Castleknock 1-8 St Kevin’s 0-8
A scrappy goal from Des Rushe midway through the second half helped Castleknock account for a brave Kevins challenge by 1-8 to 0-8 in their Dublin Minor Hurling Championship ‘B’ final played at O’Toole Park on Sunday morning.
In an evenly fought contest defences were on top for the majority of the game, and Castleknock were grateful to the displays of Jack King, Ross Mullen, Conor Prunty, James Martin and Conor Murray who all excelled at the back.
Ahead of them, Joseph O’Callaghan showed some lovely touches from midfield, scoring two superb points, and Ciarán Kilkenny became increasingly influential when moved from centre forward to the midfield engine room after half-time.
In attack, Shane Boland, David Sweeney and Rushe all impressed and the introduction of substitute Kevin Quinn for Eoin Spillane added extra threat to the Castleknock forward line.
Kevins, who battled manfully for the duration, were driven forward by their captain Brian Óg Flannery from centre back, and he was ably abetted by midfielder Ben Quinn, while corner forward Alex Quinn was a menace throughout, scoring three points over the hour.
Castleknock, who played with the benefit of the wind in the first half, led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the break, with Kilkenny, O’Callaghan and Sweeney all pointing for the winners, while Kevins kept in touch with scores from Quinn and David Reid.
The game remained tight in the second half with genuine scoring opportunities at a premium, but Castleknock upped the intensity with captain Conor Murray prominent and they stretched their lead through another O’Callaghan point before striking for the game’s only goal.
It arrived in a slightly fortuitous manner as a long delivery from Kilkenny in the 44th minute was forced home by Rushe from close range to put a healthy distance between the sides, and Mullen’s inspirational score from midfield soon after pushed Castleknock further ahead.
Kevins continued to press, however, and points from Quinn, Reid and Quinn helped them reduce their deficit to two points, but the redeployment of O’Callaghan to centre back and Kilkenny to midfield helped steady the Castleknock ship, and an insurance score from Rushe helped them prevail by three points at the final whistle.
The management team of Diarmuid O’Callaghan, John Kilkenny and Mick Geraghty were thrilled with the solid, all-round display of their charges, and O’Callaghan was quick to praise the efforts of both sides.
“It was a tough, hard game and we’re just happy to come through at the end. In fairness, it was always going to be a tough game and there was only a puck of the ball between the sides at the end,” he said.
Rónán McLochlainn – Evening Herald