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Kilkenny goes out on a high at 'knock

Castleknock continued their dream season by comfortably dispatching of Meath champions Ratoath in the Leinster JFC semi-final in Ratoath on Sunday, 3-9 to 1-3.

The game was significant for more than the fact that the Dublin 15 side had made a provincial decider, however, as it marked the last GAA game Ciarán Kilkenny would play for the foreseeable future.

The talented youngster heads to Australia on Thursday to begin his career as a professional athlete with Aussie Rules outfit Hawthorn. Indeed, it was a fitting send off as 'Knock wore Dublin jerseys during the game -- the colours Kilkenny has thrived in for the past few summers.

A brace of goals from Rory Corcoran and another by Matthew Griffin set 'Knock on the road to victory and a Leinster final date with St Fintan's of Wexford on Sunday week.

Up to now, the forward unit has been taking most of the plaudits but in Sunday's dogged affair -- the scoreline somewhat flattered the winners -- it was the defence which excelled.

Full-back Paul Mullvihill as well as Graham Hannigan were outstanding, while Thomas Shields and Shane Boland at midfield also carried on their fine run of form. The Corcoran brothers of Rory and Tommy were again to the fore up front, while Des Carlos was another to catch the eye.

As yet, the venue for the decider has yet to be decided but it will most likely be in Parnell Park, the scene of Castleknock's Dublin championship triumph against Raheny last month.


Team mentor Tom McCormack hopes his side can make sure it is another memorable occasion: "These things don't come around too often in your lifetime.

"The lads won't be in this position again so hopefully we can get the job done. It's a fantastic opportunity."

A celebration of Kilkenny's achievement was held on Sunday night as club members gathered to wish their most famous son well.

McCormack paid tribute to the young attacker, who once again proved his love for his club side with an all-action display from midfield.

"He's a credit to the club and to himself and his family," McCormack said.

"The club has got great enjoyment from him and we all wished him well on another chapter in his life. Any team would feel the loss of Ciarán (for the Leinster final) but I think the lads will rally around now."