Dublin Adult Football League Division Two Round-Up (July 17): Dublingaa.ie – July 19 2019



By Daire Walsh

The race for top spot in Division Two of the Adult Football League intensified last night, following the respective victories for Castleknock, St Sylvester’s and Clontarf in their latest competitive outings.

Arguably the biggest result of the evening was ‘Tarf’s 0-16 to 0-15 success over Naomh Mearnog, who have also been pushing strongly for promotion in recent months. This was a ninth win in succession for the northsiders and they are now just one adrift of Castleknock and Sylvester’s in the second-tier.

‘Tarf are set to face the latter on the final weekend of the season (August 31) and this could have major implications for both clubs in their quest for promotion to Division One. Since losing out to Syls at Broomfield on May 8, there hasn’t been a false step from Castleknock.

A surprise reversal away to Round Tower Lusk in mid-June saw Sylvester’s conceding ground to their main rivals and Castleknock have continued to prosper as the campaign moves towards its final stretch. They had reason to be wary of the challenge posed by Naomh Olaf at Somerton Park, especially after the Sandyford outfit’s recent triumph at the expense of Scoil Ui Chonaill.

The Castleknock attack has been amassing impressive tallies through the season, however, and they were in no mood to let-up on this occasion. With just four minutes gone on the clock, John Kindlon released Tommy McDaniel for an expertly-taken goal.

Kindlon was a star performer for ‘Knock during the opening period, contributing three points for the hosts. There was also scoring contributions from Gerard McDermottroe (two), Shane Boland and Sean Gibbons as Lar Norton’s side created a 1-8 to 0-3 buffer at the break.

They received a minor set-back when Olaf’s found the net immediately after the resumption, but Castleknock responded in consummate fashion. Whilst midfielder Gibbons claimed another major for the rampant home team, the scoring was not just confined to their starting 15.

Supplementing Darragh Warnock’s 1-1 salvo, Seamus O’Carroll (who has featured prominently at inter-county level for his native Limerick) bagged 1-3 in an eye-catching cameo appearance. McDaniel added a brace of points to match O’Carroll’s haul, while McDermottroe also found the range again for the in-control Castleknock.

Graham Hannigan and James Sherry (operating in a sweeper role) were also dominant and after claiming a 4-15 to 1-8 triumph, they can now move forward to Saturday week’s encounter with St Mary’s, Saggart in the perfect frame of mind.

It was a much-closer affair at Broomfield, but Sylvester’s nevertheless emerged with four points to spare (1-12 to 0-11) over Na Fianna ‘B’. Despite their agonising loss to Clontarf, Naomh Mearnog remain in the hunt – just four points adrift of Castleknock and Sylvester’s at the summit.

Although they had the measure of Kilmacud Crokes ‘B’ at Silver Park, Ballyboughal remain in sixth place. However, should they win their game in hand, they could leap-frog the Stillorgan men in the table.

At Clontarf Road, Scoil Ui Chonaill made it four wins out of five courtesy of a 2-12 to 0-15 victory against St Mary’s, Saggart. Thanks to goals from Paudie Conlon and Aidan Mulvey, they developed a commanding nine-point interval cushion (2-9 to 0-6).

They encountered a great deal of resistance on the resumption, but they had already done enough to claim the spoils. Goals were the order of the day on Collins Avenue, where Whitehall Colmcille were 6-10 to 4-6 victors over Naomh Fionnbarra.

This was an 11th consecutive defeat for Fionnbarra, but they are still two points clear of St Patrick’s, Palmerstown – who suffered a comprehensive reversal away to Round Tower Clondalkin (2-18 to 0-6).

Pat’s are set to host their Cabra counterparts at Glenauline Park on July 27 in a do-or-die relegation battle.

Elsewhere, Round Tower Lusk climbed up the table by virtue of getting the better of Raheny at St Anne’s Park (1-10 to 0-10).

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Dublin Adult Football League Division One Round-Up (July 17): Dublingaa.ie – July 19 2019



By Daire Walsh

Ballyboden St Enda’s stretched their lead at the top of the Adult Football League Division One table to six points with a convincing 2-17 to 1-5 triumph over Fingallians at Pairc Ui Murchu on Wednesday night.

