Afl Division 1: Mobhi road footballers secure top flight title

Na Fianna hold of Ballinteer to land crown

by Aaron Dunne
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Na Fianna were crowned Go-Ahead Dublin Adult Football League Division 1 winners for 2024 with the walkover handed to them by Kilmacud Crokes leaving them three points clear with just a single game remaining.

Their title was confirmed as a result of their nearest challengers Ballinteer St John’s falling to Cuala by 3-20 to 3-8 at Hyde Park with the introduction for the second half of Con O’Callaghan helping the hosts to an ultimately comfortable win.

That such an eventuality should occur seemed unlikely at the interval as the visitors enjoyed a healthy, albeit wind-assisted, 3-8 to 1-6 advantage.

Cuala started on the front foot through an early Cathal Ó Giolláin goal but St John’s bounced back through goals of their own from Donnacha Carey, Luke Breathnach and Eoghan Fitzpatrick to lead by eight by half-time.

Points from Ó Giolláin and Con O’Callaghan augmented by a Niall O’Callaghan goal brought Cuala back on terms by the end of the third quarter as Cuala improved at the back through the efforts of Luke Tracey and Charlie McMorrow.

From that point, it was one way traffic as Ó Giolláin (1-6), Con O’Callaghan (1-6) and Niall O’Callaghan (1-5) enhanced their personal tallies with Cuala’s scoring completed by Luke Keating and Conor O’Brien

Elsewhere, there were significant wins towards the bottom half of the table as Ballymun Kickhams and Castleknock earned welcome victories against Ballyboden St Enda’s and Clontarf respectively.

In Páirc Ciceam, experience proved crucial for Ballymun as they defeated Ballyboden by 1-12 to 1-6 with their all-important goal coming through David Leonard.

The likes of Alan Hubbard, Seán Currie, Eoin Dolan, Fiach Andrews and Cameron McCormack all impressed for a Kickhams side that led by six points at the interval.

However, with the visitors enjoying a strong breeze at their backs for the second-half, the gap was halved early into the restart but Ballymun dug deep in the final quarter to enhance their survival prospects.

Dean Rock top scored with four points with the remaining home points shared by Andrews, Robbie Bolger, McCormack, Adam Conway, Hubbard and Dillon Keating.

In St Anne’s Park, Castleknock also handed themselves a lifeline as they defeated Clontarf by 0-19 to 2-10.

Both Ciarán Kilkenny and Jack McCaffrey were back in action for their respective clubs as the visitors impressed to lead by 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time and they extended their lead to nine points as the contest evolved.

Two goals in the closing stages from Sean O’Grady brought Clontarf back into contention but late points by Tommy McDaniel and Conor Chawke were enough to get Castleknock over the line.

Elsewhere, Round Towers Lusk will join Whitehall Colmcille in the Go-Ahead AFL2 next year as their relegation from the top flight was confirmed as they succumbed to St Jude’s by 3-15 to 0-5 at Tymon Park.

Ciarán Kilkenny in action during his side’s clash with St Jude’s.

Photos : Martin Doherty

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