ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP: JUNE 19
By Daire Walsh
(Image courtesy John Kirwan/ Ballyboden St Enda's)
Ballyboden St Enda’s moved five points clear at the top of the Adult Football League Division One table courtesy of a 2-12 to 0-7 victory at the expense of Skerries Harps on Wednesday night.
Anthony Rainbow’s southsiders are the only unbeaten side in this year’s top-flight - a draw with Kilmacud Crokes on March 3 has been surrounded by eight wins - and also have a 100 per cent record in Group Two of the Senior One Football Championship.
They encountered a Skerries outfit that recently enjoyed a morale-boosting success against St Brigid’s. The Townparks men have generally performed well on their return to Division One, but couldn’t halt Ballyboden’s march towards another triumph.
The 2016 All-Ireland champions began the evening with a three-point cushion over both St Jude’s and Kilmacud Crokes. However, respective defeats to St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh and St Vincent’s saw them losing ground on the top-tier pace-setters.
At Martin Savage Park, Jude’s were defeated by the slenderest of margins (1-8 to 1-7). This represented a maiden win of the campaign for Plunkett’s, moving them off the foot of the table as a result.
Following back-to-back reversals to Ballyboden and Ballymun Kickhams, Vincent’s jumped into seventh thanks to a gutsy 2-12 to 0-15 win over Crokes at Collins Avenue. With Dara Mullin, Craig Dias and Dara Jones in fine scoring form, the Stillorgan visitors looked set to come out on top.
Forty minutes into the action, they had developed a commanding five-point buffer (0-12 to 0-7). This wasn’t enough to kill off the Vins challenge, though, and a Diarmuid Connolly goal eight minutes from time set up a grandstand conclusion to the contest.
Shane Carthy and Tomas Quinn were also on target, before a second Connolly major in stoppage-time squeezed Vincent’s over the line in dramatic fashion.
There was also an exciting finish at 12th Lock, where Lucan Sarsfields came from behind to earn a stunning 3-9 to 2-11 victory against Na Fianna. Already trailing by five at the break (1-9 to 1-4), the hosts fell further adrift on the resumption.
Yet, a Sean Newcombe goal breathed fresh life into their play and Lucan’s impressive second period surge was enough to edge them over the line. They are currently sixth in the league standings, marginally behind Na Fianna on score difference.
Given Ballymun Kickhams lost out narrowly to Ballinteer at Marlay Park (1-11 to 0-12), Cuala were presented with a perfect opportunity to leap-frog them into ninth place. Instead, it was St Brigid’s who came out on top of their tussle at Hyde Park.
Despite losing out to St Jude’s in their last league outing on June 6, Cuala are enjoying a productive season in Division One. A stalemate with Skerries Harps at the beginning of May was followed by three wins on the bounce against Thomas Davis, Plunkett’s and Fingallians.
The form of Brigid’s has been decidedly mixed thus far, but with Eoin Devitt and Gavin Kane standing firm in defence, they were in the driving seat at the midway stage in Glenageary. Philly Ryan finished with an outstanding haul of 1-4 and it was his expertly-taken goal that propelled them into a 1-7 to 0-7 interval lead.
Lorcan McCarthy, Donal Timoney, Collie Carr, Michael Courtney and Cian Mullins also found the range as Brigid’s ended with four points to spare (1-11 to 0-10).
After a difficult start to the term, Thomas Davis are starting to hit form in a major way. A run of six straight defeats was finally ended on May 26 - when they shared the spoils with Plunkett’s at Martin Savage Park.
They then had the measure of rivals Templeogue Synge Street on home soil and backed it up with another success at the expense of Fingallians in Lawless Park last night - 0-12 to 0-10.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned Templeogue are still searching for their first win of the campaign. They appeared to be on course to do that in Rush, where they led Naomh Maur for large stretches of the tie.
They were reduced to 14 men late on in the action, however, and this was the spark Maur’s needed for a late blitz. With Ciaran Archer - a goalscorer in the opening period - to the fore, they emerged victorious by the bare minimum (1-13 to 2-9).
Ahead of their home encounter with Lucan Sarsfields next Wednesday, TSS now find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table.