AFL DIV. 1 & 2 ROUNDUP – 18TH AUGUST
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE & DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: AUGUST 18
By Daire Walsh
As a result of their 2-12 to 1-15 draw at Pairc Ciceam on Saturday evening, both Ballymun Kickhams and Ballinteer St John’s have moved a step closer to securing their safety in Division One of the Adult Football League.
While their campaigns are further advanced than basement side Castleknock – they have played 11 games, as opposed to 12 and 13 for ‘Mun and Ballinteer respectively – there is also the prospect of them shooting up the table with a positive conclusion to the 2018 league season.
With the sides tied at six points apiece during the break, a sharing of the spoils always looked on the cards. Traded goals on the resumption kept them on level terms, before ‘Mun finally created some daylight with a 49th-minute major.
They looked set to hold out when they led 2-12 to 1-12 two minutes from the end of normal time – only for Gail Dunne’s men to register three late points in quick succession. Ballymun will make a swift return to action tomorrow evening (August 22) at home to the aforementioned Castleknock – which precedes additional fixtures for Barney Rock’s outfit against St Brigid’s and St Jude’s.
Ballinteer are due to meet St Vincent’s and Lucan Sarsfields – when they will be hoping to add to the three wins (and four draws) they have accumulated thus far.
Joining the southsiders and ‘Mun on 10 points are St Sylvester’s, after they held out for a 2-13 to 2-10 success over Naomh Maur at Broomfield. Despite edging ahead in the opening exchanges, the combined forces of Chris Carthy and Ciaran Archer helped Maur’s to settle.
They created a four-point lead on the first-quarter, before Syls rallied to bring a 1-7 to 0-8 cushion into the interval. A second goal for the hosts threatened to kill off the Maur’s challenge, but the Rush men levelled matters on 55 minutes (2-10 each) with a scoring burst of their own.
Syls were not to be denied a precious victory, though, as three point on the bounce squeezed them over the line. They will visit Lucan Sarsfields in their final game of the regular season, while Maur’s host Cuala – who are just behind them on score difference in seventh place – on a date that is yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, in AFL2, Skerries Harps returned to the top-four courtesy of a dogged 0-13 to 0-11 triumph at the expense of Naomh Mearnog at Portmarnock.
This result consequently moved their opponents down to sixth, where they find themselves behind Ballyboughal – who were on the receiving end of a 3-16 to 1-14 home defeat to Scoil Ui Chonaill. Following a run of three games without a win – they drew with Ballyboughal at the beginning of August – Skerries were eager to re-discover their impressive early season form.
Stephen Smith and underage star Killian McGinnis contributed two points apiece in a tight and tense opening half, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Mearnog developing a slender interval cushion (0-5 to 0-4).
After the home team stretched their lead out to three points on the restart, the dependable Harry Dawson pegged them back with a brace of long-distance frees. Though this settled the Skerries nerves, Mearnog were two points to the good – 0-11 to 0-9 – with five minutes of normal time.
It was at this point, however, that the Harps challenge truly came to life. Dawson and substitute Ciaran Murphy levelled matters in the nick of time, and this supplemented by a fourth score of the proceedings from the former.
He was subsequently joined on 0-4 by McGinnis, who fisted over at the end of a swift counter-attack to guide Skerries towards a crucial triumph. In addition to the scoring contributions of Dawson, McGinnis, Stephen Smith (0-3) and Donnacha Reilly (0-1), Eoghan McGinley produced a stellar performance for the visitors at midfield.
Although the three teams above them have a game in hand, Skerries have a play-off spot within their grasp ahead of a forthcoming encounter with Clontarf at Townparks.