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Castle crusade wrecks Raheny

CASTLEKNOCK 2-22, RAHENY 1-7 - It was Ciarán Kilkenny's swansong before he heads Down Under to start his career as a professional sportsman with Australian Rules outfit Hawthorn, and it couldn't have worked out any better for the Dublin senior footballer.

But this was much more than being about Kilkenny. Capturing the Dublin JFC 'A' title with an emphatic win over Raheny represents the next step for Castleknock, a club who have been on an upward trajectory since their foundation in 1998.

Qualification for AFL 4 was secured in 2011, and now they can look forward to intermediate championship action in 2013.

In truth, this game was over after 20 minutes. Raheny simply couldn't get their hands on the ball and were an incredible 2-9 down before they registered their opening score.

Central to the damage was Rory Corcoran - a player on the fringes of Pat Gilroy's Dublin panel at the start of this season - who was simply sensational. He opened the scoring with a free after four minutes, and would go on to hit another 0-7 from play.

His older brother Tommy also caused havoc in the inside line with his intelligent running and ability to take scores, while Jamie Tunney won an ocean of ball from his roaming wing forward role.



Bounce

Corcoran junior kicked three on the bounce after scores from Tunney and Kilkenny, to give his side a 0-6 lead approaching the end of the first quarter and their opening goal arrived soon after.

Centre-back Thomas Shields burst forward and as the pitch opened up before him he kept going before unleashing a rasping shot off the bar from the 20-metre line. The chance appeared to be gone but Shields wasn't going away empty handed and he pounced on the loose ball before duly firing to an empty net.

The Corcorans, along with another fine effort from Tunney, pushed them further clear and, on 20 minutes, Tommy benefited from the unselfish play of Rory and the tireless running of impressive midfielder Shane Boland to apply the easiest of finishes for their second goal.

Game over. Boland was another who caught the eye. His work-rate was superb while his ability to cut through tackles with seemingly effortless ease created chance after chance for his prolific attack.

Simon Deignan got Raheny on the board with a well-worked score and Colm Donegan added to that with a free. But 'Knock were relentless and two points from Kilkenny and Tommy Corcoran restored a 15-point lead.



Gap

To their credit, Raheny finished the half strongly. Points from Mark Staunton, Jimmy Keogh and John Sullivan cut the gap at the interval, 2-11 to 0-5.

Veteran former Dublin forward Mick O'Keeffe showed some excellent skill to create Raheny's goal eight minutes after the restart. He turned his marker cleverly before angling the ball towards Deignan close to goal who battled hard before finishing to the net.

Unfortunately for the Dublin 5 men, it proved to be their last score of the game.

Castleknock simply went through the gears once more. Kilkenny kicked four scores in the final quarter and it was left to Corcoran to round off the win with a free.


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