Skerries Harps: 1 – 11; St. Patricks, Palmerstown: 1 – 9
Skerries Harps made hard work of this game in Skerries last Saturday evening and did just enough to earn the league points and make it 4 wins from 4 games played
Manager Terry McGinnis made two enforced changes for Harps – Ross McGarry returning from hurling duty with Fingal for the injured Kevin Gilmore and Dublin minor Donal McIlgorm replacing Donnacha Reilly, also out with an injury.
After conceding an early score, Harps were lucky not to concede a goal when Barry Davey gave a loose pass and with the defence all on the wrong foot, goalkeeper Alun Cullinan made a great stop.
Graham Cullen opened for Harps with a point on the run and Harps quickly got on top. Following a clean catch by Graham and a carry by Dawson, Bryan Cullen hit the net to put Harps 1 –1 to 0 -1 up. Skerrries went on to dominate the opening half with first Davy O'Brien bringing a great save from the Pats goalie and then Harry Dawson saw his penalty saved after Cashman was taken down. Just before the break, McIlgorm was 1 on 1 with the goalie and again Harps were denied the goal their play deserved. For all their dominance, worryingly Skerries were only 1 – 6 to 0 - 5 ahead at the break with too many players having an off day.
Five mins into the second half the game was turned on its head when Harps conceded a goal. As Skerries attacked, a foul on Bryan Cullen in the right corner was missed by the referee and as Harps appealed, the ball was swiftly moved downfield and flicked to the net over the advancing Cullinan to leave it 1 – 7 to 1 – 5. Pats now came more into the game which became quite physical. Both sides went on to kick 4 points each in the remaining time as Skerries completely lost their shape. They were kept in the game by some great fielding from Graham Cullen and a stunning point from Dawson with an audacious over the shoulder kick from near the left sideline. Fittingly the points were sealed by Graham Cullen who got Harps last score to round off a fine game.
Skerries will look on this game as having used their 'get out of jail' card. Apart from midfielder Cullen, Harps again relied on the outstanding Jack Smith who showed his class defending and attacking, on Paul Cashman who covered acres of ground, full back Eoghan McGinley and goalie Alun Cullinan. Their next league outing is on 29 April away to Castleknock, who are also undefeated and Skerries will have to improve greatly to maintain their place at the top of the table.
Scores; B Cullen 1 -3; H Dawson 0 -4; G Cullen 0 -2; J Smith 0 -1; D McIlgorm 0 -1.
Team: Alun Cullinan; Ross McGarry, Eoghan McGinley, Eddie Reilly; Eoin Smith, David O'Brien, Jack Smith; Graham Cullen, Colin Daly; Barry Davey, Bryan Cullen, Conor O'Brien; Harry Dawson, Donal McIlgorm, Paul Cashman.
Subs used: Kevin Gilmore, Tommy Ryan, Mark Kirwan, Sean Rocks.
Referee: Derek McKetterick (Fingallians)
AFL Div. 6
Skerries Harps 3 – 9; Nm Fionnbarra 0 -5.
Next Sunday – 19 April. Dublin v Galway in Skerries at 2 pm. ALL TICKET match.