Following Kilmacud Crokes’ stalemate at home to Cuala (1-13 to 2-10), the gap between ‘Boden and the chasing pack has now increased. Whereas the race for the remaining play-off places is very much alive, Anthony Rainbow’s charges are virtually guaranteed of their spot in the knockout phase.

In addition to being six clear with just three games remaining in the regular campaign, they have a scoring average that is vastly superior to those around them. Despite the absence of some notable figures – including six-time Celtic Cross winner Michael Darragh Macauley – they recorded their 10th league win on the bounce and their 12th in all competitions.

Courtesy of their convincing 2-13 to 0-6 win at the expense of Skerries Harps at St Mobhi Road, Na Fianna are now joint on 17 points with Kilmacud Crokes in their respective bids for second place. Dessie Farrell’s men have the edge over the Stillorgan men on score difference – albeit they did lose out to Crokes in Glasnevin on May 12.

Completing the top-four moving into round 13 – on July 27 – are St Jude’s, who recorded a 0-12 to 0-6 win against St Brigid’s at Russell Park. Having recently suffered reversals to St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh and Thomas Davis, either side of a successful outing at home to Fingallians, the Wellington Lane outfit bounced back in confident style.

Lucan Sarsfields were aiming to make it four wins in succession when they faced Thomas Davis at Kiltipper Road. However, even though they attacked with greater purpose throughout, it was the hosts who came out on top (2-19 to 3-13).

After enduring a run of six straight defeats, Davis’ have produced an impressive run of form to ease their relegation fears. Since falling short to Na Fianna on May 22, they have accumulated 10 points out of the 12 on offer.

As a consequence of this result, and Ballymun Kickhams’ comprehensive success against Plunkett’s at Pairc Ciceam (5-16 to 0-8), Lucan have now dropped to sixth in the top-flight standings.

Meanwhile, St Vincent’s made it back-to-back wins for just the second time this season with a 10-point victory over Naomh Maur at Rush. Galvanised by their strong showing against Templeogue Synge Street 11 days earlier, Vincent’s developed a narrow advantage during a hard-fought opening.

Their defence was subsequently breached when a superb cross-field pass by Sky Blues hurler Eoghan Conroy resulted in a goal for Maur’s. The visitors remained calm and composed as the half progressed, though.

Nathan Mullins palmed home at the end of an incisive attacking move and Tomas Quinn grabbed their second goal via excellent approach work from Albert Martin. This meant that Vins had established a six-point cushion (2-7 to 1-4) in time for the interval.

While they fielded without Dublin U20 star Sean Lambe, the absence of Ciaran Archer (the top-scorer for Tom Gray’s Leinster-chasing underage side) was keenly-felt in the opposite corner. In testing conditions, Maur’s attempted to work their way back into contention.

Nevertheless, Tony Diamond’s Marino charges were always in control of their own destiny. Former Galway footballer Fiachra Breathnach was a prominent figure for the defending champions and his excellent build-up provided the platform for James O’Donnell to raise another green flag.

O’Donnell made a sizeable impact off the bench and his second goal effectively placed the outcome beyond all doubt. Ciaran Reddin rattled the net late on with a powerful effort from a free, but Vincent’s eventually prevailed on a final scoreline of 4-9 to 2-5.

The aforementioned Templeogue Synge Street received a significant boost at Dolphin Park, where they held off a late surge from Ballinteer St John’s to claim maximum points. Previously without a win in Division One for 2019, they are just one adrift of St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh and are also within reach of Fingallians and Skerries.

The foundations for their success were laid in the opening period. At the midway stage in the action, they led 0-10 to 0-2. John’s remained eight points behind on the third-quarter mark but with Aodhan Clabby in fine scoring form, they persevered with their challenge.

Although they brought the deficit down to two points (0-14 to 1-9) deep into second-half stoppage-time, this wasn’t enough to prevent their sixth defeat in just seven league matches.

