O'Dwyer picks off Parnell's
Dub inspires awesome Olaf to six-point victory
Naomh Olaf 1-10
A solid second-half showing was enough to see Naomh Olaf get their 2012 AHL 3 campaign off to a winning start against Parnell's at St David's CBS grounds on Sunday morning.
After a tight opening quarter in which both teams displayed some superb score taking, Olaf became the dominant force and were full value for the six-point victory.
The home side will be disappointed with their second-half showing, as they only managed a solitary point which arrived five minutes from the finish, although it must be said that a strong breeze played havoc with their shooting.
The game started at a frantic pace and there were four points apiece on the board after 10 minutes. Keith Byrne was showing well for the Coolock men, as his pace caused problems for the opposition and it was he who opened the scoring.
Leigh Fogarty was also prominent for Parnell's in the opening exchanges, but points from James Murphy and Colin Delaney kept the visitors in touch.
The southside men settled more into the game in the 15-minute period before the break, as their Dublin senior Declan O'Dwyer began to exert his considerable influence on proceedings.
O'Dwyer roamed away from his centre-forward berth making him extremely hard to mark, and he clipped over five points before the interval, four of which came from play.
A superb '65' from Donie McMahon supplemented O'Dwyer's efforts but 'Nells remained on their coat-tails thanks to a brace of frees from Fogarty as they trailed by 0-9 to 0-6 at the half-time break. Incredibly, considering some of the quality on display in the opening period, it took 19 minutes for the first score after the resumption of play, with Olaf sub Tony O'Hara slotting over. Matters weren't helped by a long stoppage for treatment to Colin Delaney, who appeared to pick up a nasty injury.
The defining moment would come soon after. A dangerous free from Murphy forced Parnell's net-minder, Darren Renehan, into a fine save.
However, the ball broke loose in the small rectangle, where Niall Gallagher seized upon the opportunity and fired to the net past the stranded Renehan.
Stephen Duffy responded instantly for the Dublin 5 side with a well-taken point. Parnell's went in search of the goal their challenge so desperately needed but met with firm resistance.
Fogarty attempted the spectacular with a shot outside the 20-metre line, only for it to be denied thanks to a brilliant diving block by Emmett Laffan.
Former Laois dual ace Darren Rooney tried in vain to drag his side back into the game. But the winners' full-back line of Eamon Barry, Paddy Roe and Richie McDonnell proved an insurmountable obstacle as Naomh Olaf held on to take the win.