AFL DIV. 1 MATCH REPORT: ST. VINCENTS V THOMAS DAVIS
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE
ST VINCENT’S 1-17
THOMAS DAVIS 0-13
By Daire Walsh
St Vincent’s moved three points clear at the top of the Adult Football League Division One table with a seven-point triumph over Thomas Davis at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn on Saturday evening.
They were made to work for their win by the visitors from Kiltipper Road, who began the night in fourth place after a string of impressive performances in recent times. Despite missing a host of chances over the course of the contest, Davis’ found themselves just two points adrift in the closing stages.
A 1-1 salvo by substitute Rian McBride offered Vins a vital edge, however, and former county star Tomas Quinn ultimately put the seal on their latest league victory with his sixth point of the proceedings.
They have kept defending champions Kilmacud Crokes and Ballyboden St Enda’s at bay for much of the season, but Vins nevertheless entered the play as a highly-motivated outfit. A recent 1-15 to 1-14 defeat against Lucan Sarsfields ended a five-game unbeaten run – which stretched back to June 27.
While Davis’ were hoping to record a fourth win on the bounce, the Marino hit the ground running in a determined fashion. Following a deadlock-breaking free by Quinn, full-forward Adam Baxter opened his account with a neat point from play.
This was quickly supplemented by another Quinn placed-ball effort, before marauding wing-back Gavin Burke played a neat one-two with corner-forward Cian O’Brien – and blazed over a fourth consecutive Vins point.
Although they initially struggled with the quick movement of their forward line, Davis’ eventually found their feet. Mark Nolan’s point on the run gave them some breathing space and a neat loop pass from the impressive Cian Murphy set-up Ciaran Farrelly for their second score in succession.
Vins restored order through a Lorcan Galvin point on the first-quarter mark – though the raiding half-forward had goal on his mind as he made his way towards the target. Davis’ inside man Sean Reilly had an earlier strike comfortably turned away by Michael Savage, but there was a definite rise in their performance levels as the half wore on.
Farrelly’s second of the opening period got the Tallaght side back into the groove and he was subsequently joined on the scoresheet by Reilly. Yet, a series of wayward shots (they had 10 wides in total during the first-half) ensured that Vins remained in the ascendancy.
Back-to-back points courtesy of Westmeath’s Lorcan Smyth and Quinn (free) allowed them to create further daylight between the teams. Moving towards the break, Davis’ centre-back Eoin Kirby showed the forwards how to do it with a brace of outstanding points.
Quinn’s superb cross-field delivery provided O’Brien with a routine tap over, only for Ryan Deegan to reduce the Vins lead to the bare minimum (0-8 to 0-7) in time for the break.
They were aiming to build further momentum on the resumption, and excellent build-up play help to create a number of additional scoring opportunities. Five consecutive wides prevented them from restoring parity, though, and Vins eventually took advantage in the form of a second Smyth point.
In a similar vein to the influential Kirby, Davis’ custodian Robbie Crilly then stepped up to the mark to get his side back on track. Tenacious attacking play produced two ‘45’s in the 40th and 42nd minutes, both of which resulted in points for the composed Crilly.
This threw down the gauntlet to Vins once more, but they responded in typically assertive style. The in-form Baxter enhanced his personal tally with a two-point salvo and Quinn registered his first from open play to give Brian Mullins’ outfit significant leeway.
Another Deegan single briefly halted the Vincent’s charge, but the hosts looked set to claim the spoils when Quinn and Baxter frees opened up a four-point cushion. Indeed, after Murphy’s first of the day was cancelled out at the opposite end by Cormac Diamond, they remained in a commanding position.
Davis’ were not prepared to throw in the towel just yet, and two points in the space of 60 seconds – courtesy of substitute Joey Reilly and the outstanding Deegan – left them with a fighting chance of success.
However, in the final minute of normal time, Vincent’s put the tie to bed. At the end of a prolonged attack, Burke released McBride (a 53rd-minute replacement for Smyth) for a rolled finish beyond the reach of Crilly.
With his tail now up, McBride preceded a white flag effort by the ever-reliable Quinn with a fine point in second-half stoppage-time.
Vincent’s will now complete their regular season campaign with another home game against Ballinteer St John’s, while Davis’ will seek to retain their play-off spot when they meet Ballyboden St Enda’s at Pairc Ui Murchu.
Scorers – St Vincent’s: Tomas Quinn 0-6 (4f), Adam Baxter 0-4 (1f, 1 ’45’), Rian McBride 1-1, Lorcan Smyth 0-2, Gavin Burke, Lorcan Galvin, Cormac Diamond, Cian O’Brien 0-1 each. Thomas Davis: Ryan Deegan 0-3, Robbie Crilly (2 ’45’), Eoin Kirby, Ciaran Farrelly 0-2 each, Cian Murphy, Mark Nolan, Sean Reilly, Joey Reilly 0-1 each.
ST VINCENT’S: Michael Savage; Eddie Duffy, Fiachra Breathnach, James McCusker; Gavin Burke, Ger Brennan, Sean Lambe; Eamonn Fennell, Daithi Murphy; Cormac Diamond, Lorcan Smyth, Lorcan Galvin; Cian O’Brien, Adam Baxter, Tomas Quinn. Subs: Tiernan Diamond for O’Brien, Michael Concarr for Breathnach (both 41), Sean O’Meara for Murphy (49), Rian McBride for Smyth (53).
THOMAS DAVIS: Robbie Crilly; Eoin Lambert, Gavin Carruth, Josh Lambert; Cian Murphy, Eoin Kirby, David Keogh; Eamon Conroy, Brendan Kirby, Mark Nolan, Jim Whyte, Ryan Deegan; Ciaran Farrelly, Adam Fallon, Sean Reilly. Subs: Sean Farrelly for Whyte (39), Peter Boland for Conroy (50), Chris Galvin for Nolan (55), Joey Reilly for S Reilly (57).
Referee: Dave Feeney (Parnell’s).