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Dublin Adult Football League Division One: Kilmacud Crokes V Cuala – Dublingaa.ie – July 18 2019




CUALA 2-10 

By Daire Walsh 

Jamie Keenan split the posts six minutes into stoppage-time at Silver Park on Wednesday night to rescue a point for Cuala in a tense Adult Football League Division One encounter with Kilmacud Crokes.

When Kilmacud opened up a three-point cushion (1-13 to 2-7) on the hour mark, they looked set to earn their eighth victory of the current campaign. There was a final sting in the tail, however, as Keenan found the target either side of a Colum Sheanon effort to give the Dalkey men a share of the spoils.

Following a run of five straight defeats, Cuala will be relieved to garner a positive result out of their trip to Leopardstown. While they fielded without inter-county duo Con O’Callaghan and Michael Fitzsimons, the presence of Conor Mullally, Keenan and Niall O’Callaghan (Con’s brother) in their side was an undoubted bonus.

Likewise, Crokes were minus the experienced trio of Rory O’Carroll, Cian O’Sullivan and Paul Mannion – as well as their Dublin U20s contingent. There was still a considerable amount of quality throughout their side, including Offaly footballer Shane Horan.

The wing-forward is coming off the back of a productive debut season for the Faithful county and he opened the scoring with a third-minute point. After Cuala attacker Oisin Murphy fired past the upright, Horan grabbed his second score at the end of a fast-paced attack.

Both sides spurned a number of opportunities during the first-quarter – albeit in conditions that weren’t always conducive to a free-flowing style of football. Nevertheless, Cuala finally broke their duck through Cathal O’Giollain’s 14th-minute point and O’Callaghan was subsequently on hand to level matters for the visitors.

Yet, instead of galvanising the Cuala challenge, it was Crokes who discovered an extra gear as a consequence. Andy McGowan kicked a superb individual point from play and this was followed by another Horan single.

The reigning county champions then created substantial daylight between the teams when Cian O’Connor picked out the raiding Horan for an outstanding finish past Luke Kelly on 25 minutes. This scoring sequence continued with an impressive O’Connor point at a tight-angle, before O’Callaghan responded with his second of the half.

However, it was Crokes who had the final say prior to the interval – the lively Pádraig Puirséil finding the range to offer the hosts a 1-6 to 0-3 interval cushion. Having last tasted victory at home to Fingallians on May 25, it was looking decidedly ominous for Cuala.

This was Keenan’s cue to take the game by the scruff of the neck and within eight minutes of the restart, they had cut the gap to the bare minimum. A pointed free for the corner-forward got them up and running again and when O’Callaghan was taken down inside the square, he was tasked with the resulting penalty.

He calmly fired beyond the reach of David Nestor for their maiden goal of the contest and quickly raised another white flag off a placed-ball strike. Crokes were struggling to regain the impressive form of the opening period, but Ross O’Caroll’s fisted point appeared to give them some breathing space on 41 minutes.

Cuala were playing at their confident best, though, and O’Callaghan clinically rattled the net off their next attack to edged them in front for the first time. Traded scores between O’Connor and Mullally (free) meant they remained in the ascendancy on the third-quarter mark, only for Crokes to reclaim their attacking mojo.

Thanks to unanswered points courtesy of Horan, Puirséil and corner-back Aidan Jones, the Stillorgan outfit (jointly-managed by Johnny Magee and Robbie Brennan) were back in the driving seat with the final whistle in sight.

Even though Keenan made it a one-point game, Dan O’Brien and substitute AJ Duncan added their names to the scoresheet in quick succession at the opposite end. It wasn’t until the third-minute of time added on that Cuala issued a riposte – a Keenan free offering them a fresh glimmer of hope.

A Colum Sheanon point suddenly raised the spectre of a dramatic fightback and with the final kick of the tie, Keenan did the needful off his trusty left boot. Cuala will aim to build on this performance when they welcome Na Fianna to Hyde Park on July 27.

Kilmacud are also in action on the same evening – St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh providing the opposition at Martin Savage Park.

