SFAI All-Ireland

Lourdes Celtic  2  Castleknock Celtic  1

14A glorious in defeat as their great SFAI Cup run comes to an end in extra-time in Sundrive Park on Saturday afternoon (12/04/03). 

Playing a DDSL Premier team is always a great challenge for a parish team like Castleknock but when it comes to the last 16 of the SFAI Cup such challenge is all the more daunting. However, the Castleknock 14As,  playing away to Lourdes Celtic in the sometimes hostile atmosphere of Sundrive Park looked every bit a Premier side as they took the game to the home-side. Roared on by great Castlekock support on the line and powered on by Byrne, Daly and Nolan in midfield, they put some fine moves together and had  their opponents chasing the game from the start. 

After 20 minutes, Lourdes’ left midfielder who  had been playing second-fiddle to Jonathan Quinn deliberately went to take Jonathan out of the game with a most reckless late tackle. It should have been a straight red but the Ref awarded a yellow. The tackle took a lot of the edge off Jonathon who played on bravely and the offender was later to “walk” in the second-half of extra time for a second yellow. 

On the 25th minute in a fine move involving Quinn and Gary Masterson, who had a wonderful game, played inside to Paddy Andrews and in typical fashion blasted home from the edge of the box to fire Celtic into a well deserved lead.  

The Lourdes fight back which was expected at the start of the second half never materialized and the Castleknock rear-guard of  McAuley, Arkins, Moriarty despite his injury, Masterson and Alan Murphy in goal dealt with everything that Lourdes threw at them. 

Unfortunately, on the hour mark the Castleknock concentration started to show some lapses and unfortunately Lourdes broke from deep in their own half to find the Castleknock net from close range for the equalizer and to take the game to extra time. 

Danny O’Mahony who had battled bravely despite considerable back pain went off and thoughts of Annacotty came flooding back when Danny Sweeney came on.  However, it wasn’t to be Castleknock's day when Lourdes hit the winner in the 8th minute of extra time and held out despite the mighty efforts of Castleknock to get back on terms. 

But the Castleknock lads did themselves proud and walked off Sundrive Park with a lot of pride after what this reporter regards as their finest team performance ever.