Templeogue Synge Street were crowned Adult Football League Division Two champions with a hard-earned 1-15 to 1-11 victory over Round Tower Clondalkin at Dolphin Park on Saturday evening.
Following recent successes at the expense of Raheny and St Anne’s, TSS entered this contest knowing that another win would guarantee them an automatic passage to Division One in 2019. Towers were also in contention for top spot, lying two points adrift of their southside rivals with a game in hand.
Templeogue suffered Senior Two championship disappointment at the hands of Fingallians just seven days earlier in a quarter-final meeting at Skerries, while Towers were agonisingly defeated by St Mary’s, Saggart (0-17 to 1-13) in their last-eight encounter at the same grade.
They were last in league action on August 1, when they had all of 22 points to spare (5-20 to 1-10) over Fingal Ravens at Monastery Road. This was their fourth successive win in the division, keeping them within touching distance of the summit.
Templeogue had enjoyed a flawless success rate on home soil until their July 28 stalemate with Fingallians, which ended 0-10 apiece. They were able to call on the services of current Dublin stars Niall Scully and Eoghan O’Gara for this encounter (their last of the campaign), as well as former Sky Blues midfielder Denis Bastick.
The hosts opened up a four-point gap in the first-quarter of the action, before Towers eventually responded through the dependable Jay Joyce. His 1-1 salvo sparked the Clondalkin men into life, though Templeogue subsequently regained the ascendancy.
With Scully in fine form off placed-balls, they brought a slender 0-9 to 1-4 lead into the interval. You have to go back to July 4 for the last time the visitors suffered a reversal in the second-tier (to Raheny at St Anne’s Park) and their persistent challenge continued on the resumption.
Ger Vickery, Killian O’Gara (who lined out alongside his brothers Eoghan and Cormac) and Luke O’Brien registered 0-2 apiece for Templeogue, but they were just two points to the good heading towards the end of normal time.
Singles by Eoghan O’Gara and Denis Bastick ensured Towers were still chasing the game, however, and it was the impressive Scully who finally placed the outcome beyond doubt. His stoppage-time goal gave the All-Star nominee a final tally of 1-7 and, most crucially, created an insurmountable gap at the top of the table.
Towers hold onto second place for the time being and are firmly in the reckoning for a play-off spot ahead of a final game against St Mary’s, Saggart.
Third-placed Fingallians were idle this weekend, but their forthcoming outings with Ballyboughal and Na Fianna 'B' could yet have a major bearing on the final standings in Division Two.
Elsewhere, Fingal Ravens leapfrogged St Anne’s into 14th with a 2-10 to 2-8 win over St Patrick’s, Palmerstown at Glenauline Park. It was also a profitable day for Whitehall Colmcille, as they retained their league status courtesy of a 4-10 to 2-9 triumph against O’Toole’s at Blunden Drive.