Scorers – Kilmacud Crokes: Shane Horan 1-4 (0-1f), Pádraig Puirséil, Cian O’Connor 0-2 each, Aidan Jones, Ross O’Carroll, Andy McGowan, Dan O’Brien, AJ Duncan 0-1 each. Cuala: Jamie Keenan 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-4f), Niall O’Callaghan 1-2, Conor Mullally (f), Colum Sheanon, Cathal O’Giollain 0-1 each.

KILMACUD CROKES: David Nestor; Nathan Nolan, Gavin English, Aidan Jones; Ross O’Carroll, Cillian O’Shea, Andy McGowan; Ben Shovlin, Niall Comerford; Shane Horan, Dan O’Brien, Jonathan Quinlan; Pádraig Puirséil, Stephen Williams, Cian O’Connor. Subs: Jeff Kenny for Comerford (43), AJ Duncan for O’Connor (46), Brendan Horan for Quinlan (57), Joe Kelly for Puirséil (63).

CUALA: Luke Kelly; Michael Conroy, Jack Flynn, John Fitzsimons; John Sheanon, Luke Treacy, Conor Mullally; Eoghan Breathnach, Brian Smith; James Power, Colum Sheanon, Oisin Murphy; Jamie Keenan, Cathal O’Giollain, Niall O’Callaghan. Subs: Dylan Treacy for Flynn (39), Rory McMahon for J Sheanon (61).

Referee: Paddy Kiernan (Naomh Olaf).

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Rugby Column Number 160: The Kildare Nationalist – July 16 2019


Dardis and Ireland still in Olympic contention

By Daire Walsh

IT proved to be a mixed weekend for the Irish men’s and women’s Sevens outfits in their quest for qualification to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Whereas the former kept their hopes alive with a third-place at Colomiers, the latter unfortunately crashed out at the quarter-final of their qualifier tournament in Kazan to eventual champions England. In addition to the winners securing an automatic spot in Tokyo, those who finished second and third respectively will get another opportunity to qualify via next summer’s World Rugby Repechage.

This means Naas native Billy Dardis may yet get a chance to represent Ireland – and the county of Kildare – in the Japanese capital. The former Newbridge College and Terenure College student was previously part of the squad who attempted to make the 2016 games in Rio De Janiero.

That ultimately ended in disappointment for the Green Army, but Dardis remains a pivotal member of the sevens programme three years down the line. Having failed to make a single competitive appearance at the senior grade, he was released by Leinster in 2017.

He has concentrated almost exclusively on his Ireland Sevens duties since then and even captained the side at the 2018 World Cup in San Francisco. It has been a busy year for Dardis & Co, but they enjoyed a dream start to their latest tournament with a 41-0 demolition of Ukraine at Stade Michel Bendichou.

Dardis bagged a try to supplement a brace of conversions and subsequently contributed 10 points in their next pool encounter – a 52-14 triumph at Russia’s expense. The athletic Jordan Conroy secured four tries in a devastating display and was also on target in their final preliminary showdown with Spain.

Dardis also crossed the whitewash, but a 17-17 stalemate was only enough to seal runners-up in Pool B. They comfortably advanced to the last-four with a comprehensive 21-0 win over Germany on Sunday, only for France to have their number in the penultimate round (19-12).

This ensured Ireland couldn’t book a seat to Tokyo in July 2019, though a 26-10 success against Portugal is enough to keep them in the frame. The Ireland women were perilously close to making the last Olympics – only just missing out in a Repechage Tournament held at UCD in June 2016.

They began Pool C of their tournament in Russia like a house on fire, comfortably dispatching the challenges posed by Romania (48-0) and Czech Republic (50-0). Yet, just like their male compatriots, a final pool meeting with Spain halted their progress.

Despite claiming a try through skipper Lucy Mulhall, they suffered a 19-5 reversal. This set-up a Sunday quarter-final against the English at the Central Stadium.

Hannah Tyrrell’s converted try gave Ireland a 7-5 interval cushion, but their arch rivals added 12 points without reply to storm into the next phase. Although this was a disappointing outcome for the squad, further wins over Romania (48-0) and Poland (33-5) propelled Stan McDowell’s side towards a credible fifth-place finish.

