AFL DIV. 2 ROUNDUP – 25TH MARCH
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: MARCH 25
By Daire Walsh
Following their respective victories on Sunday morning, Skerries Harps, Clontarf and Naomh Mearnog have established themselves as the early pace-setters in Division Two of the Adult Football League.
With maximum points from the opening two rounds, the northside trio are just ahead of Whitehall Colmcille and Templeogue Synge Street in the second-tier table – after they played out an entertaining draw at Collins Avenue.
Skerries – who had 11 points to spare (2-13 to 0-8) over O’Toole’s at Blunden Drive in mid-February – played host to a Scoil Ui Chonaill side that were searching for their maiden win of 2018. Although their Clontarf Road opponents were competitive for large spells, Skerries entered the interval with a six-point interval buffer.
Donal McIlgorm and Kevin Gilmore raised green flags for Harps during the opening period and maintained a same distance between themselves and Scoil after the break. They ultimately secured a comprehensive 2-13 to 0-10 victory, as they aim to make a swift return to Division One.
Clontarf also suffered relegation at the end of a difficult 2017 campaign, but a hard-earned success against Scoil Ui Chonaill got them up and running in round one. They faced Raheny in another local derby at St Anne’s Park on Sunday.
Despite fielding without the injured Jack McCaffrey (Raheny duo Brian Fenton and Brian Howard featured for Dublin in their Allianz League defeat to Monaghan), former Dublin minor Kevin Lillis enjoyed another productive outing.
His second goal in as many games helped ‘Tarf to develop a 1-7 to 0-2 lead at the midway point. Though Raheny found a way back into contention on the resumption, they eventually succumbed to a 0-7 to 1-9 reversal.
Skerries and Clontarf currently occupy the top-two places in the division – just in front of Naomh Mearnog on score difference. The Portmarnock side followed up their opening day triumph at the expense of Fingallians by registering a 1-13 to 1-7 win at the expense of Round Tower Clondalkin.
Meanwhile, a late surge by Templeogue Synge Street ensured they shared the spoils with Whitehall. The hosts looked set to maintain their winning start to the league when they led by five points in the closing stages of their contest.
However, with Sky Blues star Eoghan O’Gara (who was playing alongside his brother Killian) leading by example, Templeogue refused to thrown in the towel. Moving into stoppage-time, a Ger Vickery goal restored parity (2-11 to 1-14) for the southside outfit in timely fashion.
The newly-promoted Ballyboughal got the better of St Anne’s – 1-19 to 2-9 – on their home turf, while Fingal Ravens and St Patrick’s Palmerstown edged past St Mary’s Saggart (1-14 to 0-13) and Na Fianna (2-11 to 2-10) respectively.
Elsewhere, Fingallians bounced back from their previous loss to Mearnog by defeating O’Toole’s on a scoreline of 4-13 to 3-7. Niall Tormey, TJ Howard, Brian Waller and Donall Keane all found the net in a convincing victory for the Swords side.