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Thu, 23rd May 2019


By Daire Walsh

Ballyboden St Enda’s moved to the summit of the Adult Football League Division One table with a 3-19 to 3-15 victory over Lucan Sarsfields at Ballycullen last night.

Trailing the unbeaten Ballinteer St John’s in advance of the round six action, a maiden reversal for the previous leaders - at the hands of St Jude’s - left the door open for Anthony Rainbow’s men to secure top spot.

‘Boden were also undefeated heading into their latest league encounter - albeit an earlier draw with Kilmacud Crokes kept them amongst the chasing pack. They appeared to be on course for their first loss of 2019 when Lucan developed a 2-11 to 1-9 lead at the interval.

Nevertheless, the Colm Basquel-inspired hosts eventually got to grips with the challenge posed by the 12th Lock outfit. The Dublin senior panellist finished with an outstanding haul of 2-5, while Warren Egan’s 1-2 salvo also proved crucial in establishing ‘Boden’s foothold on the play.

There was also strong scoring contributions from Ryan Basquel (0-4), Ross McGarry and Darren O’Reilly (two points each) as the 2016 winners squeezed home for a fourth consecutive win.

Having set the tone for the season with five victories in succession, Ballinteer had their first slip-up against Jude’s in Abbotstown. It had been an uneven start to the campaign for the Templeogue men, but back-to-back triumphs at the expense of Lucan and St Vincent’s had them in the perfect frame of mind at the National Games Development Centre.

After kicking five points in last Tuesday week’s success over Vincent’s, Padraic Clarke register 1-4 to bolster his impressive seasonal tally. Diarmuid McLoughlin added six points on the hour to ensure Jude’s wrapped up the points in style.

Like southside rivals ‘Boden, Kilmacud Crokes had an opportunity to leap-frog Ballinteer in the league standings. They looked set to do just that when they led Templeogue Synge Street by six points in the closing stages of their entertaining clash at Silver Park.

Yet courtesy of a late flourish at the Leopardstown venue, the visitors emerged with a share of the spoils (3-16 to 4-13). It had been a difficult week for those involved in TSS following the sad passing of Dublin legend Anton O’Toole.

A four-time Celtic Cross winner during his illustrious inter-county career, O’Toole also guided the club to an Intermediate Championship title in 2008 (a thrilling final win against Kilmacud). A number of the current senior set-up played under the ‘Blue Panther’ during that campaign - including Sky Blues attacker Eoghan O’Gara.

As a tribute to O’Toole, Kilmacud decided not to wear the number ten jersey for last night’s game. Thanks to points from Ger Vickery (two) and Killian O’Gara, Templeogue remained in contention early on.

Crokes then bagged a brace of quick-fire goals to create some daylight, only for Templeogue to do likewise inside the second-quarter. Lorcan O’Dell was a prominent figure for the Dolphin Park side in this period and even though Crokes followed up with their third major of the half, a Ger Vickery pointed free cut the gap to three points (3-7 to 2-7) at the break.

They looked set for a grandstand finish when Vickery reduced the deficit to a single point on 42 minutes, but Crokes subsequently regained control of the proceedings. The ever-dependable Pat Burke finished with 0-6 to his name and a fourth win on the trot seemed to be the most likely outcome for the county champions.

This was until Conor McKiernan rejuvenated Templeogue by punching a Vickery free to the net. Now back within striking distance of their opponents, Mike Fitzpatrick’s charges sealed a precious point when Mark Hayes found the net deep into stoppage-time.

While they are still searching for their first victory of the term, TSS have now moved two points in front of both Thomas Davis and St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh. Davis’ produced a committed display against Na Fianna at Kiltipper Road before succumbing to a 2-10 to 0-13 defeat.

Like their Tallaght counterparts, Plunkett’s were also looking to open their league account. They hosted Cuala at Martin Savage Park, where the Dalkey men were victorious at the end of a goal-laden affair (5-9 to 2-12).

Cuala currently occupy seventh-place in the table, a single point adrift of Jude’s, Lucan and St Vincent’s. At Russell Park, holders Vins were comprehensive 3-19 to 1-14 winners against St Brigid’s.

Eager to make up for their recent loss to Jude’s, Tony Diamond’s Marino side hit the ground running with an excellent Gavin Burke point. A Lorcan Smyth goal opened up a five-point gap before the returning Paddy Andrews propelled Brigid’s back into the reckoning.

Although a Collie McCarthy goal levelled matters, Adam Baxter scrambled home in the latter stages of the half to give Vins a 2-10 to 1-9 interval cushion. They stretched further in front on the restart through Albert Martin, Enda Varley and Diarmuid Connolly points.

Baxter’s second goal of the contest - via excellent approach play by Burke - effectively placed the outcome beyond all doubt. Andrews maintained his high level of performance for Brigid’s, though it wasn’t enough to rein in the Vincent’s challenge.

At Pairc Ciceam, Ballymun Kickhams were comprehensive 5-11 to 0-7 winners over Naomh Maur.

Meanwhile, Fingallians gave themselves some breathing space in the bottom half with a hard-earned 1-15 to 0-14 triumph against Skerries Harps at Lawless Park. Skerries had enjoyed a bright opening as former Dublin footballer Bryan Cullen kicked three excellent points for the visitors.

However, the dismissal of his midfield partner Mark Boylan at the beginning of the second period hampered Skerries’ chances of success. Oisin Lynch was in scintillating form for Fingallians and while it remained tight for large stretches, they struck a late goal to claim their second win of the season.

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