Skerries Harps 1 – 19; St Peregrines 0 – 7
Bryan Cullen's return to the royal blue of Skerries Harps from the Dubs sky blue, was marked by an emphatic away win in the opening game of the Senior Football League Division 2 on Sunday. Played at the IT Blanchardstown complex in a cold wind and showers, Harps were far and away the better side. Without Jack Smith, who was on the DCU Sigerson Cup winning side the previous day, David O'Brien slotted in at centre back with Cullen manning the '40' and Colin Daly returning to midfield to partner Graham Cullen. Peregrines were without their Dubs panellist Eric Lowndes.
Skerries scored from the throw in with Conor O'Brien put through by Cullen to point after 30 secs.
Graham Cullen followed with Harps second point before Reilly was on hand to rifle a breaking ball to the net after 8 mins. At this stage Harps were completely on top with Daly and Cullen lording it at midfield and Bryan making the space for his forwards. Harps were 1 –10 up before the home side got their first score after 20 mins and at the break Skerries led 1 –11 to 0 – 3.
Peregrines came out for the second half determined to make inroads on the score and knocked over 3 quick points. Although Dawson replied for Skerries, Peregrines had now gained control of the midfield area and where the breaks were going Harps way in the first half, they were now going to the men in black. However Skerries defence stood up and Davy O'Brien, McNamee and McGinley always seemed to get a hand in to deny the ball carriers. As the scores refused to come Peregrines tired and the fitter Skerries team got on top again. Double scores from Graham Cullen, Davey and Dawson saw Skerries see out the game and gain full points.
This was an impressive team display by Skerries and augurs well for a tilt at the Division 2 title. Manager Terry McGinnis has them moving well, strong in defence and with a good midfield. The return of Bryan Cullen will give confidence to the younger team members and provided Jim Gavin does not come calling Harps could be in the shake up for promotion. Skerries next game is at home to newly promoted Clontarf on 8th March.
Scores: d reilly 1-0; h dawson 0 -7 (4f); b davey 0 -5; g cullen 0 -4 and c o'brien, p cashman and d mcnamee 0 -1 each.
Team: alun cullinan; dylan mcnamee, eoghan mcginley, eddie reilly; eoin smith, david o'brien, kevin gilmore; graham cullen, colin daly; conor o'brien, bryan cullen, barry davey; harry dawson, donnacha reilly, paul cashman.
Subs used: donal mcilgorm, denis forde, oisin o'leary.
Referee: D Malone.