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Late goals crucial as Castleknock sink St Mark’s

AFL Division 4

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Sean Dunning (left) of Castleknock in against Graham Whelan of St Mark's. Photo: Arthur Carron

Sean Dunning (left) of Castleknock in against Graham Whelan of St Mark's. Photo: Arthur Carron

Sean Dunning (left) of Castleknock in against Graham Whelan of St Mark's. Photo: Arthur Carron

IN the St Mark’s clubhouse, there’s a picture on the wall. Of the Dublin football team of 1990. Dessie Farrell is in the front row.

On Saturday evening, the Dublin Mountains looked down on an enjoyable Go-Ahead Adult Football League Division 4 contest. People watched from the clubhouse windows.

A breeze whipped up just before the throw-in. And, on the hard, summer ground, there was a high bounce in the ball. And a fast pace to the action.

Mark’s were in it until the closing bell.

“Yes, it was close enough. It just got away from us at the end,” reflected Mark’s mentor Michael Collins.

His opposite number Johnny Murphy was well pleased. “It’s never easy coming to St Mark’s and getting a result,” he remarked. “The lads put in a big effort. We had to dig in. There’s nothing cheap in this league.”

Castleknock had the four Kearney brothers on duty, Luke, Brendan and Eoghan in the full-back-line, plus Aidan at midfield.

Brendan had a terrific match. He’s a most accomplished number 3. Reading the flight of the ball. Climbing to collect it. Nipping in to intercept. 

Breaking with speed. And using the ball crisply. Time and again, he was in the right place. Perfecting the art of always arriving at the bus stop just as the bus comes around the corner.

The Mark’s full-back, Danny McCann, also had a splendid match, while the darting runs from deep of Patrick Murphy were a feature of the home team’s contribution.

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So was the goalkeeping of Martin Kavanagh. In the first half, at the pavilion end, he made one of the saves of the season.

Mark’s were ahead 1-2 to 0-1. The nimble half-forward Eoin Devlin found himself with space, and time, in front of the goal. His drive was heading low to the right-hand corner before Martin got down and, at full stretch, managed to get a firm hand on the shot and turn it behind for a ‘45’.

In the second period, he also made an excellent stop to deny Eoghan Kearney, but at that stage the visitors had long filled their hot-water bottles.

They possessed a brilliant full-forward in Shane Carolan. He took some fine points.

The opening goal came in the seventh minute. Courtesy of quick thinking from Jamie O’Connor. The goal helping the hosts to lead at half-time, 1-2 to 0-3.

Carolan struck the first three points of the second period, two of them from play. The second of which prompted the shout from ringside: “Oh, what a point”.

In the 51st minute came a vital moment. Sean Dunning cut in from the left and tucked the ball to the net. Castleknock were ahead by three points.

The belief grew. Devlin ticked on a point, and on 59 minutes, Mark Connellan brought a good save from Kavanagh but he was able to guide in the rebound.

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Castleknock: (back, l-r) Padraig Higgins, Conor Cryan, Shane Carolan, Eoghan Kearney, James McLoughlin, Aidan Kearney, Luke Kearney, Diarmuid Brady and Brendan Kearney; (front, l-r) Bean Harding, Sean Dunning, Cian Spillane, Daniel Murphy, Mark Connellan, Paul Henry, Eoin Devlin, Ben O’Neill and Sean Sweeney

Castleknock: (back, l-r) Padraig Higgins, Conor Cryan, Shane Carolan, Eoghan Kearney, James McLoughlin, Aidan Kearney, Luke Kearney, Diarmuid Brady and Brendan Kearney; (front, l-r) Bean Harding, Sean Dunning, Cian Spillane, Daniel Murphy, Mark Connellan, Paul Henry, Eoin Devlin, Ben O’Neill and Sean Sweeney

Castleknock: (back, l-r) Padraig Higgins, Conor Cryan, Shane Carolan, Eoghan Kearney, James McLoughlin, Aidan Kearney, Luke Kearney, Diarmuid Brady and Brendan Kearney; (front, l-r) Bean Harding, Sean Dunning, Cian Spillane, Daniel Murphy, Mark Connellan, Paul Henry, Eoin Devlin, Ben O’Neill and Sean Sweeney

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ST MARK’S: (back, l-r) Robbie Kenny, Gary Kett, Conor Hurley, Dean Kavanagh, Michael Collins, Wayne Crosbie, Martin Kavanagh, Callum Byrne, Luke Goyle and Graham Whelan; (front, l-r) Paul O’Donnell, Jamie O’Connor, Danny McCann, Eoin Doyle, Johnny Bryan, David Kearns, Shane Galvin, Patrick Murphy and Darragh Brady

ST MARK’S: (back, l-r) Robbie Kenny, Gary Kett, Conor Hurley, Dean Kavanagh, Michael Collins, Wayne Crosbie, Martin Kavanagh, Callum Byrne, Luke Goyle and Graham Whelan; (front, l-r) Paul O’Donnell, Jamie O’Connor, Danny McCann, Eoin Doyle, Johnny Bryan, David Kearns, Shane Galvin, Patrick Murphy and Darragh Brady

ST MARK’S: (back, l-r) Robbie Kenny, Gary Kett, Conor Hurley, Dean Kavanagh, Michael Collins, Wayne Crosbie, Martin Kavanagh, Callum Byrne, Luke Goyle and Graham Whelan; (front, l-r) Paul O’Donnell, Jamie O’Connor, Danny McCann, Eoin Doyle, Johnny Bryan, David Kearns, Shane Galvin, Patrick Murphy and Darragh Brady

Match file

SCORERS – Castleknock: M Connellan 1-1; S Carolan 0-4 (1f); S Dunning 1-0; D Murphy 0-2 (1f); A Kearney, E Devlin 0-1 each. St Mark’s: J O’Connor 1-0; S Galvin, C Byrne (f), P Murphy, D Brady 0-1 each.

CASTLEKNOCK: J McLoughlin; L Kearney, B Kearney, E Kearney; P Higgins, B Harding, C Spillane; A Kearney, D Brady; E Devlin, D Murphy, B O’Neill; S Dunning, S Carolan, M Connellan. Subs: S Sweeney, P Henry, C Cryan.

ST MARK’S: M Kavanagh; G Kett, D McCann, D Kavanagh; E Doyle, G Whelan, J Bryan; L Doyle, S Galvin; C Byrne, W Crosbie, D Kearns; P Murphy, J O’Connor, D Brady. Subs: C Hurley, R Kenny, M Collins, P O’Donnell.

MENTORS – Castleknock: J Murphy, S Byrne, C Feeney. St Mark’s: M Collins, F McCann.

REFEREE: John Doherty (St James’s Gaels/An Caislean).

WIDES – Castleknock: 8 (6+2); St Mark’s: 8 (4+4).

CONDITIONS: Bright and breezy.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Brendan Kearney (Castleknock).


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