Meanwhile, there was good news for Athy’s Martin Moloney when it was confirmed during the week that he will be joining in the Leinster Academy for the 2019/20 season.

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Dublin Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Group Two: Ballyboden St Enda’s V Commercials – The Evening Herald – July 16 2019


Super sub’s second-half goals help the southsiders overcome Commercials to earn vital ‘A’ championship win




Daire Walsh

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S produced an outstanding second-half performance at Pairc Ui Murchu last Tuesday evening to book their spot in the Dublin Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship quarter-final at the expense of Commercials.

Trailing by two points at the break, the hosts looked set to fall short in their quest for a last eight spot. However, half-time substitute Ciaran Cashman re-ignited their challenge on the resumption and they ultimately earned a comprehensive win over the Collegeland outfit.

The dead-ball accuracy of Gearoid Keogh had initially offered Commercials a strong platform, but they struggled to contain ‘Boden’s impish attack as the action wore on. Heading into this contest, a single point separated the teams in the Group Two standings – the visitors holding a slender edge.

Following an opening round defeat to St Jude’s in Rathcoole, Commercials squeezed past the challenge of St Finian’s, Swords on May 5 (2-8 to 0-13). They subsequently shared the spoils with Cuala at the end of a compelling home encounter, before Fingallians had the measure of them at Lawless Park last month.

Despite being on the receiving end of three straight reversals, ‘Boden finally opened their account with a convincing 2-21 to 2-9 success against Finian’s.


This presented them with a realistic chance of joining Jude’s, Fingallians and Cuala in the knockout rounds, but their AHL4 opponents were not to be easily dismissed.

During a generally even opening period, Keogh converted a succession of frees to give Commercials some early encouragement at the Firhouse Road venue. Despite being selected at full-forward, it was an all-action display by Keogh.

He often dropped deep to make himself an outlet and drifted back into defence to cut out the potential danger of a ‘Boden attacking move. His partner on the inside line – Adam Drewett – was also making his presence felt.

He contributed a superb effort from open play as Commercials continued to take the game to the home team. Nevertheless, Aidan Dundon ensured ‘Boden stayed within touching distance, while centre-back Fergal Ryan provided solidity in a well-organised defence.

Commercials managed to hold out for a 0-8 to 0-6 interval cushion but, thanks in no small part to the fresh legs of Cashman, the tables were turned after the restart. In the space of four minutes, ‘Boden amassed 2-2 without reply to establish a firm foothold on the play.

Both goals fell the way of Cashman, who was one of several Colaiste Eanna alumni within the ‘Boden ranks. He finished the contest with 2-1 to his name, but it was another replacement who effectively sealed the win on the night.

Capitalising on a sweet Morris Nagle pass, Daniel Nugent superbly rattled Colin Martin’s net with a confident finish. It was turning into a damage limitation exercise for Commercials, though Cillian Crokes more than held his own in the face of considerable adversity.

In addition to the scoring exploits of Cashman, Nugent and Dundon (who contributed seven points), Neil Farrell, Liam McCarthy, Austin Lynch and Daniel O’Riordan also added their names to the scoresheet for the victorious Ballyboden. Results elsewhere saw them finishing third in the group and they will now face southside rivals Realt Dearg in the next phase of the competition.

Meanwhile, at nearby Ballycullen on the same evening, midfielder Sean O’Gorman fired over a point deep into stoppage-time to earn ‘Boden’s Junior ‘C’ outfit a hard-earned draw at the end of a scrappy championship affair with Na Gaeil Oga (0-12 apiece).

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S (squad): M Nolan; R Kirwan, C Flaherty, A Hand, D O’Sullivan, F Ryan, C McKeown, E McKenna, N Farrell, L McCarthy, A Lynch, D O’Riordan, M O’Sullivan, A Dundon, R Sharkey, E Gorman, A O’Connor, O Cannon, D Nugent, R Hester, M Nagle, C Cashman, C McDonnell, K Lawlor.

