Junior A Football vs Na Fianna

Junior A Football vs Na Fianna
Sun, 22nd August 2004

Result: 13 to 2.05

Mighty stuff from the men from Castleknock (well, living there anyway) last Sunday when they defeated promotion rivals Na Fianna in a tough encounter in Porterstown. There were a few sheepish looking heads (this scribe included) on the Castleknock team before the game but a few swigs from the magic water bottle soon got them pumped up for the game.

Straight from the off, the gruesome twosome – Eoghan O’Callaghan and Stephen Lynch, continued their good form of recent weeks and established a platform in midfield for Castleknock to launch their attacks. Ger Byrne and Dominic Smith were winning any balls that came their way and Byrne opened the scoring when he made his way in along the end line and fisted over for a point. Patsy popped up for a point after collecting a ball he had no right to win and Gerry Kelly hit two points in quick succession to stretch the lead for the men from Castleknock. Na Fianna responded physically and their centre half back was lucky to stay on the pitch after two hefty lunges on Stephen Lynch and Barry Farrelly.

Na Fianna’s forwards started to wake up where they were previously well contained by the Castleknock backs and they worked a goal following some slick passing. The referee was making some questionable decisions and two frees awarded to Na Fianna resulted in scores for the Glasnevin side. Stephen Lynch snuck a point in off the post following a good run and Bar Farrelly made no mistake from a free shortly after. Still, for all their possession Castleknock went in at the break only a point up, knowing they’d have to do it all over again in the second half.

Half time score: Castleknock 0-7 Na Fianna 1-3

The first period of the second half was backs to the wall time for Castleknock as Na Fianna came out of the blocks at a ferocious pace determined to overturn the half time deficit. The back line really stood firm with Raff and Mark Mohan getting in some vital tackles and Sam having a ding-dong battle with his man in the corner. Stephen Keogan was dropping deep and making himself available for ball from the back, which was in turn transferred to the full forward line. Dom as usual was winning his fair share of frees and Patsy and Bar Farrelly from their respective sides, kept the scoreboard ticking over for Castleknock.

Na Fianna managed to close the gap with a well taken run and goal from their corner forward but shot themselves in the foot when their centre half-back was sent off after trying the ref’s patience one too many times. Davy Leydon took on the mantle of the spare man role and swept up a power of ball in front of the full-back line. One catch over the head of a wet ball, particularly catching the eye. Anything missed by the half-backs was gathered by either Shane Reilly having an influential game at full-back or Fionan in the nets.

Castleknock kicked on and scores from Dominic and Kelly closed out the game. There was still time for a refrain of ‘The men! The men! The men!’ from Dominic, when the Na Fianna keeper was kicking out the ball but you wouldn’t expect anything less. The ref blew the whistle shortly after and there was a universal thought of ‘thank Christ for that’.

Also, fair play to Sean in the Bell for laying on the grub afterwards for the hungry troops which was washed down by various soft drinks of course. And milk.

Scorers: Gerry Kelly (0-3), Patsy McGennill (0-3), Barry Farrelly (0-3), Dominic Smith (0-2), Stephen Lynch (0-1), Ger Byrne (0-1).

Team: Fionan McDonagh, Alan Raftery, Shane Reilly, Ambrose Galligan, Declan Reilly, Mark Mohan, Davy Leydon, Eoghan O’Callaghan, Stephen Lynch, Stephen Keogan, Barry Farrelly, Gerry Kelly, Patsy McGinnell,, Dominic Smith, Ger Byrne
Subs : John McMenamin, John Corkery.