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St Sylvesters take narrow victory over Whitehall Colmcille

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Winning score - Dan Brennan of St Sylvester's.

Winning score - Dan Brennan of St Sylvester's.

Winning score - Dan Brennan of St Sylvester's.

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WHITEHALL COLMCILLE 1-10

ST SYLVESTER’S 0-14

A LATE fisted score from Dan Brennan secured two vital points for St Sylvester’s as they remained top of Division 2 following a one-point win over Whitehall Colmcille in this top-of-the-table clash played on Collins Avenue last Wednesday.

Up against a hardy Whitehall side, Sylvester’s kept their head about them to pull out a big result and stay three points clear of both Raheny and Whitehall Colmcille, potentially their two biggest threats were Sylvesters to be dragged back into the play-off positions.

With a game in hand on the chasing pack, Sylvester’s are in a good position for a return to Division 1 after a four-year absence and Wednesday’s one-point win was vital in that regard.

They suffered the heartache of losing out to next-door neighbours Naomh Mearnog in the Division 2 play-off final in 2019, but under the joint managership of Derek Roche and Daniel St Ledger there’s a real sense of optimism around this team now.

Over the course of the hour Sylvester’s were worth their victory. Although without Alex Wright and Josh Bannon, they did have Mick Shiel between the posts and his influence was there for all to see.

The Dublin panellist picked out towering midfielder Jack Hazley with a number of inch-perfect kickouts but was able to mix things up as well.

One driving run to the centre-field drove things on for the home side in the second half and sent out a message to what was a physically big Whitehall Colmcille team that Sylvester’s would not be put on the back foot.

Whitehall, it must be said, kicked some bad wides, but it didn’t seem to deter them too much despite chasing three-point deficits at three different stages during the game.

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They had trailed to an early Jack Hazley mark and subsequent efforts from Dylan Connolly and Mark Hazley (free) left Sylvesters three points up by the 14th minute.

Whitehall would eventually open their account off a Sean Ryan 45’ before Connolly got goal-side of his marker and shot across the face of the goal.

A close-in free from Sullivan, who followed that up with a point from the left, saw Whitehall on level terms and then they grabbed the only goal of the game when Sean Gannon fisted home at the far post.

However points from Andrew Cunningham and two fine scores from Mark Hazley off the left would leave Sylvester’s back on level terms before Gannon edged Whitehall back in front at the break - 1-4 to 0-6.

Soon after the restart Sylvester’s tied it up once more to keep the pressure on, aided by a good block from wing forward Ronan Palmer.

Then, following a free from Guiden, the former Dublin U20 player pointed off recycled ball to double his team’s advantage.

Whitehall refused to lie down and through scores from O’Sullivan and Johnathan Bridgement they had levelled proceeding once more at the three-quarter mark.

Again Sylvester’s attempted to pull away, with scores from Mark Hazley (free),d Karl Archbold and Guiden who landed a free after good work from Archbold.

Syls, though, had to play out the last 10 minutes of normal time without Paidi White after he picked up a black card.

With the extra man Whitehall began to secure a number of turnovers in the middle. Sean Foran, their Dublin underage player, was particularly industrious in the number 10 jersey as Sylvester’s began to feel the pressure.

And when Tony O’Sullivan levelled for Whitehall off a free a minute into injury time it looked as if Sylvester’s might be denied the two points.

But they persisted and in the final seconds of the five additional minutes Brennan cut in from the right and was on hand to fist over the winning score for the visitors.

St SYLVESTER’S: Michael Shiel, John Peacock, Sean O’Donnell, Andrew Cunningham 0-1, Paudi White, Harry Barnes, Glen Hazley, Jack Hazley 0-1 (0-1m), Stephen Cunningham, Jamie Kennedy, Karl Archibold 0-1, Ronan Palmer, Mark Hazley 0-4(0-2f0, Sean Guiden 0-5(0-2f), Dylan Connolly 0-1.Subs: Sean Gibson, Dan Brennan 0-1, Nathan Geraghty, Luke Troy.


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