COMMERCIALS (squad): C Martin; K Jordan, G Dillon, J Morris, P Scanlon, M Frawley, C McCarthy, S McCarthy, C Crokes, C O Nualain, F Egan, M O’Leary, N Mooney, G Keogh, A Drewett, N Carroll, D Waters, C Cullinane, S Dungan, A Kilgallon, L Pouch, K Butler, D Madden, R Scott.

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Dublin Intermediate Hurling Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – July 16 2019

Isles join Crokes at top and Towers also progress


Daire Walsh

ERIN’S ISLE produced a dramatic finish last Wednesday to squeezed past Naomh Mearnog in a compelling Dublin Intermediate Hurling Championship Group Two encounter at Portmarnock.

Heading into second-half stoppage-time, the Finglas men were staring down the barrel of a second straight defeat in the third-tier competition. That was until they fired back with a brace of frees to edge over the line by the narrowest of margins (3-13 to 1-18).

Isles had kick-started their campaign with three consecutive wins, before Kilmacud Crokes got the better of them on their home patch on June 12. The Stillorgan men lost out to Parnell’s at Chanel on Wednesday (3-16 to 3-11), however, and this opened the door for the northsiders to go level on points at the summit.

Despite losing Shane Ryan to an early injury, Mearnog caused the visitors a host of problems. Dublin senior hurler Cian Hendricken was exerting his influence and they rattled the opposition net after capitalising on some defensive hesitancy.

Isles maintained their composure and an excellent Darren Hanlon three-pointer kept them within reach at the interval. Mearnog regained a stranglehold on the play by crowding out the middle-third.

This was before Isles bagged a brace of goals, Conor Carney’s powerful penalty supplementing a firm Fran Carroll strike. The hosts subsequently moved back into the ascendancy, but with Mickey Donoghue, Graeme Williams and Ian Fitzpatrick to the fore, Isles claimed the spoils.

Whilst Crokes stay in top spot, Isles can embark on the knockout rounds in fine spirits. The race for the remaining quarter-final places continues, with a 6-23 to 3-10 triumph for St Sylvester’s over Peregrine’s keeping them level on four points with Mearnog and Parnell’s.

On the opposite side of the competition, Round Tower Clondalkin recorded a 1-13 to 0-14 win against Clontarf at Monastery Road to confirm their status as Group One winners. Maur’s will also join them in the next phase following their 5-25 to 1-8 victory at the expense of Kevin’s in Rush.

Because Clontarf still have three games left to play, there is four-way tussle between themselves Kevin’s, St Mark’s and St Vincent’s in their respective quests for the last-eight.

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Dublin Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – July 16 2019

Jude’s remain unbeaten as they squeeze past Fingallians


Daire Walsh

ST BRIGID’S and St Jude’s maintained their unbeaten runs through the Dublin Junior ‘A’ Hurling Championship group stages with respective victories over Faughs and Fingallians last Tuesday.

With four wins under their belt in Group One, Brigid’s were expected to preserve their 100 per cent record when they faced Faughs at Tymon North. Despite both teams being assured of a knockout spot, there was an opportunity for the latter to leapfrog Realt Dearg into second place.

They remained in contention for much of the opening period, but it was Brigid’s who ultimately brought a 1-7 to 1-4 cushion into the break. Sean Brady, Brian Moran and Theo Cullinane stood out in defence as Karl Rogers and Jamie Winters amassed a combined tally of 0-15. Sean Keegan also chipped in with a point, while a brace from substitute Tiernan Gilvarry helped the Russell Park men to ease towards a commanding 1-19 to 1-8 triumph.

At Drimnagh Castle, Clanna Gael Fontenoy recorded a 2-19 to 2-15 success over the already qualified Realt Dearg. Elsewhere, Ballinteer St John’s came from behind to edge out Lucan Sarsfields on a scoreline of 3-14 to 2-14.

In Group Two, Jude’s hosted Fingallians to determine who would finish at the summit of the table. There was little to separate the sides on paper and it was nip and tuck throughout the course of the hour.

Colm O’Callaghan was in fine scoring form for the Templeogue outfit, for whom Stephen Dowling bagged a first-half goal. They found themselves trailing by a single point (2-8 to 1-10) at the midway stage, before eventually turning the tables on their Swords counterparts.

