AFL DIV. 1 ROUNDUP – 9TH MAY
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: MAY 9
By Daire Walsh
Thanks to a gutsy victory over Naomh Olaf at Pairc Ui Bhriain on Wednesday night, Ballyboden St Enda’s join St Vincent’s at the summit of the Adult Football League Division One table.
Following impressive triumphs against Ballymun Kickhams and Na Fianna, ‘Boden were intent on maintaining their 100% success rate in this year’s league. Whereas Vincent’s enjoyed a comprehensive win at home to Castleknock, the 2016 champions had just three points to spare (1-15 to 1-12) at the end of a tough encounter with Olaf’s in Sandyford.
Their May 19th clash with Kilmacud Crokes will test their top-flight title credentials, as well as offering them a potential shot at redemption. When the two teams met in the Group One of the Senior Club Championship at Parnell Park last month, it was Crokes who came out on top (3-12 to 1-11).
Indeed, thanks in no small part to the scoring prowess of Stephen Williams and Cian O’Connor, the Stillorgan men (jointly-managed by Johnny Magee and Robbie Brennan this year) overcame the stern challenge of Thomas Davis at Silver Park.
After an encouraging round one stalemate with Ballinteer St John’s, Davis’ subsequently defeated St Sylvester’s by 4-10 to 0-11 at the end of March. They certainly arrived in the Leopardstown venue intent on continuing their unbeaten start to the league and kept Crokes on their toes for large strands of the contest.
However, with Williams’ 2-3 haul backed up by a 1-1 salvo from O’Connor, Crokes remained in the driving seat. Dan O’Brien, Tom Fox, Pat Burke and Callum Pearson were also on target, ensuring the holders are just one point adrift of both Vinnies and ‘Boden in third place.
A superior scoring average helps Crokes to edge in front of Lucan Sarsfields, who recorded a 2-10 to 0-11 win over St Jude’s at 12th Lock. While they have only conceded 1-24 in their three games to date, Lucan have more than enough firepower to keep themselves in contention for the top prize.
Na Fianna and Ballymun Kickhams are still searching for their maiden wins of the league season, after they played out an entertaining draw (1-17 to 2-14 respectively) at St Mobhi Road. It is a similar scenario for Ballinteer, who couldn’t be separated from St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh at Marley Park – 1-14 to 3-8.
John’s suffered an agonising one-point reversal to Cuala in the last round – and the Dalkey men had similar joy away to St Sylvester’s. 1-14 to 1-13 the final scoreline.
Their Malahide counterparts are now rooted to the bottom of the table as a result, but a commanding 2-14 to 2-6 triumph at the expense of St Brigid’s lifts Naomh Maur into 11th position.