AFL DIV. 1 ROUNDUP – 25TH MARCH
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP (MARCH 25)
By Daire Walsh
With two rounds played in this season’s Adult Football League Division One, St Jude’s and St Vincent’s are setting the pace alongside an in-form Ballyboden St Enda’s.
Comprehensive victories over Ballymun Kickhams and Na Fianna ensures that ‘Boden have maximum points heading into their 9 May clash with Naomh Olaf. It is a similar case for their southside rivals Jude’s – who edged a low-scoring affair against Naomh Maur at Tymon North on Sunday morning.
Following their own success at the expense of Na Fianna in mid-February, the Wellington Lane men were eager to impress on their home turf. A Ronan Joyce goal was supplemented by Niall Coakley’s 0-4 haul, giving Jude’s a strong platform for much of the contest.
Simon King, Declan Donnelly, Seamus Ryan, Paul Cunningham and Tom Devlin were all on target over the course of the hour – as the hosts finished with three points to spare (1-9 to 2-3). Vincent’s made the journey to the Army grounds in Phoenix Park on the same day for a meeting with St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh, which ended in a convincing 3-12 to 0-7 win for the Marino side.
Former county star Tomás Quinn set-up Cormac Diamond for a well-worked three-pointer, before adding a second goal himself prior to the interval. With all of nine points (2-4 to 0-1) separating the teams at the break, Vinnies looked set to compliment their opening day victory against St Sylvester’s.
Plunkett’s worked their way back into contention courtesy of fine scores by Ross McConnell and Gareth ‘Nesty’ Smith, before Gavin Burke played through Mayo native Enda Varley for a game-clinching third goal.
It was a damage limitation exercise for Plunkett’s in the closing moments, and they leaked further points to Fiachra Breathnach and Luke Sheehy.
This result leaves Vinnies just behind ‘Boden on score difference, but in front of the aforementioned Jude’s.
Elsewhere, Kilmacud Crokes welcomed back Paul Mannion for their commanding 1-18 to 0-12 victory over Ballymun Kickhams at Santry Avenue. Now fully recovered from a hamstring injury that had ruled him out of Dublin’s recent fixtures in the Allianz League, the current All-Star played 50 minutes in Crokes’ second game of the campaign.
They played out a draw with St Brigid’s in their previous encounter (1-9 apiece), but never looked in danger of dropping points in this outing. Four points apiece by Dublin underage star Tom Fox and Mark Vaughan offered the Glenalbyn brigade a firm stranglehold on the procceedings, while Mannion, Craig Dias, Shane Horan, Shane Cunningham, Ross McGowan, Pat Burke and Brian Kavanagh also got their names on the scoresheet.
Crokes are joined on three points by Castleknock and Lucan Sarsfields, after they played out a 1-7 to 0-10 draw at Somerton Park. They just trail Thomas Davis on score differential, following the Tallaght team’s 4-10 to 0-11 win against St Sylvester’s at Kiltipper Road.
Meanwhile, Cuala and Naomh Olaf recorded their first wins of 2018 at the expense of Ballinteer St John’s and St Brigid’s respectively. Cuala came through a titanic battle with John’s by the slenderest of margins (3-9 to 2-11) at Hyde Park, whereas Olaf’s triumphed on a scoreline of 3-7 to 0-4 in an away encounter with Brigid’s.