Jude’s had 11 different scorers on the night, including two points apiece for David O’Callaghan, Kevin Lahiff, Conor Nolan and goalkeeper Stephen Larkin. Yet, it was a Sean Wynne goal that was decisive in helping Jude’s to squeeze past the challenge of a spirited Fingallians (2-19 to 2-18).

In spite of their 2-13 to 0-14 reversal at the hands of St Finian’s, Swords in Ridgewood Park, Cuala will also advance into the next stage.

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Leinster U20 Football Championship Review: Dublin Manager Tom Gray – The Evening Herald – July 16 2019



Daire Walsh

FOLLOWING a ‘workmanlike’ performance in their semi-final triumph over Wexford last Tuesday evening, Dublin U-20 football supremo Tom Gray has quickly switched his focus to this Friday’s Leinster decider against Laois at O’Connor Park, Tullamore (throw-in 7.30pm).

The Sky Blues have eased their way through the province to date, overcoming the challenges of Longford and the Slaneysiders with a combined winning tally of 40 points.

However, they are expected to be put to the pin of their collar by the O’Moore County – impressive 1-13 to 0-7 victors over Meath in their semi-final clash.

“The performance on Tuesday was fairly workmanlike. We started well and didn’t really give Wexford any chance to challenge in the game.


“It was job done overall but there’s plenty of areas to improve. Which we will need to do for the final, because Laois are an outstanding team. We need to be at our best to beat them,” Gray remarked.

Whilst 10 different players have worked their way onto the scoring charts thus far, Naomh Maur’s Ciaran Archer has acted as the fulcrum in the Dublin attack.

Following his eye-catching 2-8 haul in the Longford game, the full-forward subsequently amassed 1-8 in their commanding 1-17 to 0-6 success at home to Wexford.

Gray has been delighted with Archer’s consistency throughout 2019 and hopes it can propel them towards a Leinster crown – which would be their first at this revamped grade.

“Ciaran has been scoring freely all year. His free-taking has been very solid. We’re very happy with how Ciaran has been progressing. We very much hope that he can continue that rich vein of form into the final.”

Despite being hot favourites to prevail, the recent meeting of the same counties in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship shows that Dublin simply can’t take anything for granted in Tullamore.

They will also be seeking to make amends for last year’s final reversal to Kildare, who went on to claim national glory with a thrilling display against Mayo at Croke Park.

A sizeable wide count in the Wexford game ensures there is scope for improvement heading into Friday’s tussle, but they will nevertheless be aiming for another blistering start.

Having registered 1-8 without reply in the first-quarter of their championship opener with Longford, they proceeded to establish a 0-9 to 0-2 interval cushion in Donnycarney last Tuesday.

With Laois high on confidence as a consequence of defeating the Royals, Gray’s men will look to hit the ground running once again.

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Dublin Senior ‘B’ Hurling Championship Round-Up: The Evening Herald – July 16 2019



Daire Walsh

NAOMH BARROG recorded a crucial win over Castleknock at Somerton Park last Wednesday to bolster their Dublin Senior ‘B’ Hurling Championship prospects.

Having begun the latest round of fixtures with just one victory to their name, the Kilbarrack men could ill-afford another slip-up in Group Two. Despite opening their campaign with a comprehensive defeat of Cuala, they subsequently suffered back-to-back reversals at the hands of Kilmacud Crokes and Naomh Olaf.

They found themselves level on points with the latter, with an almost identical score difference to boot. On the other hand, Castleknock entered the contest with three victories out of four and were virtually guaranteed a place in the knockout rounds already.


This didn’t temper their appetite for a battle as Luke Whelan, Liam Quinn, Cian Boyle and Niall O’Callaghan all found the target early on. Nonetheless, Cillian Costello’s free-taking got Barrog back into contention while Paul Garbutt also stood out.

Limerick native Seamus O’Carroll, O’Callaghan (two) and Jack Banks fired back for Castleknock, only for Barrog to push into overdrive. Following a storming end to the opening period, the visitors brought a 0-10 to 0-8 cushion into the break.

