ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP
ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: MAY 29
By Daire Walsh
Faughs maintained their unbeaten start to life in Division Two of the Adult Hurling League with a hard-earned 0-19 to 0-15 victory over Setanta on Wednesday night.
Having recorded four consecutive wins prior to visiting Club Teach Setanta, the Wellington Lane outfit were expected to push on against the hosts. Setanta’s sole triumph to date came on the opening weekend against Erin’s Isle – a 1-16 to 1-12 win in Finglas.
They also shared the spoils with Thomas Davis at Kiltipper Road on March 24, however, making them a dangerous proposition for Faughs. Though it proved to be a tight and tense contest for the most part, Faughs eventually prevailed to remain at the summit of the table.
Breathing down their necks at the moment are O’Toole’s and St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh, who had the measure of Erin’s Isle and Thomas Davis in their respective fixtures. Like Faughs, O’Toole’s were relegated from the top-flight at the end of 2018.
They have also enjoyed a 100% success rate to date, but the postponement of an earlier meeting with Naomh Olaf means the Blunden Drive men have a game in hand on the pace-setters. Their previous away league outing ended in a narrow win over Naomh Fionnbarra at Pope John Paul II Park and they followed this up by putting Erin’s Isle to the swords in Finglas (1-21 to 2-9).
They are joined on eight points by Oliver Plunkett’s – 2-15 to 3-8 winners at the expense of Thomas Davis in Martin Savage Park. Davis’ were unbeaten in advance of their trip to the Navan Road and were aiming to keep the pressure on Faughs and O’Toole’s with another win on the road.
Despite making a shaky start – they fell 0-4 to 0-1 behind during the early exchanges – the southsiders grabbed a couple of goals to edge themselves into the ascendancy. Plunkett’s persevered with their challenge and a Stuart Mullen major ensured they remained in the reckoning.
Neverthelss, Davis’ brought a two-point buffer into the interval and pulled further ahead when the action resumed. Mullen’s influence was beginning to tell for Plunkett’s, though, and half-back David Phelan also made his presence felt for Derek Brennan’s charges.
He split the posts with an excellent score to compliment Sean Clerkin’s three-point haul. Mullen amassed an outstanding personal haul of 1-11, while Oisin Boland once again possessed the midas touch in attack.
He registered a brace of goals in a recent triumph over Naomh Fionnbarra and rattled the Davis’ net in the second half to seal a fourth win in five for Oliver Plunkett’s. As a consequence, they have now leapfrogged their opponents into third-place.
Davis’ remain in the hunt for promotion, as do Naomh Barrog following their nail-biting encounter with Raheny in Kilbarrack. At the end of a titanic battle, they edged out the challenge of their neighbours on a scoreline of 1-18 to 2-14.
Meanwhile, Naomh Olaf made it back-to-back victories on the Clontarf Road – where they had three points to spare against Scoil Ui Chonaill (4-13 to 3-13). Taking advantage of the various slip-ups around them, St Sylvester’s climbed up to seventh by getting the better of Naomh Fionnbarra at Broomfield.
Courtesy of goals from Liam Foley, Seanie Graham and Killian O’Flynn, Sylvester’s developed a seven-point interval cushion. Eager to ease their own relegation worries, Fionnbarra fought back on the resumption.
They restored parity in dramatic fashion and also drew a number of fine saves out of Syls custodian Dave Kennedy. Just when they appeared to have all the momentum behind them, the resolve of their Malahide counterparts truly shone through.
With the game in the melting pot, Graham added a brace of points to squeeze Sylvester’s over the line.