ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: JUNE 19
By Daire Walsh
The race for supremacy at the top of the Adult Football League Division Two table gathered significant pace last night.
Capitalising on a 3-17 to 2-9 defeat for St Sylvester’s against Round Tower Lusk, Castleknock and Naomh Mearnog registered wins over Naomh Fionnbarra and Na Fianna ‘B’ respectively. Having previously held top spot for a number of weeks, Syls have traded positions with Castleknock.
They marginally edge out the Malahide men on score difference, while Mearnog are also on 16 points with nine rounds of fixtures played. Since losing out to Syls at Broomfield at the beginning of May, Castleknock’s form has been imperious.
They made the journey to ‘The Bogies’ with the express wish of recording a fifth straight triumph in the second-tier. Fionnbarra last tasted victory on the opening weekend of the season against St Mary’s, Saggart and were left to chase yesterday’s game from the opening minutes of the action.
Following a neat one-two with Mattie Walsh, former Dublin minor Graham Hannigan hammered to the net - giving Castleknock a perfect opening to the contest. Not content to sit on their cushion, Castleknock immediately added a second goal through Rory Corcoran.
The dependable attacker subsequently added a point to his tally, in advance of Gerard McDermottroe’s clinical major on 18 minutes. Fionnbarra eventually fired back with a goal of their own and tagged on a brace of singles to offer them some hope heading towards the interval.
Nonetheless, McDermottroe and Shane Boland points ensured Castleknock were seven points to the good (3-3 to 1-2) when the play resumed. Despite coming under some pressure in the second-quarter, ‘Knock continued to rule the roost.
After impressing with his build-up work prior to the break, Walsh clipped four points on the restart to cap an excellent personal display. McDermottroe, Boland, John Kindlon and substitute Tommy Corcoran also found the target as Castleknock eased towards a convincing 13-point winning margin (3-12 to 1-5).
Whilst the influential McDermottroe was scorer-in-chief with a final haul of 1-3, he was ably-assisted throughout by Walsh, Boland and Rory Corcoran.
Mearnog’s sole defeat to date came at the hands of Castleknock on their first day out on February 17 (5-12 to 2-6). Since then they have amassed eight wins in succession, making them arguably the form team in the division.
They have been forced to dig deep for many of their wins and with a generally settled team, are proving to be formidable challengers for the top spot. At St Mobhi Road, they had five points to spare (2-13 to 1-11) over Na Fianna ‘B’.
Clontarf also remain in the hunt for promotion after they got the better of St Mary’s, Saggart. Already on a run of five consecutive victories, ‘Tarf came out on the right side of a 2-16 to 2-6 final scoreline.
They currently have the best scoring average (+78) in the whole of the division and still have mouthwatering encounters with Naomh Mearnog and St Sylvester’s on the horizon.
Ballyboughal have also been one of the best performers in the competition, though they lost some ground courtesy of 1-13 to 1-15 home defeat to Whitehall Colmcille.
Meanwhile, Kilmacud Crokes ‘B’ remain in sixth thanks to a 1-16 to 1-9 success over Naomh Olaf at Pairc Ui Bhriain. Scoil Ui Chonaill continued their climb up the league standings with a 3-12 to 0-4 triumph over St Patrick’s, Palmerstown at Glenauline Park.
Conor Coady, Robert Kennedy and Paudie Conlon were amongst those to impress for Scoil. Pat’s are still seeking to open their account for 2019 but are just two points adrift of Naomh Fionnbarra - who they host on July 27.
At Monastery Road, Raheny eased their own relegation concerns with a three-point win over Round Tower Clondalkin.
In spite of Adam Doyle, Niall Byrne and Kevin McGibney finding the range for the home team in the opening period, Raheny rallied to lead 1-5 to 0-6 at the break. Towers responded through Liam O’Connor and Mick Hallows on the resumption and a Thomas Galvin goal edged them in front on 42 minutes.
A Galvin free ensured they remained in the ascendancy with just three minutes left on the clock, though a second Raheny goal meant they ultimately succumbed to a 1-11 to 2-11 reversal.