St Judes 1-04
Castleknock claimed their first ever appearance in a Dublin Senior Football Championship Final thanks to a dominant second half display that nullified the St Judes attack in last nights semi final.
With both sides playing with ultra defensive game plans, the first half was one to forget, devoid of any decent passages of play or excitement or entertainment for the watching spectators as both sides cancelled each other out.
St Jude’s started the game brightly and built up a three point to one lead inside the opening ten minutes with points from Declan Donnelly, Kieran Doherty and Kevin McManamon and the solitary reply for Castleknock coming from a Des Carlos free.
With defences on top scoring opportunities were at a premium, but with ten minutes remaining in the half Castleknock had drawn level with another Des Carlos free the second of seven frees the player would nail throughout the game and a fine point from play from Mikey Galvin.
But neither side managed to trouble the scoreboard again for the rest of the half and St Judes were to rue a number of poor wides in that period with the score at the break deadlocked at 0-03 apiece.
The second half started off exactly the same with defence the order of the day, Judes employed a double sweeper system and Castleknock pulled 15 players inside their own half when they didn’t have the ball.
Judes opened the second half scoring with a pointed free from Niall Coakley, but Castleknock were causing more problems with their quicker transition from defence to attack and add in Judes tendency to cough up needless frees from over zealous tackling and Castleknock took full advantage.
By the eleventh minute of the second half Castleknock led by two courtesy of three Des Carlos frees, who punished Judes for any indiscretions in the scoring zone.
Jude’s were struggling to get anything going up front mostly caused by their very slow movement of the ball from the back which allowed Castleknock set up defensively.
Jude’s needed a bit of inspirational magic and it was Kevin McManamon who provided it in the 15th minute. For once Judes abandoned their slow hand passing build up from the back and before Castleknock could pull the extra players back into position the ball was released early towards McManamon.
Kevin won the ball, went past his marker and drove towards goal, he broke through another would be tackler and unleashed a thunderbolt of a shot to the back of the Castleknock net to give Judes a one point lead.
It was an inspirational score and one that should have been the spark to drive Judes on, but that drive never materialised and even though there was fifteen minutes to go in the contest it was to be the Tymon North men’s final score.
Castleknock dusted themselves down and stuck to their game plan and two minutes later drew level again with an excellent point from play by Ben Galvin.
The defending from Castleknock was just outstanding in the second half and they continually either turned the ball over or forced Judes players into rushed wayward passes or to be penalised for either fouling the ball or over carrying.
At the other end of the pitch Judes continued to give away needless frees as the Castleknock possession game frustrated them more and more and each time they were punished by the ever accurate Des Carlos who nailed three in a row between the 22nd and 29th minute, leaving Judes in need of a goal in the dying embers of the game just to draw level.
It never came as Castleknock played keep ball to run the clock down and just as the game headed into injury time Des Carlos capped off a top class display with a brilliant point from play to seal the deal for Castleknock and guarantee their first ever appearance in a Dublin Senior County Championship Final.
That date with destiny will take place in Parnell Park on the 5th of November against St Vincent’s.
Des Carlos 0-09 (0-07f)
Mikey Galvin 0-01
Ben Galvin 0-01
St Judes Scorers:
Kevin McManamon 1-01
Declan Donnelly 0-01
Kieran Doherty 0-01
Niall Coakley 0-01 (0-01f)
18mins 2nd Half, 21. John Kindlon For 13. Mikey Galvin
28mins 2nd Half, 19. Matt Griffin For 11. Ben Galvin
28mins 2nd Half, 24. Tom Corcoran For 15. Colin Lynch
St. Jude’s Substitutions:
Half Time, 22. Enda Dalton For 24. Ronan Joyce
09mins 2nd Half, 21. Diarmuid McLaughlin For 10. Thomas Lahiff
12mins 2nd Half, 23. Paul Courtney For 8. Colm Murphy
21mins 2nd Half, 18. Joseph Donnelly For 12. Kieran Doherty
21mins 2nd Half, 27. Brendan McManamon For 14. Niall Coakley
32mins 2nd Half, 30. Oisin Manning For 23: Paul Courtney