FAI Junior Cup

Castleknock Celtic   4  Wayside Celtic  3

 Saturday 18th September 2004

Castleknock Celtic's AUL Div 2A side were at home for this fixture when they took on Wayside Celtic at Porterstown in the 1st round of the FAI Junior Cup.  It was indeed a daunting task for Castleknock to face at the first hurdle of the competition.  Though the average age of this team is early twenties, most of whom came through their schoolboy ranks, Castleknock showed enormous resilience in this premier junior soccer tournament.

There was nothing to separate the two teams for the first half hour.  But Wayside nudged in front after 35 minutes, when their striker, Ciaran Conway, lobbed Michael Flood in the Castleknock goal. 1-0 to Wayside at half-time.

Castleknock soon levelled matters in the second half, when after 2 minutes, Paul O'Donoghue sent his free kick to the bottom right hand corner of the net.  1-1.

10 minutes later, Wayside were back in front, when hesitancy in the Castleknock goal let in Ciaran Conway for his second goal. 2-1 to Wayside.

Another 10 minutes on and Paul O'Donoghue was again at the heart of matters.  He sent his free kick into Mark Stephens, who volleyed home from close range.  2-2.

With 7 minutes remaining on the clock, it looked like curtains for Castleknock.  A mix-up in their defence led to Michael Flood taking down the Wayside striker, Colly Emmett, who competently put away the resultant penalty.  3-2 to Wayside.

As time was running out, Castleknock launched another desperate assault seeking an equaliser.  The experienced Wayside defender, Kevin Murphy, who has a Leinster Senior League winners medal, unluckily looped his defensive header over his keeper, Conor Barco.  7th Heaven for Castleknock, as they looked like they had earned a replay. 

But it was to get even better in injury time.  The ball was sent into the Wayside penalty box.  Keeper Barco and his defence hesitated, and in raced Stephs Hennessy, who had come on for Neil McAdam.  Hennessy nodded home from close-in.  Porterstown exploded with the final whistle signalling a great win for Castleknock Celtic.

Every member of the Castleknock team deserves full credit for delivering a great result.  Philip O'Sullivan and Stephen Lawlor, joint managers, were delighted with the performance.  "All the lads have worked very hard since restarting in July for this season.  They came through this encounter with full marks, which will stand them in good stead for the rest of this Cup campaign" said a delighted Philip.

Line-up : M Flood, R Flanagan, S Dunne, Mark Stephens, Dara Wylie, Owen Battigan, Martin Thompson, Alan O'Grady, Declan Cunningham, Paul O'Donoghue, Neil McAdam, Stephen Hennessy. Martin Fleming for Alan O'Grady, Shane Hennessy for Declan Cunningham.