Ciarán and co 'knock Enda's off the throne
CIARAN KILKENNY hit eight points as Castleknock won their first minor title
BALLYBODEN ST ENDA'S 1-5
CLASSY Castleknock were crowned Dublin Minor Football 'A' champions following a deserved five-point win over last year's victors, Ballyboden St Enda's, at Parnell Park last night.
Despite a typically battling display from 'Boden after the break, there was little denying Castleknock their first title at this level, with talisman Ciarán Kilkenny giving an impressive display at centrefield for the winners.
In addition to kicking eight points in total, including five from play, Kilkenny's energy and aerial ability were pivotal to his side's success.
But it was far from a one-man show with fellow Dublin minor Graham Hannigan giving a polished display at full-back in what was an excellent team display.
It was scant surprise that Kilkenny opened the scoring with a glorious strike in the third minute and the lively Ross Mullins doubled that advantage with a well-taken score after a free-flowing move from the Dublin 15 side.
Another Kilkenny point, from a sixth-minute free, gave Castleknock tangible reward for their early supremacy with 'Boden finally getting on the scoresheet through Alan Flood's 11th-minute point.
They reduced their arrears to just a point when Cathal Flaherty registered the score of the game with a glorious catch and shot on the turn as St Enda's threatened sporadically through the pace of Sam Molony.
However, with Martin Brady becoming an increasingly influential figure alongside Kilkenny at midfield, Castleknock began to turn the screw with wave after wave of attacks towards the church end.
Points followed at the end of the first quarter from Kilkenny, Kevin Kindlon and Eoghan Quinn, benefitting from the unselfish full-forward play of Mullins, with Brady's distribution a key facet of Castleknock's scoring burst.
Three further points ensued from Kilkenny, Kindlon and Shane Boland to leave 'Boden seven points adrift but a much-needed lifeline arrived in the 26th minute when Flaherty availed of a defensive slip to coolly slot home past James McLoughlin for the game's solitary goal.
Crucially, Kilkenny tagged on the final score of the half, with their five-point lead (0-10 to 1-2) failing to adequately reflect their overall dominance in terms of territory and possession.
It was a different scenario upon the restart as 'Boden showed greater attacking intent with Sam Molony reducing his side arrears to four points after 32 minutes but it proved as close as they would get as Hannigan mopped up superbly across the defensive line.
Despite being limited to just three Kilkenny points for the entire second-half, it proved more than enough for Castleknock, and although Lorcan Mullaney and Aran Waters replied with points for St Enda's, a scoreless final quarter ensured a well merited win for Gerry Kindlon's charges.