AHL DIV. 1 ROUNDUP – 11TH MARCH
ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: MARCH 11
By Daire Walsh
On a weekend when adverse weather conditions once again brought a series of games to a halt, Ballyboden St Enda’s and Na Fianna were the big winners in Division One of the Adult Hurling League.
Though the snow had been cleared by the end of the week, heavy rain (and the aftermath of Storm Emma) ensured that the top-flight clash between St Jude’s and Kilmacud Crokes at Tymon North was postponed. Additionally, the proposed meeting of Craobh Chiarain and Faughs at Clonshaugh will now also be played on a later date.
However, ‘Boden’s home encounter with O’Toole’s went ahead as planned – and Joe Fortune’s side maintained their 100% start to the league at Pairc Ui Murchu. They had seen off the challenge of St Vincent’s two weeks earlier, when a strong first-half performance paved the way for a five-point success – 1-15 to 0-13 – in Marino.
They managed to hit the ground running in their round two fixture courtesy of a David O’Connor point, after Dublin goalkeeper Conor Dooley had made the initial hard yards. Dooley (a regular outfield operator at club level) subsequently found the net for a rampant ‘Boden, who were able to call on the services of past and present county stars like Malachy Travers, Simon Lambert and Niall McMorrow.
Thanks to further goals from Lambert and Paul Doherty, they developed a comprehensive interval lead of 3-10 to 0-8. Inspired by the dependable Michael Carton, O’Toole’s produced a much-improved display after the break.
Yet, following a fourth ‘Boden major courtesy of Conor McCormack, the outcome was effectively placed beyond doubt. Conor Robinson was an assured presence in defence throughout for the hosts, launching a series of attacks for his forward line.
O’Toole’s persevered with their challenge in the closing moments, but with the experienced Lambert continuing to impress, ‘Boden eased towards another commanding triumph. Their next game in Division One will be a 5 May showdown at 12th Lock against Lucan Sarsfields, who are aiming to bounce back from their reversal to Na Fianna on Sunday.
While this was Lucan’s opening game of the year, Na Fianna had already claimed the spoils away to O’Toole’s at the end of February. Excellent defensive showings by Sean Burke and Conor Kelly largely kept the Lucan attack at bay in St Mobhi Road.
They were equally adept at the opposite end of the field, where Gavin King finished with 0-7 to his name. Fourth points by the ever-reliable Sean Currie helped the home team to keep the scoreboard ticking over, and general accuracy in front of the posts was the key to a successful outing for the northside club.
Eoghan McHugh and Sean Murphy also contributed goals in either half, giving Na Fianna an 11-point buffer (2-15 to 0-10) at the end of the hour.
They have the same scoring average as ‘Boden after two games (+21), with the defending champions just ahead of them at because of the 5-34 they have accumulated to date (in contrast to 3-30 for Na Fianna).
Meanwhile, Crumlin and St Vincent’s picked up their first points of the campaign in an entertaining clash at Pearse Park. Despite finding the net over the course of the action, Vinnies were on level terms with their opponents by the end of the play – 1-15 to 0-18.