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Delaney hits four in rock explosion!

The MDL season began last week with the traditional start of a full round of group matches in the Shield competitions.

A second round of Shield fixtures was quickly followed in midweek.

The League proper kicked off yesterday and the early indications are the top three from last season look set to do battle for the title once again.

Champions Rock Celtic started with a resounding 8-2 success at Torro United who themselves stayed in the top flight following a Houdini-style escape towards the end of the last campaign.

Derek Delaney was in fine form scoring four of his side's total, along with strikes from David Hoey, David McGeough, Des McKeown, and Tony Walsh. Coming hot on the heels of an excellent performance in the prestigious pre-season Tommy Clements Cup in which they narrowly lost the final on penalties to Leinster Senior League side Wayside Celtic having eliminated some top AUL sides earlier in the competition.

Last season's runner-up, Carrick Rovers, who took Rock to a title play off, also served notice they are going to be a force to be reckoned with when they opened their account with a fine 6-0 success away to last season's Division 1 winners, Marsh Celtic.

Top scorer from the previous campaign Eamonn Lynch helped himself to a hat-trick, and Gerard McGeown, Nial Babington, and Breandan Kerley were also on the mark.

Trim Celtic who were also very close in winning the league last season got off to a flyer against newcomers Quay Celtic who transferred to the MDL from the Leinster Senior League.

In what was a tight match until the hour mark when Trim scored three goals without reply to end up comfortable winners by 4-1, their goals coming from Scott McGowan, Michael Tyndell, Paul Campbell, and Paul Munnelly.

Thomas McShane scored Quay's solitary goal. In Div one, Dromin got off to a good start defeating Skryne-Tara 5-0 at home with a brace from Paul Johnson, and one each from Dave Donovan, Ger Conlon, and Emmet Farrell.

Kells-Blackwater also took maximum points courtesy of a 2-0 success at home to Navan Town, where Shane McGeough scored both, one from the penalty spot.

One player who was not so lucky from a penalty strike was last season's Division 2 player of the year Sean Doyle when he failed to convert for his side Kentstown with just five minutes remaining against Ardee Celtic, and had to be content with a share of the spoils in a 0-0 draw.

To compound matters for the avid Aston Villa supporter, he learned after the match of their 0-6 drubbing by Chris Hughton's Newcastle United.