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Mearnóg back and not just to make up Division 2 numbers

BACK in the main auditorium -- Naomh Mearnóg. Next Sunday they return to the AFL Division 2.

"It's been a few years, but we are delighted to be there," says mentor Richie Johnson.

"It was a tough oul' battle, but we got there in the end. Division 3 was hard going. It's not easy to get out of it, but fair play to the lads for keeping it going.

"We have been on the go now since January 2009. That's a long stretch, but the fellas dug in."

Richie manages the side with Ray O'Sullivan, Tom Behan, Barry Gogarty and Daire Gilmartin.

"We are now straight back into on Sunday when we go out to Dalkey to play Cuala, but we'll be hoping to get a solid start," adds Richie.


A start to match last season would be just the ticket. Mearnóg won their first 10 matches in the AFL 3. They then lost the next two to St Peregrine's and St Vincent's -- both by a point.

Mearnóg then won two more and drew against Fingallians. That's how tight it was. Peregrine's went up as champions while Mearnóg secured promotion by the play-off route, beating Clanna Gael Fontenoy in the deciding game.

"We know there will be nothing easy again this year. But the main thing is that we are there," adds Richie. "We have a mixed squad: a good bit of experience and six or seven of the U21s. The U21s did so well to win the U21 'C' Championship. We have plenty of talent coming through."

And the other good thing is that the Portmarnock palace is the ideal venue for chiselling those skills.