Des Carlos struck nine points to help Castleknock advance to their first ever Dublin SFC final as they defeated St Jude’s by four points at Parnell Park last night.
The first half was forgettable though St Jude’s opened up brightly with Declan Donnelly opening the scoring with a fine point in the 4th minute.
Kevin McManamon should have landed a significant blow soon after as Jude’s forced a turnover close to goal but the ball slipped from his grasp with the Castleknock goal in his sights.
Carlos managed to restore parity for Castleknock when converting a facile free in the 6th minute. With a slight breeze at their backs, St Jude’s regained their lead thanks to Kieran Doherty’s ambitious effort three minutes later.
A Niall Coakley point within a minute doubled the St Jude’s advantage but from a position of relative strength, they struggled for the remainder of the half, being held scoreless for 22 minutes.
Unable to take full advantage of their opponents’ struggles, Castleknock more than did enough in terms of dominating possession — a Carlos free in the 13th minute was fair reward for their supremacy around the middle.
Ciaran Kilkenny was a central figure at this stage, directing play patiently from midfield. Despite lacking the cutting edge to pierce the Jude’s rearguard, their positive levels of possession allowed Castleknock to settle in what was their first ever senior semi-final.
There were isolated moments of inspiration as the half progressed, with Mikey Galvin’s excellent levelling point in the 20th minute reflecting well on the Castleknock confidence.
There was no further scoring as the sides entered the break deadlocked at 0-3 apiece, but three Carlos frees in the opening ten minutes of the restart handed Castle-knock some vital momentum.
However, McManamon offered his team a lifeline with a superb solo goal at the end of the third quarter.
More experienced teams may well have crumbled but the energy and youth of Castleknock proved telling by the final whistle as Carlos kicked four points without reply to confirm a historic win for the Dublin 15 side.
D Carlos 0-9 (0-7f), M Galvin, B Galvin 0-1 each.
K McManamon 1-0, N Coakley 0-2 (0-1f), D Donnelly, K Doherty 0-1 each.
M Connolly; T Quinn, E O’Brien, P Bourke; G Hannigan, T Shiels, P Sherry; C Kilkenny, J Sherry; D Carlos, S Boland, B Galvin; C Lynch, K Kindlon, M Galvin.
J Kindlon for M Galvin (49),T Corcoran for Lynch and M Griffen for B Galvin (58).
P Copeland; R Martina, P Cunningham, R Finnegan; C McBride, M Sweeney, B Sheehan; C Murphy, S Ryan; T Lahiff, R Joyce, K Doherty; D Donnelly, N Coakley, K McManamon.
E Dalton for Joyce (half-time), D McLoughlin for Lahiff (40), P Courtney for Murphy (42), O Manning for McBride (49), J Donnelly for Doherty and B McManamon for Coakley (52).
James King (Garda)