Near Perfect Performance Sees Minor Hurlers Through To ‘C’ Final

(13 Sep 2020)

Castleknock 1-18 St. Vincent’s 1-6

A near perfect morning and a near perfect performance from Castleknock Minor Hurlers saw them overcome St. Vincent’s, in some style, in this Minor ‘C’ Hurling Championship Semi-Final in Somerton this morning (Sept.13).

Admittedly when Castleknock trailed by 0-2 1-1, 11 minutes in and shortly afterwards lost full-back Ivan Carroll to injury it looked as if the team would struggle to get the better of a big, strong, physical St. Vincent’s team but thereafter Castleknock matched that physicality, winning the ‘dirty ball’ time and again all around the field before setting up some classy scores.

Backed by the stiff breeze Castleknock opened well with points from Luke Callinan and Cian Prior but St. Vincent’s hit back with a goal from a penalty and a point on the trot to leave the home team trailing by two.

The next score was important, a goal on 13 minutes, the sliotar kicked to the Vincent’s net by full-forward Luke Callinan after a probing ball in from Sean Mulroney. That goal seemed to settle Castleknock because between then and half-time they scored six points. The unerring Sean Mulroney pointed three frees added to by scores from play from Cian Prior, Killian Slater and midfielder Eoin Walsh to give Castleknock a fully merited 1-8 1-2 interval lead.

The expected second-half surge from St. Vincent’s never really materialised mostly it must be said because the Castleknock backs played ‘out of their skins’ for the entire second-half, limiting Vincent’s to just one point in the third quarter and just four in all. Meanwhile the forwards kept the scores coming.

Substitute and scratch golfer Adam Kelly began it with a superb point on the run. The impressive Sean Mulroney followed up with another pointed free and Ashraf Dafalla was rewarded for his wholehearted commitment with a great point from distance to put Castleknock nine points clear 1-11 1-2 just eight minutes into the second-half.

Even at that stage St. Vincent’s went looking for goals but there was to be no breaking down Castleknock’s superb defence as the full and half back lines won all the important battles during that period of pressure.

At the other end, Adam Kelly tagged on another three points from frees while Eoin Walsh who throughout the game, gave an incredible performance of ball winning in midfield showed his ability in attack as well, firing over two fine scores.

Ashraf Dafalla ended one of the moves of the match with his second point of the half and it was left to corner-forward Fergal Seery to land Castleknock’s final score of the morning.     

It was a simple game plan, expertly executed by a totally committed group of players, every one of them giving 100%. A delight to watch. A repeat performance in the Final against Kilmacud Crokes would be great. Best wishes to Ivan Carroll for a speedy recovery.

Castleknock: Andy Ryan; Eoin Monaghan; Ivan Carroll; Evan Kearney; Josh McCann; Killian Slater (0-1); Oisín O’Neill; Eoin Walsh (0-3); Sean Mulroney (0-4); Cian Prior (0-2); Ashraf Dafalla (0-2); Alex Santamaria; Fergal Seery (0-1); Luke Callinan (1-1); Conor Cryan. Subs: Kieran Mullen; Adam Kelly (0-4); Murrough McKinley; Alex Conroy, (Daniel O’Leary).

Management: Donal O’Leary; Paul Prior; Tommy Monaghan.
Report: Kevin Mallon

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