ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION 1 ROUND-UP: JUNE 29
ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: JUNE 29
By Daire Walsh
Na Fianna moved up to fourth in the Adult Hurling League Division One table with an impressive 2-18 to 0-19 victory over St Jude’s at St Mobhi Road on Saturday evening.
Following a recent reversal to Craobh Chiarain in Clonshaugh, the Glasnevin men were hoping to greater on their return to home soil. While Cuala had the measure of them when they made the journey to the northside in March, Na Fianna overcame the challenge posed by Ballinteer St John’s and Crumlin either side of that encounter.
Declan Feeney’s charges had enjoyed a productive 2018 campaign, which ultimately culminated in a final defeat to Ballyboden St Enda’s at O’Toole Park. Despite suffering three defeats to date in the top-flight – including one to ‘Boden at Pairc Ui Murchu – they remain in the hunt for another showpiece appearance.
The foundations for last weekend’s triumph was set during a dominant opening period display. Supplementing Gavin King’s dead-ball accuracy, David Murtagh grabbed a brace of goals to propel the hosts towards a 2-10 to 0-9 interval cushion.
To their credit, Jude’s continued to fight when the action resumed and the ever-reliable Fionn O Riain Broin kept them in contention for large spells. He contributed a final tally of 12 points for the Templeogue outfit, who currently occupy ninth spot in the league standings.
Nevertheless, Na Fianna remained in the ascendancy throughout the second half. In addition to King’s eventual haul of 0-9, Ciaran Murphy and Martin Quilty registered three points apiece over the course of the hour.
Paul O’Dea, Ciaran Fanning and Fearghal Breathnach also produced excellent performances as Na Fianna finished with five points to spare. They will next face Kilmacud Crokes at Silver Park on July 10 – a game that could have a huge bearing on the final outlook of the table.
Crokes made the journey to Shankill on Thursday night for an intriguing battle against southside rivals Cuala. It was the Glenalbyn side that dethroned Cuala in last year’s Dublin SHC – bringing a halt to the latter’s stranglehold on the county, provincial and national titles in the process.
Their Dalkey counterparts had been unbeaten under the guidance of new boss Willie Maher (an All-Ireland U21-winning manager with his native Tipperary in 2010), but it was Crokes who emerged with a convincing 5-22 to 2-16 success.
They now edge in front of Cuala on score difference – albeit with a game more played. Both sides are a single point ahead of Na Fianna, leaving matters delicately poised amongst the chasing pack.
It is the aforementioned Ballyboden who remain at the summit, however. Their dramatic 2-17 to 3-13 home win at the expense of Craobh Chiarain on Saturday gives them a four-point buffer heading into the next round of fixtures on Wednesday week.
Elsewhere, Ballinteer St John’s squeezed past St Vincent’s in a nail-biting affair at Marley Park (1-14 to 1-13). With former county stalwarts Ronan Fallon and Tomas McGrane in fine form, their Marino counterparts established a 0-9 to 0-7 lead at the midway stage in the contest.
Ronan Collins, Cormac O’Brien and Jack Gilligan were largely holding firm in defence for John’s, though, and they remained within touching distance of Vins as the proceedings progressed. They finally hit the front when Tom Aherne secured an outstanding individual goal and with Aodhan Clabby contributing a plethora of scores, the gap between the two sides increased.
The dual star finished with nine points to his name – including a terrific effort from play. Vins set-up a tantalising finale when they bagged a goal of their own, but Ballinteer (and their management team of Brian Sutton, Seamus Lane and Eamonn McKeon) eventually celebrated a hard-earned triumph.
It also proved to be a memorable weekend for Lucan Sarsfields and Crumlin as they finally recorded their maiden league wins of the season. Lucan had just a point to their name before facing Whitehall Colmcille at 12th Lock, but they were commanding 3-21 to 0-20 victors in the end.
Still with several games in hand on the remaining teams in the division, Crumlin boosted their survival prospects courtesy of a 2-12 to 0-17 win against St Brigid’s at Russell Park. Trailing by five points (0-10 to 0-5) at the interval, the Pearse Park visitors dug deep on the resumption to claim a precious victory.
Although they remain in the bottom position, they will now seek to build on this positive showing in the coming weeks.