Olaf’s on an AFL2 roll

by Karl Graham

NAOMH Olaf secured yet another win to remain top of the AFL division 2 table as they seek to complete the remarkable feat of securing back to back promotions.
St Patrick’s Palmerstown were the latest team to try and derail Olaf’s surge but the Sandyford side left Glenauline Park with a 2-13 to 0-14 win – keeping them a point ahead of local rivals Ballinteer St Johns in second position.
It was their 11th win of the league campaign to leave them in a good position going into their remaining two games against table-proppers Whitehall Colmcille and fourth placed Raheny.
“We’ve worked hard over the last six or seven months to get where we are,” Olaf’s mentor Ger O’Malley told GazetteSport. “We were top of division 3 two years in a row and missed out on the playoffs, but got up through the playoffs last year.
“We worked hard and put the time in with the lads. We’ve got a good bunch of players, a mixture of youth and experience, and the wins we’ve had are a reflection on that work.”
Olaf’s performances may have come as a surprise to many of the others teams in the division but not to O’Malley.
“I’m not surprised, no. We set our goals game by game so there was no grand plan at the start of the season to be mid-table or top. We just said we would take each game as we go and play the style of football we want to play. We haven’t changed our philosophy once from game one to game 13.
“The belief amongst the young players and the belief amongst the seasoned players that together we can go as far as we want to go. The only people that can stop us are ourselves.”
Fans of the club will likely take extra delight if they can manage to win the title over their local rivals Ballinteer but O’Malley insists that getting across the line first is all that matters to him.
“Of course, it would be extra special to win the league, whether it is over Ballinteer St Johns or Raheny. Ballinteer are a great side. We’ve beaten them twice already; in the cup last year and in the league but there is no extra incentive to beat them,” O’Malley concluded.
As well as the senior team currently enjoying the view from atop, the AFL8 and AFL11 teams also remained top of their divisions with some hard-fought victories. The former secured an away victory over St Finian’s Swords by 2-15 to 2-11 to stretch their lead at the top to five points, while a 3-13 to 2-3 win away to St James Gaels An Caislean kept the latter in first by three points.

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