Setanta rules skies as Blues stay on a roll

HOT on the heels of the heroics of Sean Óg and Aisake for the Cork hurlers last weekend, the Australian arm of the O hAilpín sporting dynasty continues to make headlines in the AFL.

Such has been the turnaround in his fortunes the Carlton Blues attack has been re-branded as ‘Setanta and his Little Helpers’.

O hAilpín failed to find the target for just the second time all season but his bustling, bullying aerial prowess ensured that he continued to dominate the skies meaning his smaller colleagues – with Eddie Betts to the fore – were freed up to help the Blues to a 101-60 victory over Jim Stynes’ Melbourne Demons in front of almost 50,000 at the MCG.

It lifted the Blues – the surprise package of this season – within reach of the top four and just eight points behind champions Geelong who sit atop the rankings.

The Sydney Swans are desperate to get the injured Tadhg Kennelly back into the action but they did at least see off the lowly Essendon Bombers by nine points yesterday, enough to keep them in seventh and in the end-of-season play-off places.

Tommy Walsh rounded off the most memorable week thus far of his Australian adventure with his third goal in two games.

While the former Kerry forward has been big news among the St Kilda faithful since his move to Melbourne, he has been something of an anonymous figure for wider AFL fans. That’s beginning to change though as he continues his rapid development Down Under.

Following a dominant display when moved into the forwards for the first time in his Rules career last weekend, Walsh was interviewed this week by Australia’s biggest selling newspaper The Herald Sun.

It was the kind of exposure that would have had Ricky Nixon rubbing his hands and there’s likely to be more on the way for the Kerins O’Rahillly’s man, who followed up his brace last week with another goal against Collingwood reserves for Sandringham – St Kilda’s second string.

Walsh admitted he was a ‘headless chicken’ in his first game but now has the confidence to start setting some goals.

‘Setanta is going so well,’ he said. ‘If I could be half as successful as him, that would be great,” he said.

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