Dublin Adult Football League Division One Round-Up (July 27): Dublingaa.ie – July 29 2019



By Daire Walsh

Skerries Harps boosted their Adult Football League Division One survival prospects with a convincing 2-16 to 1-5 home victory over Templeogue Synge Street on Saturday afternoon.

Following a run of four straight defeats, Skerries found themselves just three points clear of TSS – with St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh and Fingallians also giving chase to the Townparks outfit. Despite being positioned on the foot of the table, Templeogue’s recent triumph against Ballinteer St John’s added renewed vigour to their top-flight campaign.

Another success at the hands of Skerries – who, like TSS, were promoted from Division Two in 2018 – would have acted as a major lift for the southsiders, but they endured a difficult start to the contest.

During the early exchanges of the action, Skerries built up a 1-2 to 0-0 cushion – the goal arriving through the impressive Mark Boylan. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the hosts, though, as Templeogue fired back to lead by a single point on the first-quarter mark.

Nonetheless, it was the hosts who ultimately finished the opening period on a high. Thanks to points courtesy of Killian McGinnis, Tommy Ryan and Jack Smith, they brought a 1-7 to 1-4 cushion into the interval.

The visitors remained in contention when the play resumed, but their solitary score in the second half came via Ger Vickery’s pointed free. Skerries were resolute in defence throughout, with the Smiths – Jack and Eoin – keeping a tight rein alongside former Dublin captain Bryan Cullen.

Ryan, Eoghan McGinley and McGinnis split the posts to give Skerries a seven-point buffer, before McGinnis’ coolly-converted penalty effectively placed the outcome beyond any doubt. Ryan, Robbie Clinton and substitute Rob Delaney were also on target late on as Skerries eased towards their fourth victory of the term.

While they remain in 13th place, the northside men are within touching distance of retaining their Division One status for 2020. It remains congested just below them, after Oliver Plunkett’s recorded a magnificent 2-10 to 0-11 triumph at the expense of Kilmacud Crokes in Martin Savage Park.

The Ashtown crew had recently suffered back-to-back reversals to Ballyboden St Enda’s and Ballymun Kickhams, but have now leap-frogged Fingallians in their battle against the drop. Fingallians produced a gallant effort in their battle with Ballymun at Lawless Park, only to fall short in the end (1-9 to 0-10).

This leaves the Swords side with some ground to cover in the closing rounds of the league. They will face tough encounters against Kilmacud and Na Fianna in the next few weeks, while Plunkett’s and Templeogue will face off in a potentially crucial affair on August 31.

In the upper reaches of the table, Ballyboden St Enda’s once again cemented their position as divisional pace-setters in a commanding 4-16 to 0-15 victory over neighbours St Jude’s at Pairc Ui Murchu.

Already assured of top-spot and – by extension – a place in the play-offs, ‘Boden hit the front early on with an Aran Waters point. In response to a Jude’s equaliser, Darren O’Reilly, Waters and dual star Conal Keaney raised white flags to offer the home side an early buffer.

A Warren Egan goal provided them with additional daylight, in advance of subsequent singles for O’Reilly and Waters. Jude’s briefly halted their momentum, but Egan and Darragh Nelson ensured their relief was short-lived.

Keaney rattled the net on 25 minutes and with Ryan Basquel contributing a four-point salvo, ‘Boden led 2-12 to 0-6 at the break. A third goal inevitably followed through Tom Hayes on the resumption and the corner-forward bagged another major on the stroke of 40 minutes to further emphasise the superiority of Anthony Rainbow’s charges.

To the credit of Jude’s, they persevered with their challenge and largely outscored ‘Boden for the remainder of the contest. Their opponents were not to be denied, however, especially with Keaney (1-2), Hayes (2-1) and Egan (1-1) in sublime scoring form.

Thanks to results elsewhere, Ballyboden have now moved eight points clear of the chasing pack. Heading towards the penultimate round of the competition, Ballymun Kickhams, Na Fianna and Kilmacud Crokes are all tied on 17 points.

Whereas there was mixed fortunes for Ballymun and Kilmacud, Na Fianna narrowly lost out to Cuala at Hyde Park last Thursday (0-11 to 0-10). Further down the table, Jude’s and Vincent’s are both on 16 points and still very much in the running for a top-four finish.

Meanwhile, Ballinteer St John’s were comprehensive 2-17 to 1-8 victors against Naomh Maur at Marley Park and Thomas Davis increased their unbeaten run to seven games when they had nine points to spare (4-13 to 1-13) over St Brigid’s at Russell Park.

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