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Whelan's 'delighted' as Raheny seal top-flight return

THREE goals within the opening quarter helped Raheny overcome Round Tower Clondalkin by 3-6 to 1-10 in their Dublin Adult Football League Division 2 Promotion Play-off Final at the Clondalkin Community Centre yesterday morning, writes Ronan Mac Lochlainn.

The hosts battled back valiantly to draw level with 10 minutes remaining but their efforts proved in vain as Raheny finished the match in the ascendancy with three late points confirming their return to the top flight.

Raheny manager Ciarán Whelan was first to acknowledge his side did not hit the heights of their semi-final win over Erin's Isle but was nonetheless a contented man as he reflected on his side's promotion.

"We are delighted to be back up," he said. "It was a solid enough performance and we struggled at times but thankfully we had enough in the tank to finish strongly.

"We are a relatively young side with lots of potential and the lads have put in a great effort this year. It is great to be back up in Division 1 after a decent break and it's very important that we build on this."

Eoin Keogh was first to find the net for the visitors and his effort was soon followed by another goal by the impressive David Carroll, before Towers responded with a goal of their own through Jason Joyce.

Cornerstone

Remarkably, it was Joyce's 14th league goal of the campaign and his displays over the year were a cornerstone in Towers' promotion push as were the consistent performances of full-back Jamie McCarthy.

Ciaran Murphy netted for Raheny after 15 minutes but the hosts narrowed their deficit as the half progressed with Chris Carthy and the influential Tom Lyons ensuring they trailed by just 3-3 to 1-5 at the interval.

McCarthy, Lyons and Eoin Young tightened up defensively as Towers maintained the momentum and Carthy's three points had the sides level before the excellent David Henry and substitutes Eoin Delaney and John Ryan landed critical points to ensure a vital win for the St Anne's Park men.

Despite the defeat, Towers manager Caimin Keane was justifiably proud of the efforts of his charges after a difficult year for the Clondalkin club that lost one its panel following the untimely passing of Ciaran Carr in January.

"Losing Ciaran was the most significant event of the year for this club. We never wanted to use his death as a motivational tool, certainly not superficially," said Keane.

"We had a meeting at the start of the year and we said we'd give it 100 per cent and that is what all the lads have done so in that respect I couldn't be prouder of the lads in honouring that commitment.

"Fair play to Raheny. They were the better team on the day and we wish them well in Division 1 next year," added Keane.


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