ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP
ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP:
By Daire Walsh
Ballinteer St John’s continue to lead the way in Division One of the Adult Football League after they recorded a 3-12 to 0-11 triumph over St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh at Martin Savage Park on Wednesday evening.
On the opening weekend of the season, Ballinteer had stated their intentions for a the year with a magnificent eight-point victory (3-11 to 0-12) at the expense of Thomas Davis in Marley Park. Narrow successes followed against Skerries Harps and Cuala in the past two rounds and they maintained their perfect start to the campaign in spectacular fashion.
They are currently one point ahead of both Ballyboden St Enda’s and Kilmacud Crokes – who played out an entertaining draw at Pairc Ui Murchu on March 3 (1-10 apiece). Either side of that tussle, the southside rivals have been imperious.
Crokes had the measure of Thomas Davis on Kiltipper Road (4-8 to 1-12) yesterday, whereas Ballyboden were comprehensive winners in their encounter with neighbours Templeogue Synge Street.
Despite being placed under pressure for large stretches of the opening period – Killian O’Gara was prominent for TSS – ‘Boden earned the spoils on a scoreline of 2-15 to 0-8.
Meanwhile, defending champions St Vincent’s remain in the hunt for a second consecutive title as a result of their 4-13 to 2-10 triumph over Fingallians at Lawless Park. The Swords venue served Vins well for their Championship bow against St Brigid’s last month and they kept themselves in the mix with a third win in just four games.
There was disappointment for a previously unbeaten Lucan Sarsfields at Tymon Park – where 2018 county championship finalists were commanding 1-18 to 1-7 winners. It had been a mixed start to the league for Na Fianna, but they found their best form for last night’s trip to Pairc Ciceam.
Facing a Ballymun Kickhams side that was short a number of inter-county regulars, they emerged with six points to spare (2-18 to 3-9). Following recent draws with Na Fianna and Templeogue Synge Street, St Brigid’s finally registered their first win at home to Naomh Maur.
Philip Ryan has been a fulcrum in the Brigid’s attack for a number of seasons and he bagged an outstanding haul of 2-3 in the first half at Russell Park. Collie Carr, Sean Murray, Lorcan McCarthy, Cian Mullins and Alan Daly also found the range to give the hosts a 2-8 to 0-8 interval buffer.
Whilst Maur’s persisted with their challenge when the play resumed, Jack Mullins and Sean Clarke largely stood firm in defence. McCarthy and Ryan continued to enhance their personal tallies, before Carr’s clinical goal in the closing-quarter helped Brigid’s to claim a 3-13 to 1-13 success.
At Hyde Park, Killian McGinnis once again came up trumps for Skerries Harps in their tantalising showdown with Cuala. McGinnis recently kicked a dramatic late point to give Skerries a Senior Championship victory over Clontarf and he split the posts deep into stoppage-time last night to secure a hard-earned point for his side (1-10 each).
A Steven Smith goal – via Donal McIlgorm’s powerful run – offered Skerries early leeway, until Cuala rallied to lead 1-6 to 1-2 at the break. Indeed, the Dalkey outfit retained their four-point cushion for large stages of the second period and looked set to emerge with their second win of the campaign.
Yet, there proved to be a final twist to the tale. After the reliable Ciaran Murphy kicked three pointed frees in succession, McGinnis restored parity with another place-ball effort.
There was enough time for Skerries to launch a final attack, but Cuala dug deep to ensure they weren’t on the receiving end of an agonising defeat.