A brace of first-half goals from James Sherry proved pivotal as Castleknock claimed a deserved three-point win over St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh in their Dublin Senior Football championship firstst round encounter at Parnell Park last night.
The contest opened up in a suitably free-flowing fashion with Castleknock taking the lead inside 20 seconds as John Kindlon's hopeful ball deceived Alan O'Mara before bouncing over the crossbar.
That lead proved short-lived, however, as an incisive move down the middle, that involved Niall Walsh, culminated in Declan Lally's crashing shot high into Alex Griffin's net with a minute yet to be played.
The enterprising fare continued uninterrupted as Tomás Corrigan fired over an excellent point for Plunkett's in the fourth minute and that lead increased to five points as Gareth Smith delivered a quintessentially stylish point three minutes later.
Castleknock hit back through successive scores from Collie Lynch and the impressive Shane Boland but the Plunkett's attack looked especially sharp as they countered through points from Alan Brogan and Smith.
Plunkett's looked dominant at this stage, as they stretched their lead thanks to Corrigan and Bernard Brogan, but the momentum swiftly changed in Castleknock's favour in the 22nd minute.
The catalyst for their comeback came through a powerful surge from Boland that allowed James Sherry to crash the ball home past O'Mara.
Tom Corcoran added a point before Castleknock regained the lead.
Graham Hannigan raced through a horribly exposed Plunkett's defence before palming unselfishly to Sherry, who flicked home.
The half ended with both teams trading scores, a late Kindlon point edging Castleknock 2-6 to 1-8 ahead by the interval. While lacking the quality of the opening period, the second half provided sufficient drama with the free-taking of Des Carlos keeping Castleknock ahead while Smith kept his side in contention at the opposite end.
It was Castleknock who finished the stronger, however, despite the late dismissal of Peter Sherry with Matt Griffin and Carlos kicking insurance scores to confirm a deserved and deserved win for the Somerton outfit.
Scorers - Castleknock: J Sherry 2-1, D Carlos 0-4 (4f), J Kindlon 0-2, T Shiels, C Lynch, M Griffin, T Corcoran, S Boland 0-1 each. St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: G Smith 0-6 (4f), D Lally 1-0, B Brogan (0-1f), A Brogan, T Corrigan 0-2 each.
Castleknock: A Griffin; E O'Brien, P Sherry, C Neville; T Shiels, G Hannigan, M Griffin; S Boland, J Sherry; D Carlos, C Lynch, C Kilkenny; T Corcoran, T Quinn, J Kindlon. Subs: P Bourke for Boland (half-time), B Galvin for Lynch and K Kindlon for J Kindlon (45), P McGarvey for Corcoran (53).
St Oliver Plunkett's/ER: A O'Mara; S McGuinness, P Curtin, J Gallagher; D Brogan, D Lally, J O'Donoghue; S O'Connor, R McConnell; J Brogan, T Corrigan, N Walsh; G Smith, A Brogan, B Brogan. Subs: P Brogan for D Brogan and C Walsh for Lally (half-time), C McKeever for N Walsh (47), P Lee for O'Connor (52).
Referee: Danny Harrington (St Sylvester's)