ADULT FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION TWO ROUND-UP: FEBRUARY 17
By Daire Walsh
The old adage of ‘goals win games’ proved through for St Sylvester’s in their opening round triumph over Kilmacud Crokes ‘B’ on Sunday morning at Broomfield.
Eager to restore their top-flight status in 2019, Syls kick-started their Adult Football League Division Two campaign with a two-point win at the end of an engrossing affair (4-6 to 1-13). Entering the new season with a fresh outlook to their squad, the Malahide men had a strong breeze at their disposal in the opening period.
They faced a Crokes side that finished at the summit of Division Three last year - with just one defeat in 15 outings overall. A direct delivery on top of their full-back line led to a goal for Syls attacker Mark Finnerty, but the southsiders kept their opponents at bay for much of the first-half.
Having struggled to find the range prior to the interval, Syls were much more efficient in front of the posts on the resumption. The ever-elusive Finnerty added his second goal and Alex Wright also chipped in with a brace of majors for the increasingly-rampant hosts.
They looked set to ease over the line, until Crokes converted a late penalty to reduce the gap to a single point. Nonetheless, with Mark Hazley posting three points to compliment Finnerty and Wright’s outstanding scoring feats, Sylvester’s emerged on the right side of the result.
Following their own relegations in 2018, Naomh Olaf and Castleknock are also hoping for a quick return to Division One. They certainly made their intentions clear on the weekend, with emphatic victories over St Pat’s, Palmerstown and Naomh Mearnog respectively.
Olaf’s made the journey to Glenaulin Park to face Pat’s and despite what the final scoreline might suggest (2-17 to 0-8), it wasn’t always plain sailing for the Sandyford outfit. From just six attempts at the target in the opening half-hour, Pat’s registered an impressive haul of five points.
However, Olaf’s pounced for a goal just before the break and used this as the springboard for a dominant second period showing. An even spread of scorers helped them to pull away, with Darragh Byrne, Tom Keane, Mark Doyle, Kieran Hanley, Glenn Soraghan and Shane Whyte all placing their names on the scoresheet.
Dublin senior footballer David Byrne was a powerful presence for the home team and kicked two points in an accomplished display. Luke Doran’s performance at full-back provided Naomh Olaf with a strong framework in defence and they can now embark on a forthcoming meeting with Round Tower Lusk in high spirits.
Castleknock welcomed Mearnog to Somerton Park and sent out a warning shot by recording a 15-point success (5-12 to 2-6) at the expense of their Portmarnock counterparts.
Round Tower Lusk recorded a 2-11 to 0-8 home win over Whitehall Colmcille, while Naomh Fionnbarra edged out St Mary’s, Saggart at The Bogies (3-9 to 1-10). In a local derby encounter with Scoil Ui Chonaill, Clontarf came out on top with the help of Ciaran McKeown's first-half goal.
Played at Scoil’s home pitch on the Clontarf Road, it was the visitors who entered the interval with a slender buffer of 1-7 to 0-8. Although the deficit was brought down to the bare minimum, ‘Tarf subsequently moved five points ahead through a series of unanswered scores by Kevin Lillis and Nathan Doran.
While Scoil kept their neighbours on high alert as the action progressed, ‘Tarf kept their composure to pull away for a hard-earned 1-17 to 0-13 victory. At Monastery Road on the same day, Na Fianna ‘B’ had the measure of Round Tower Clondalkin - 0-12 to 1-5.
Meanwhile, the proposed meeting between Raheny and Ballyboughal was postponed due to the sad passing of Ballyboughal club stalwart Peter Dungan.