Junior B Championship – Semi Final v St. Finian's

Junior A Football vs St. Finian’s
Tue, 27th September 2005
Junior B Championship – Semi Final

Castleknock 0-10 St Finians 0-7

Castleknock adult footballers just managed to come out the right side of the result in a dogged affair in Parnell Park on Tuesday night. It was backs to the wall stuff for much of the second half and even though it wasn’t pretty at times, the result is all that matters and in the end Castleknock booked their place in the final fixed for Sunday week (9th October) 

They had to start without regular wing-back Davy Leydon, who suffered a broken nose in a freak accident in training the week before. Get well soon horse. William Brennan, flush with cash after his Club Lotto 3 Number win, decided to move Paddy O’Brien from the forwards to wing-back to fill the position. Castleknock started off very shaky with Finians getting two scores in quick succession. However these were to be the last scores by Finians in the first half as Castleknock stepped up to the mark and kicked nine points without reply.

The half backs of Paddy O’Brien and Brian Kelly started to pick up the breaking ball around the centre of the field and quick ball found its way inside to the forward line where the Corcoran brothers were destroying their corner back markers. Barry Farrelly opened the scoring with a neat point before Tommy Corcoran shook off his marker, cut in along the line and slotted over. Midfield were starting to get a grip with Stephen Lynch really coming into his own ably assisted by Eoghan O’Callaghan who was carrying a serious shoulder injury.

Broken ball by Lynch around the middle resulted in points from Gerry Kelly and Rory Corcoran who was toying with the Finians defenders and the mind of Barry Farrelly! Farrelly was on target again when an incisive ball found him on the 21. He turned his man and slotted a point amongst a forest of players. Finians good start was almost forgotten as their forwards were chased into corners and dead ends by the Castleknock full back line and Finians either overturned the ball or put it out of play. 

Another long ball into the corner found Tommy Corcoran who went on a great run and slipped it to the brother Rory who skimmed the bar with a ferocious shot for another point. Then Lynch put the icing on a great first half display collecting a ball on the burst and firing over the bar to put Castleknock 7 points ahead at the break.

Half Time: Castleknock 0-9 St Finians 0-2

The second half was a different affair as it seemed from the throw in that Castleknock had decided to defend the lead. Finians opened the half with two frees to put a bit of fire in their bellies. However a couple of bad wides from them raised some uncertainty and the game turned into a bit of a stalemate with Castleknock struggling to get by their halfway line, despite some sterling work by Brian Kelly and Paddy O’Brien.

The referee decided this was boring fare for punters who had paid €10 into the game so he decided to liven it up and award the most ridiculous frees to Finians. He tried to outdo himself, with each decision being more ridiculous than the last. The yellow card awarded to Tommy Corcoran being the pinnacle of his outstanding display. Séamus Aldridge didn’t have a patch on him.

Tommy was also denied a stonewall penalty when he caught a dropping free on the edge of the Finians square, turned and was knocked to the ground but a free was awarded for not releasing the ball in time. Castleknock wondered would they ever score in the half but Paddy Molloy settled the nerves with a 50 from out near the sideline against the wind for a truly inspirational score. Although we have to mention Paddy did miss a penalty after a slalom run by Eoghan O’Callaghan but these are only trivial matters.

Castleknock squeezed out Finians for the remainder of the game. Finians were resigned to pumping high balls into their giant full forward but the balls were broken well by the full back line of McCabe, Lally and Raftery and carried to safety by Mulvhill who did a fierce amount of tackling in the second half.

The referee blew his whistle shortly after and despite everyone expecting another free it actually indicated the end of the game and Castleknock slumped to the turf in relief. As the man says a win is a win is a win but the performance will need to be upped for the full hour to win the final.

A big shout out to the great support on the night. We’ll see ye all Sunday week. And also mad love to the Bell for the food laid on after. Boo to Donal Cunningham who told Dara Mac that the grub wasn’t getting dished out till 11pm. Bad form badger.

Team: Eoin O’Baillie, Stephen McCabe, Denis Lally, Alan Raftery, Paddy O’Brien, Paul Mulvhill, Brian Kelly, Eoghan O’Callaghan, Stephen Lynch (0-1), John Greene, Paddy Molloy (0-1), Gerry Kelly (0-1), Tommy Corcoran (0-2), Barry Farrelly (0-1), Rory Corcoran (0-4)
Subs: Darach MacNamara, Liam Kinnucane, Ambrose Galligan, Martin Griffin, Niall Tutty, Stephen Keogan, Colm Byrne, Paddy Gaffney, John Smith, Eoin Maloney, Damien Griffin, Dominic Smith.

Injured: Davy Leydon, Dec Reilly, Len Dowling

Mentors: William Brennan (manager), Mick Lynch (motivator), Donal Cunningham (Fitness and video

Match report by the ever witty Club reporter Gerry Kelly