,” said Kelly.

“This group of lads has made history themselves by being the first team since that team to make a county final. We want to perform on Sunday, up to our standards and hopefully we will.”

“We played Ballyboden after the mid-season break and we just didn’t perform, they ran out comfortable winners that day but look, every match stands on its own and we massively underperformed on that day, well below anywhere near the standards that we’ve set for ourselves.”

On route to the final, the two-time Leinster winners came though the group stages on score difference but have caught many by surprise by downing two footballing giants in the knockout rounds.

Underdogs against both Castleknock in the quarter-final and then defending champions Kilmacud in the semis, Davis’ have been developing a reputation as that of giant killers.

But Kelly was quick to dispel any tags on his side, saying: “We play Division One football and we’ve been on the road of developing and bringing through two or three successful minor teams, incorporating them with lads who would be more experienced.

“Anthony [Rainbow] in fairness recognises our work-rate and collective spirit as a side. We can play a really nice brand of football so hopefully now on Sunday we can go all the way.”

“Obviously [Ballyboden] have a history of winning in these competitions having recently won All-Ireland and Dublin Championships, they have consistently finished in the top four in the league.

“Physically they are a very strong side, very athletic but look we’re a Division One side too.”

Senior Two Champions last year, Davis’ beat Crokes 2-12 to 1-10 last Saturday with a Ciarán Farrelly goal just after the break and a point from the dominant Ryan Deegan immediately after sending them on their way.

Brendan Kirby added a second goal for the side moments later and despite an own-goal from Brian Kirby late-on, points from Cian Murphy, Eoin Kirby and Seán Relly copper fastened the win.

Enda O’Toole was part of the Davis’ squad who last contested a county final in 1991, and now 28-years on, his son Eanna O’Toole will walk out on to the same turf with a shot at that silverware.

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