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AFL Div. 1 Roundup - 13th June

AFL Div. 1 Roundup - 13th June

Thu, 14th June 2018


By Daire Walsh

Kilmacud Crokes closed the gap on Adult Football League Division One leaders St Vincent’s with an emphatic 4-12 to 2-5 victory over Naomh Maur at Silver Park last night.

After the previously unbeaten Vins came up short in an away fixture against Ballyboden St Enda’s (0-15 to 1-10) at Pairc Ui Murchu, the Stillorgan men are now just one point adrift of the divisional pace-setters.

The defending champions - jointly-managed this year by Robbie Brennan and former county star Johnny Magee - entered this contest on the back of last week’s comprehensive win at the expense of neighbours Naomh Olaf.

They encountered a stubborn resistance from Maur’s (the team they defeated in the 2017 league decider) in the early stages of the contest, before eventually assuming control on their home turf.

In addition to the notable absence of several inter-county players (both senior and U20), Crokes also fielded without the services of Conor Casey, Ross O’Carroll and Mark Vaughan. Yet, with Dara Mullen contributing a brace of goals, the home team brought a comfortable 2-7 to 0-3 lead into the interval.

During a dominant second half display, former Longford attacker Brian Kavanagh kept the scoreboard ticking over for Crokes. Craig Dias also impressed for the southsiders, while a goal apiece from Shane Cunningham and Shane Horan ensured Maur’s were kept firmly at arm’s length.

The Rush outfit did have their moments in the second period, but a fifth reversal in seven means they are now rooted to the foot of the top-flight table.

Local rivals St Brigid’s and Castleknock, who had trailed Maur’s at the end of round six, got their campaigns back on track with respective triumphs over Ballinteer St John’s (2-7 to 1-8) and Cuala (2-10 to 3-4).

Brigid’s had opened their season’s account in fine style against Lucan Sarsfields on May 23, before suffering a narrow reversal - 0-11 to 0-9 - to Vincent’s six days later. Thanks to Collie Carr’s third-minute goal, as well as points from Lorcan McCarthy and Mark Cahill, Brigid’s held a 1-4 to 0-4 buffer over John's at the midway stage.

This meant they were in the driving seat on the resumption, and they significantly enhanced their lead courtesy of a Lorcan McCarthy major. Although Ballinteer kept themselves in contention in a low-scoring affair, the outstanding half-back line of Sean Egan, Daire Plunkett and Paddy Maguire guided Brigid’s towards another morale-boosting win.

Elsewhere, Ballymun Kickhams defeated Lucan Sarsfields on a scoreline of 2-11 to 1-6 to climb up to sixth place in the table. Thomas Davis were another side to lift themselves away from the bottom end of the table - they had 10 points to spare (1-13 to 0-6) against St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh at Kiltipper Road.

Following a run of four straight losses, St Jude’s returned to winning ways at home to St Sylvester’s - 3-15 to 2-9 at Tymon North.

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