AFL DIV. 2 ROUNDUP – 18TH JULY
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: JULY 18
By Daire Walsh
Fingallians moved to the summit of the Adult Football League Division Two table with a 2-16 to 2-10 victory over rivals Fingal Ravens at Lawless Park on Wednesday night.
With previous divisional pace-setters Templeogue Synge Street suffering a 0-15 to 3-12 reversal at the hands Scoil Ui Chonaill on the Clontarf Road, the Swords men are now a point in front of the southsiders.
They will face each other on Saturday week (July 28) in a Round 12 encounter at Dolphin Park, which could go a long way towards determining who finishes in pole position at the end of this hotly-contested second-tier competition. Though they had a number of points to spare over Ravens in the end, there had been little to separate the sides for the vast majority of the contest.
Courtesy of a well-constructed Patsy O’Neill goal, Fingallians led 1-9 to 2-2 at the midway stage. Danny Campion and Derek Rodgers led by example throughout the opening period and continued to drive the hosts forward on the resumption.
Despite being short a number of first-team regulars – most notably veteran Dublin footballer Paul Flynn – Fingallians made considerable waves in attack. TJ Howard raised a green flag to bring his final tally up to 1-6 and Shane Howard also posted three points over the course of the hour.
A resilient Ravens managed to cut the gap to a single point on the stroke of 50 minutes, raising the possibility of a surprise triumph for the Rolestown side. However, the home team ultimately produced a powerful final-quarter rally to claim a sixth consecutive Division Two success.
Skerries have been in the hunt for promotion for much of the season – and though they remain in contention, they suffered a fifth defeat in seven at home to St Mary’s, Saggart (5-14 to 2-9).
Following their own 3-13 to 0-8 win over St Anne’s at Monastery Road, Round Tower Clondalkin have moved up to third in the table – only two points adrift of Fingallians.
After registering a brace of goals in the same venue against Whitehall three days earlier, Micheal Walsh also rattled the net for an in-form Towers. With former county stars Derek Murray and Ian Ward delivering impressive displays, they led 1-7 to 0-5 at the interval.
The forceful play of midfielder Conor Flannery also aided the home team’s cause, as they sought a seventh league victory of 2018. Jason Joyce joined Walsh in securing a third major in the space of two games, while netminder Gary Cleary kick-started a fast-paced move that eventually led to a goal from marauding corner-back Niall Byrne.
Towers are now gathering pace ahead of their trip to Glenauline Park and St Patrick’s, Palmerstown on July 28. Pat’s, on the other hand, lifted themselves away from danger with a narrow 2-10 to 1-11 triumph against Raheny at St Anne’s Park.
In the same venue on Wednesday, Ballyboughal had the measure of Clontarf in a high-scoring affair (1-18 to 0-15). They lie fifth in the table – just behind Skerries on score difference.
Whitehall enjoyed a commanding 3-21 to 0-9 win over Naomh Mearnog at Collins Avenue, and at nearby Blunden Drive, O’Toole’s picked up their first point of the present campaign by sharing the spoils with Na Fianna ‘B’ – 2-12 to 1-15 the final score.