AFL DIV. 2 ROUNDUP – 9TH MAY
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: MAY 9
By Daire Walsh
Skerries Harps and Templeogue Synge Street continued their unbeaten starts to Division Two of the Adult Football League with respective victories against Fingallians and St Mary’s, Saggart on Wednesday evening.
Following their demotion to the second-tier – as a result of a relegation play-off defeat to Cuala – Skerries have their sights set on an automatic return to the top-flight this year. While it is too early to make a final judgement on each club, third wins on the trot currently sets them out as the team to beat.
Already emboldened by opening round successes over O’Toole’s and Scoil Ui Chonaill, Harps confidently approached their latest assignment at Lawless Park. They hit the ground running against the Swords outfit, with four unanswered points (including a spectacular effort by Jack Smith) offering them a foothold in the game.
However, after Fingallians pounced for a 13th-minute goal, they built momentum for the remainder of the half. When the half-time whistle sounded, the hosts were six points to the good (2-6 to 0-6).
This threw down the gauntlet to Skerries, but they responded with a clinical second period performance. The introduction of underage star Cillian McGinnis proved to be a shrewd move by the Harps management, as his 1-2 haul helped to turn the tide in his side’s favour.
With a four-point buffer at their disposal on the hour mark, Skerries looked set to ease over the line. Yet, courtesy of a third Fingallians goal in the closing stages, the final outcome was still in doubt.
The visitors kept their composure under pressure, though, and Ciaran Murphy found the net at the opposite end to provide Skerries with a final cushion of 3-16 to 3-12.
With 3-10 garnered from 14 shots on goal after the break, it was a highly economical display by the divisional pace-setters. They lead Templeogue at the summit of the table by a single point, with five teams in joint-third place after the week’s excursions.
Eager to build on their last-gasp draw away to Whitehall Colmcille on March 25th, Templeogue hosted Mary’s at Dolphin Park. With five goals already accumulated in their opening two fixtures (they triumphed over St Patrick’s, Palmerstown at the start of the campaign), TSS once again had the midas touch in attack.
Courtesy of three-pointers by Ger Vickery, Cathal Morley and Conor McKiernan, they brought a 3-1 to 0-2 buffer into the interval. Despite the best efforts of a gallant Saggart side, the home team remained in control on the resumption.
In addition to Vickery’s final tally of 1-5, county panellist Killian O’Gara (younger brother of Eoghan) registered a brace of points. Kevin Hughes and Colm O Murchu (’45’) were also on target, while a second Morley goal rounded off a 4-9 to 0-11 win for the southsiders.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Scoil Chonaill and Round Tower Clondalkin opened their league accounts for 2018 with morale-boosting wins over Whitehall Colmcille (1-21 to 2-10) and Clontarf (3-8 to 1-13). There was also a maiden success for St Anne’s – who had four points to spare at home to Naomh Mearnog, 2-8 to 0-10.
Ahead of their meeting at Rolestown on Saturday week (May 19), Fingal Ravens kept up the heat on Templeogue by the getting the better of Na Fianna ‘B’ on a scoreline of 2-10 to 1-10.
Raheny bounced back from a round two defeat to Clontarf by overcoming the stern challenge of O’Toole’s at St Anne’s Park (1-12 to 1-10) and it was also a productive night for Ballyboughal at Glenauline Park. They recorded a 2-12 to 0-15 victory against St Pat’s, Palmerstown.