Syl’s sublime start to AFL2 continues with double win delight

by Gazette Reporter

St Sylvester’s continued their winning streak in AFL2 as they saw off both Castleknock and Raheny in a five days spell, keeping them clear at the top of the table.

They opened up with a 0-14 to 0-9 success against Knock on a damp, breezy night in Broomfield.

With very contrasting fortunes in the recent senior championship, both teams were looking to maintain winning records in AFL2 and Castleknock, with 11 of the team who recently beat St Vincent’s, starting as favourites.

Their bright start justified this tag and they had two points on the board within the first two minutes.

Syl’s, missing six of their championship panel owing to injury and exams, came back into the match via a Micheál McCarthy point. However, the Somerton side took over the game again and went 0-4 to 0-1 ahead.

Five points from the Malahide men from the 15th minute onward to half time ensured that the home team had parity at half-time with the score reading 0-6 a piece.

With McCarthy and Alex Wright prominent from a scoring perspective, they were ably assisted by the Sylvester’s midfield pairing and younger players like Sean Daly and Daniel Deneher.

Castleknock scored the first point of the second half and from here the scoreboard see-sawed with both teams swapping points until the 12th minute of the second half.

A good save from reserve keeper Kevin Morris spurred the home side into a higher gear.

From here, the industry of Conor Meaney and Mark Finnerty up front along with strong showings from Andrew Cunningham, Conor Quinn and Deneher at the back saw St Sylvester’s take the lead and they never looked back, building a five-point lead.

On Sunday morning, thanks to their accomplished 2-9 to 0-9 win over Raheny in St Anne’s Park, they made it five wins from five.

McCarthy was in fine form again and they found themselves in the ascendancy. This was until Raheny staged a late rally towards the end of the opening round – which ensured they were on level terms (0-6 apiece) just in time for the interval.

Syl’s regained momentum on the resumption, though, thanks in no small part to excellent approach work from Dan Deneher, Karl Archibald and Alex Wright.

Substitute Dan Brennan was also making a sizeable impact and the pressure eventually told on the under siege Raheny defence.

A Mark Finnerty goal created some daylight for Syls and they remained in front for the remainder of the contest.

Wright subsequently released the impressive McCarthy for another major and with the former Dublin senior panellist amassing a final tally of 1-7, the visitors were thoroughly deserving victors in the end.

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