AFL DIV. 1 ROUNDUP – 6TH JUNE
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: JUNE 6
By Daire Walsh
Kilmacud Crokes moved up to second place in the Adult Football League Division One table with a comprehensive 3-19 to 1-9 victory over neighbours Naomh Olaf at Pairc Ui Bhriain on Wednesday night.
While they still trail table-toppers St Vincent’s – who narrowly defeated St Brigid’s last Tuesday week to maintain their 100% record in the competition – by three points, the defending champions are keeping themselves in the hunt for top honours.
Following their recent reversal to Na Fianna at Silver Park, the Stillorgan men (jointly-managed by Johnny Magee and Robbie Brennan) were seeking a return to winning ways in round six of the league. They faced an Olaf’s side that had secured back-to-back triumphs against St Jude’s and Ballymun Kickhams in their previous encounters – to go alongside an earlier success over St Brigid’s.
Despite being without the likes of Paul Mannion and Cian O’Sullivan for the short journey to Sandyford, there was a nice blend of youth and experience to the Crokes line-up. When Dublin last faced Longford in the Leinster Senior Football Championship in 2015, Brian Kavanagh kicked five points for the latter.
While he won’t be featuring for the O’Farrell county against the Sky Blues this weekend, he played a prominent role for Crokes in their latest competitive outing. With 0-7 to his name over the course of the hour, Kavanagh finished the game as scorer-in-chief.
However, with Mark Vaughan, Callum Pearson and Dara Mullen all contributing three points apiece, Crokes had a strong spread of scorers on the night. In addition to Shane Cunningham’s two-goal salvo, Conor Casey also rattled the back of the Olaf’s net in a commanding win for the holders.
They have now leap-frogged Ballyboden St Enda’s in the top-tier table, after they suffered an agonising 2-17 to 1-19 reversal at the hands of Lucan Sarsfields at 12th Lock. ‘Boden were well on course for a fifth league victory of 2018 when they led 1-9 to 0-8 at the midway point in the contest.
Yet, thanks to a well-worked goal from Brendan Gallagher on the resumption, Lucan brought themselves back into the reckoning. Sean Newcombe subsequently added an equalising point, before the decisive score of the game also fell the way of Sarsfields.
Excellent approach work by Paul Casey set-up an opportunity for his former inter-county team-mate Stephen O’Shaughnessy – who coolly slotted home to provide Lucan with a two-point cushion (2-11 to 1-12).
‘Boden remained in contention during a nail-biting conclusion to the action, but the home team prevailed in the end.
Elsewhere, Ballymun Kickhams recovered from a six-point interval deficit to claim a morale-boosting victory against Naomh Maur at Rush. With Conor McGuinness, Ciaran Archer and Chris Carthy in flying form, Maur’s led 2-7 to 1-4 at the break.
‘Mun kicked into gear after the restart, though – a powerful scoring blitz ultimately leaving them with seven points to spare (3-11 to 2-7) against their northside rivals.
Cuala and Na Fianna, meanwhile, progressed up the table as a result of their respective triumphs over St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh (2-13 to 3-7) and Thomas Davis (2-12 to 2-11). It was also a successful evening at Broomfield for St Sylvester’s – who emerged on the right side of a 1-14 to 0-7 scoreline against basement side Castleknock.