Castleknock Hurlers Lose Junior ‘F’ Final By Narrowest Of Margins

(04 Oct 2020)

Castleknock 0-8 Fingallians 1-6

On the kind of day you wouldn’t put a bucket out, Castleknock lost this low-scoring Junior ‘F’ Hurling Championship Final to Fingallians by the narrowest possible margin in very, very difficult conditions in O’Toole Park this Sunday afternoon (Oct.4).

The rain never once let up, making handling in particular and hurling in general, extremely problematic and while Castleknock pressed hard for an equalising point in the final, frenetic minutes, Fingallians in spite of a few late scares did much about enough to hold on for a merited victory.

In such a low-scoring game a goal was always going to be vital and it went to Fingallians 22 minutes into the first-half when a long range-free was well blocked out by goalkeeper Eoin McCambridge only for an inrushing Fingallians forward to then slam the loose ball to the Castleknock net.

Prior to that the sides had been level three times, at one, two and three points apiece, three Matthew Lynam points from frees, one after some excellent play by Hugh Feeney, keeping Castleknock well in touch. It looked as if Fingallians were about to make a serious breakthrough on 17 minutes when they were awarded a penalty but Eoin McCambridge made a fine save with the clearance being completed by Mark Connellan.

Castleknock’s only other first-half score was a fourth pointed free from the deadly accurate Matthew Lynam, to leave it 0-4 1-3 at the interval. Fingallians pressed hard in the third quarter scoring three points in-a-row in the first thirteen minutes to open up a five point gap, 0-4 1-6, and indeed it could have been worse for Castleknock but for a brilliant Barry Brennan block.

It was only then Castleknock really began to play. With Paul Hammel and Barry Brennan superbly marshalling the Castleknock defence, Fingallians were held scoreless for the last 17 minutes of the game with Castleknock all the time chipping away at that five-point margin.

Matthew Lynam began the comeback with a pointed free, followed by another pointed free from substitute Rian Buckley and then as the game nudged over into time-added-on Matthew Lynam stepped up to send over his sixth and seventh pointed frees to leave just one point between the sides.

In an exciting finish Castleknock had a number of opportunities to level the match but in spite of the players giving everything, sadly it was not to be. All Castleknock’s scores came from placed balls and it was the failure to create more scoring chances from play that probably proved decisive on the day.

Still it has been a great summer of 2020 Junior ‘F’ Championship journey and we are thankful to all the players and their management team for bringing us such great entertainment and excitement over the last few months. GRMA. See you all in 2021.

Castleknock: Eoin McCambridge; Niall Walsh; Barry Brennan; Aonghus Murray; Tiago Mantero Belard; Paul Hammel; Mark Connellan; Ruairí Deehan; Joe Kelly; Shaun Mealia; Matthew Lynam (0-7); Hugh Hogan; Gerry Mulryan; Hugh Feeney; Sean Kennedy. Subs used: Rian Buckley (0-1); Ciarán O’Flannagáin; David Mullen; James Doherty. Panel: Paddy McKiernan; Colly Kenny; Jamie Bradshaw; Jack Molloy; Aaron Kavanagh; Sean Nagle; James Finan; Vinny Needham; Steve Callinan; Alan Kelly; Tom Gubbins.

Management: Patsy Hough; John Kilkenny.
Report: Kevin Mallon