Junior A Football vs Naomh Olaf

Junior A Football vs Naomh Olaf
Sun, 12th September 2004

Result: 1-08 to 1-04

A popular chocolate bar once ran an ad with the phrase: “You can’t sing, you look awful – you’ll go a long way.” And this could have applied to Castleknock in their match on Sunday morning. Not that they were bad mind (although some do look awful), its just that the conditions and the pitch made decent football an almost impossibility but a result was ground out all the same. It was a landmark occasion too as Brian ‘Cool Hand’ Kelly made his much-heralded comeback. He’s had more false dawns than Roy Keane but yes, it was true, that was indeed Cool Hand in a pair of shorts and running – well attempting to anyway. All that boxing training and three fried breakfasts a day in Copenhagen must have speeded up the recovery.

The match started off late due to delays with setting up the pitch – maybe they could have cut the grass too in the time they wasted as some areas of the pitch resembled jungle territory you might see on National Geographic. Patsy was almost mistaken for a pygmy at one stage.

Anyway Castleknock started off at a good pace with O’Callaghan and Morgan dominating midfield from the start – O’Callaghan shaking off the foggy head he brought with him. Unfortunately the weather was playing havoc with the conditions and the forwards missed some scoreable chances that on another day would have been easily taken. Castleknock opened their account when a fine ball from Stephen Keogan released the onrushing Gerry Kelly whose pointed effort somehow ended in the back of the net. The backs were holding firm, none more so than man of the match Shane Reilly who closed off all avenues to Olafs. He was ably assisted by Raff and John Mac and this was obvious from the fact that Olafs only score of the half came from a free.

Castleknock’s second score came when a long ball from defence was flicked on by Brian Kelly to Gerry Kelly, no relation. Gerry Kelly returned it back to Brian Kelly, still no relation. Cool Hand then released O’Callaghan who squeezed a point inside the post despite the protestations of Olaf’s management. Patsy got in on the act then when he battled hard to win a breaking ball and slotted over to extend Castleknock’s lead.

Half time score: Naomh Olaf 0-01 Castleknock 1-02

In the second half it was much the same with the two midfield lads winning some fine possession. It took a while for the forwards to get going but some good passing opened up a few gaps and Barry Farrelly, Stephen Keogan and Andrew Morgan found the range with some finely taken scores. Shane Reilly was peforming heroics again in the back line with the brother Declan also breaking up the Olafs play.
Unfortunately, Olafs got two freak scores against the run of play when a long ball in hopped over the bar and they also got a goal from close range.

Dara Mac entered the fray as a sub running onto the pitch with the head rolling like Paula Radcliffe. However, this is one man who has no problems finishing a marathon – the chocolate bar that is. Castleknock battled back but their shooting was so bad that if Lee Harvey Oswald was a Castleknock forward, Kennedy would still be alive. Although saying that, the pitch was full of grassy knolls. However the subs Byrne and MacNamara combined to good effect when Darach released Ger Byrne for the final score to clinch the points.

The win was dedicated to the memory of Donal Cunningham’s dog who makes his journey to the great kennel in the sky after his brave sixth in Kilkenny on Saturday night.

Scorers: Gerry Kelly (1-0), Barry Farrelly (0-2), Patsy McGennill (0-2), Stephen Keogan (0-1), Ger Byrne (0-1), Eoghan O’Callaghan (0-1), Andrew Morgan (0-1).

Castleknock:  Fionan McDonagh, Alan Raftery, Shane Reilly, John McMenamin, Brian Kelly, Declan Reilly, Ambrose Galligan, Eoghan O’Callaghan, Andrew Morgan, Stephen Keogan, Barry Farrelly, Gerry Kelly, Patsy McGinnell, Dominic Smith, Brendan Kiely
Subs used: Ger Byrne, Darach Mac Namara, John Corkery