Castleknock executed a superb second-half turnaround to claim the New Ireland Assurance Junior ‘D’ Ladies Football Championship at the expense of Garristown at Lawless Park.
Trailing by seven points at the break (1-10 to 0-6), Ray Rafferty’s charges came to life on the restart with goals from Ciara Golden (two) and Caitlin Coffey.
Corner-forward Kate Dwyer was outstanding in defeat for Garristown, scoring 1-10 – all from play – in an extraordinary individual showing.
Yet, with midfielder Eimear Griffin contributing seven points throughout the course of the hour, it was Castleknock who ultimately claimed the spoils.
It was a family affair for the Rocks, with team mentor Barney (who also serves as manager to his son Dean at club level with Ballymun Kickhams) joined in the Garristown ranks by daughters Laura and Shannon.
Eager to build on their unbeaten run to the final, they hit the ground running with an opening minute point courtesy of Dwyer.
It proved to be a frantic beginning to the proceedings, as both teams set out to play with considerable abandon.
Dwyer and Amy O’Brien added to Garristown’s totak before Griffin split the posts off her right boot. She was joined on the scoresheet by Dearbhla Lennon either side of Dwyer’s third of the half, giving Castleknock a 0-5 to
Garristown soon went into overdrive. Following a Dwyer single, O’Brien and full-forward Laura McManus created daylight between the teams with impressive points.
The relentless Dwyer made it six points without reply for Garristown on 27 minutes. This momentum was briefly halted by the inspirational Griffin, only for Castleknock to receive a further blow in first-half stoppage-time.
When referee Maurice Mulcahy awarded a penalty to Garristown, the dependable O’Brien displayed nerves of steel to fire beyond the reach of ‘Knock netminder Rachel Slater.
It created a seven point lead but Knock quickly set their sights on turning things around in the second half.
Three points in as many minutes by the central axis of Coffey, Griffin and Julie Rodgers and their challenge had been re-ignited.
Coffey’s influence was growing with each passing minute. Indeed, after she was picked out close to goal in the 35th-minute, the half-forward found the bottom right-corner with a cool finish.
A succession of wides eased the pressure on Garristown, but Griffin eventually restored parity with her sixth point.
Garristown finally responded when McManus pointed under intense pressure. Knock’s attacking play was becoming relentless, however, and it was the turn of Golden to leave her mark.
Her shot at a right-hand angle was deflected past Garristown netminder Chloe Mason. This major was followed by another Coffey point, which meant that – in the space of 12 minutes – they had out-scored their opponents 2-5 to 0-1.
Garristown remained in contention when an Edel Quinn point preceded a 0-2 salvo from Dwyer to leave the sides deadlocked on 50 minutes.
But Castleknock’s eye for goal was becoming more pronounced and they raised another green flag through Golden at the tail end of an incisive attack.
Three unanswered scores from Lennon, Griffin and Golden put six between the sides and the Somerton side were home and hosed.