DUBLIN ADULT HURLING LEAGUE DIVISION ONE ROUND-UP (MARCH 10)
By Daire Walsh
It was a profitable weekend in Adult Hurling League Division One for Na Fianna, Ballyboden St Enda’s, Craobh Chiarain and Cuala - after the quartet preserved their 100% records in the top-flight campaign.
Beaten league finalists in 2018, Na Fianna enjoyed an emphatic opening round success over Ballinteer St John’s (2-13 to 2-6) at St Mobhi Road on February 24. This placed them in a positive frame of mind for their visit to 12th Lock on Sunday morning.
They faced a Lucan Sarsfields side that suffered a narrow 0-16 to 1-15 reversals at the hands of Cuala in their opening round tussle. Courtesy of impressive defensive showings by Daire Meleady and Peter Feeney, they brought a three-point cushion (0-9 to 0-6) into the interval.
This had played with the aid of a stiff breeze in the opening half-hour mark and as a result, Lucan were firmly in contention on the restart. Nevertheless, thanks in no small part to the scoring prowess of Colin Currie (0-5) and Eoghan McHugh (0-3), the Glasnevin men eventually claimed a 0-15 to 1-8 triumph.
Eoin Skelly was at his imperious best between the Na Fianna sticks, pulling off a brace of fine saves to keep the Lucan attack at bay. They are seeking - along with a number of would-be challengers - to dethrone defending champions Ballyboden St Enda’s in 2019.
Having earned the spoils against St Vincent’s last month with all of 11 points to spare - 1-14 to 0-6 - ‘Boden once again impressed in a 0-16 to 0-8 victory over Ballinteer St John’s at Marley Park. Cuala have been enormously successful in recent years, securing back-to-back All-Ireland titles (2017-18) under new Dublin manager Mattie Kenny.
They have struggled for form at times in the league, recording just four wins from 11 games in the most recent season. However, they supplemented their opening day duel with Lucan by getting the better of St Brigid’s at Russell Park on Sunday (1-18 to 1-10).
Ahead of their first away trip of the calendar year, Craobh Chiarain’s confidence was bolstered as a consequence of last month’s triumph at the expense of Kilmacud Crokes. They faced a Whitehall Colmcille outfit that earned their stripes on the road to Crumlin, but it Chiarain’s who came out on top of this northside battle.
Though it had been a largely even opening half, Gary Kelly, Eugene Farrell and Paul Kelly turned on the style when the action resumed to propel the Clonshaugh side towards a 3-17 to 1-15 win.
Meanwhile, the clash between St Vincent’s and Crumlin - due to take place at Pairc Naomh Uinsionn on Saturday afternoon - was postponed until a later date.