Sun 16th May 2004

Castleknock Celtic Hit the High Spots

Great Win in Dublin Cup in Clonshaugh

 Castleknock Celtic 2  Kilcock Celtic 0

Kilcock went into this game with confidence having inflicted a rare defeat on Castleknock a couple of weeks ago.  Perhaps that was the boost that Castleknock needed, knowing that they had to lift their game to bring home the prize.  The weather conditions were glorious in brilliant 20 degrees sunshine.

The game kicked off at 15.13 hours, and at 15.14 the scoreline read 1-0 to Castleknock.  A raid on the right hand side within the first minute saw the ball crossed by Paul Murray the Kilcock penalty box, it went to Steve O’Callaghan, who managed to get control, and pass to his brother, Adam, who shot home from within the six yard box. 

Kilcock did not succumb, and for the next hour and a half, they battled for everything.  They were led by Shane Campion who was exceptional at the back of their defence.  His opposite number, Castleknock’s Andy Weldon, was a stalwart, and earned himself the man of the match award.  Andy was ably partnered in the back-3 by Conor Daly and Ian Flood.  They needed to be on their game, as Kilcock’s Austin Tighe was always a threat, as was the big mid-fielder, Kevin O’Neill, who was just over the bar with his header on 12 minutes. 

Castleknock themselves went very close after a build-up involving Adam O’Callaghan and Simon Fleming, which ended up with a rocket being struck by Steve O’Callaghan hitting Shane Campion in the face, otherwise it would surely have been 2-0.  Shane was tough as nails and bounced back after a rub of the magic sponge. 

Graham Fennell was industrious in the middle of the park, giving plenty of words of encouragement.  His partner in the middle, Neil Ahearne, was winning most of his duels in the midfield, and intelligently using the ball.  Paul Murray performed the key link man between the strikers and the defence on the right hand side.  Colm Brady was covering  every blade of grass, and was winning most of the aerial challenges.  Vahan Tchrakian in the Castleknock goal had to get down sharply to make a superb stop from Austin Tighe on 22 minutes.  He was again called into action to prevent the very dangerous Cillian Ryan from making it all-square.  Kevin O’Neill again went close with his free kick as half time approached.  Half-time  1-0 to Castleknock Celtic.

Simon Fleming had to plough a lonely furrow at times, but he battled hard, and on 66 minutes, he set up Adam O’Callaghan, whose shot was just wide.  But Kilcock were making their own chances, and Michael Brennan was just over when the equaliser looked certain.  Ian Flood was having a purple patch at this stage, and he prevented a number of chances for Kilcock. 

It looked like Castleknock had sealed the win on 73 minutes, as Adam O’Callaghan set up the chance for Simon Fleming, who slotted home, but the linesman ruled it offside.  But as the game drew to a close, and Kilcock becoming more desperate for the equaliser, Castleknock broke clear, nice inter-passing between Neil Ahearne and Graham Fennell, put Stephen O’Callaghan through, who crossed to twin brother, Adam who made no mistake.  2-0. 

These were two evenly matched sides, and it was the superior finishing by the Dublin 15 team that was the difference in the end.  Both sets of players must be complimented for their relentless endeavour throughout in the energy-sapping sunshine.  

Spare a thought for the 5 men who did not play on this occasion. Cyril Teo, Stephen Fogarty and Sean O'Neill were as focussed as the players on the pitch. This is very much a squad of 16 players, rather than a team of 11. Danny Kenny was cheering his team-mates on, since he had been injured some weeks before against Verona. Mark Moore, who had done wonders in goal against Dundalk some weeks ago, was not able to attend as he was on tour in Belgium.

Well done to everyone, including the team management, led by Arnie Brady, and his assistants, Noel Murray and Frank O'Connor.

Celtic team below:

Top Row : Andy Weldon, Ian Flood, Paul Murray, Stephen Fogarty, Stephen O'Callaghan, Graham Fennell, Adam O'Callaghan, Greg Robinson

Bottom Row : Simon Fleming, Neil Ahearne, Conor Daly, Vahan Tchrakian, Sean O'Neill, Colm Brady, Cyril Teo.