Des Carlos leads Castleknock to historic first Dublin final

St Jude’s run of semi-final defeats continues in low-scoring encounter at Parnell Park

 Morven Connolly celebrates with Castleknock team-mate  Tom Quinn at the final whistle of the Dublin SFC semi-final against St Jude’s at Parnel Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Morven Connolly celebrates with Castleknock team-mate Tom Quinn at the final whistle of the Dublin SFC semi-final against St Jude’s at Parnel Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

a
 

Castleknock 0-11 St Jude’s 1-4

Castleknock advanced to their first Dublin Senior Football Championship final after overcoming St Jude’s by four points at Parnell Park on Thursday night.

The contribution of Des Carlos proved pivotal by the final whistle with his nine points over the hour a key contribution in a contest of high energy but scant attacking initiative.

St Jude’s had previously lost at the semi-final stage in three of the past four years and their hugely disappointing record continued in a match that they showed little of the impressive form when defeating Kilmacud Crokes a week previously.

The perceived wisdom in advance of the tie was that Castleknock would require a positive opening to have any chance of causing an upset, given their opponents’ ability to defend from deep with heavy numbers.

However, the semi-final debutants improved with every minute and were dominant by the final whistle, completing a hugely deserved and historic success.

While enjoying a fair share of possession, they still fell behind in the fourth minute as Declan Donnelly eluded his marker to point from 20 metres.

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.

From the early stages it was evident that Jude’s were far more comfortable in releasing quick ball into their inside-forward line with their opponents playing a running game that yielded a score through Carlos’s free in the sixth minute.

Given their experience at this stage of the championship, it was understandable that St Jude’s would settle the quicker and they regained their advantage three minutes later thanks to Kieran Doherty’s ambitious effort.

St Jude’s soon doubled their lead thanks to an excellent point by Niall Coakley as their initially more expansive approach looked to be paying early dividends.

However, far from building on this solid platform, they retreated increasingly further towards their own goal, inviting their opponents to enjoy plenty of possession and increase their confidence as a consequence.

While not able to puncture the heavily-manned Jude’s defence initially, Castleknock were patient enough to force a free close to goal that saw Carlos add a second point in the 13th minute.

From that point, it proved terribly disappointing fare with Castleknock dominating the ball but with scant return and a depressingly familiar stalemate ensued.

There was one bright spot in the remainder of the half as Mikey Galvin fired over a sublime levelling score in the 20th minute, the final score of the half as Jude’s were held scoreless for a full 22 minutes.

With the sides deadlocked at 0-3 apiece at the break, St Jude’s looked to address their attacking issues with Enda Dalton’s introduction at the break yielding an early free for Coakley.

Castleknock’s response was admirable with Carlos converting two frees in quick succession and another free in the 41st minute increased their lead to two points, a relative chasm in such a low-scoring contest.

With St Jude’s looking bereft of inspiration in attack, they received the required boost at the end of the third quarter through a reliable source when McManamon eluded the clutches of Tom Quinn for once with his precise finish beyond Morven Connolly the almost inevitable result.

However, it was the energy and athleticism of Castleknock that proved telling in the final quarter and after Ben Galvin restored parity in the 48th minute, Carlos seized the initiative with his precise free-taking augmented by two superb points from acute angles, scores that will live long on Castleknock folklore as they advance to a final meeting against St Vincent’s on Saturday week.

CASTLEKNOCK: M Connolly; T Quinn, E O’Brien, P Bourke; G Hannigan, T Shiels, P Sherry; C Kilkenny, J Sherry; D Carlos (0-9, seven frees), S Boland, B Galvin (0-1); C Lynch, K Kindlon, M Galvin (0-1).

Subs: J Kindlon for M Galvin (49 mins),T Corcoran for Lynch, M Griffen for B Galvin ( both 58 mins).

ST JUDE’S: P Copeland; R Martina, P Cunningham, R Finnegan; C McBride, M Sweeney, B Sheehan; C Murphy, S Ryan; T Lahiff, R Joyce, K Doherty (0-1); D Donnelly (0-1), N Coakley (0-2, one free), K McManamon (1-0).

Subs: E Dalton for Joyce (half-time), D McLoughlin for Lahiff (40 mins), P Courtney for Murphy (42 mins), O Manning for McBride (49 mins), J Donnelly for Doherty, B McManamon for Coakley (52 mins).

Referee: James King (Garda).

a
The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.