Castleknock regained control through Sean Ryan and O’Callaghan (another brace) on the restart, but Barrog proceeded to dominate the remainder of the action. In addition to Costello’s 10-point haul, Garbutt, Nathan Kidd and Niall Connolly also enjoyed strong contributions to a deserved 1-20 to 0-16 success.

Whilst Castleknock’s campaign has now come to an end, Barrog will next face Thomas Davis on August 14. Due to a succession of postponements, Davis’ still have three games left to play.

Kilmacud Crokes’ draw with the Kiltipper outfit (1-15 to 3-9) keeps them in top spot, with Castleknock, Cuala (1-19 to 2-9 victors against Olaf’s) and Barrog making up the rest of the top-four. In Group One, Ballyboden St Enda’s moved to pole position after receiving a walkover from St Patrick’s, Palmerstown.

However, they are currently level on points (eight) with Na Fianna – who will face St Pat’s at Glenauline Park on August 28. The Glasnevin side made it four consecutive wins at St Mobhi Road, edging past the challenge of Scoil Ui Chonaill on a scoreline of 1-15 to 0-16.

Aaron Jesson was scorer-in-chief for Na Fianna with eight points, but David Murtagh’s 1-2 salvo also proved decisive. Paul O’Dea and Michael Farrell also made their way onto the scoresheet as the hosts held off the spirited display by the Clontarf Road crew.

Elsewhere, Crumlin registered a 3-15 to 0-17 triumph at the expense of Raheny in St Anne’s Park to comfortably secure a top-four placing.

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Dublin Minor Football League Division One Round-Up: The Evening Herald – July 16 2019

Sylvester’s keep up the chase


Daire Walsh

ST SYLVESTER’S moved to within two points of the Minor Football League Division One summit with a convincing 2-19 to 0-6 win over Na Fianna at St Mobhi Road last Wednesday evening.

While Lucan Sarsfields and Castleknock remain out in front courtesy of the seven wins they have accumulated to date, tension is expected to build for the remaining two rounds of fixtures on July 21 and 24 respectively. Following a narrow defeat to Lucan on June 23, Syls returned to winning ways at home to Skerries Harps a week later.

This placed them in high spirits on their return to competitive fare and thanks to the supreme accuracy of Sean Guiden (son of former Dublin footballer Niall), they moved six points in front on the stroke of 15 minutes. Guiden finished the contest with an outstanding haul of 1-12 – which included frees, ’65’s, a penalty and a superb point from the sideline.

He also made his presence felt in opening play, combining to great effect with Sean Murphy and Darragh McLoughney throughout the course of the contest. The Malahide men also enjoyed scoring contributions via Jack Boyne, Nathan Geraghty, Kieran O’Donnell and midfielder Sean Gibson.

Na Fianna struggled to tie down the Syls attack and with the visitors dipping into their reserve options, they continued to prosper. Tom Bennett, Alex Smith and Ciaran McLoughney were assured in defence on the night, but the Broomfield outfit will quickly switch their attention to Sunday morning’s showdown with Kilmacud Crokes.

Eager for a response to their recent reversal at the hands of Ballinteer St John’s, Lucan comfortably dispatched the challenge of Skerries Harps at 12th Lock (2-22 to 1-7). It was a much closer affair at St Anne’s Park, though Castleknock ultimately squeezed past Clontarf on a final scoreline of 2-12 to 0-15.

Ballyboden St Enda’s are also breathing down the necks of the top-two as they recorded a commanding 4-18 to 1-16 success against St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh at Pairc Ui Murchu. They currently lie in third-place – a single point adrift of Lucan and Castleknock.

Elsewhere, Ballinteer continued their impressive form with a seven-point triumph (2-10 to 1-6) over St Vincent’s at Marley Park. On Thursday night at Silver Park, Kilmacud were 5-22 to 0-8 winners against Thomas Davis.

Posted in Gaelic Football | Comments Off on Dublin Minor Football League Division One Round-Up: The Evening Herald – July 16 2019