Kings of the Castle crowned with Division 3 title

by Mark O'Brien

Kingswood Castle celebrated their second league success in three seasons when they lifted the AUL Division 3 Saturday title on Saturday.

Having only been founded four years ago, The Castle joined the AUL in the 2015-16 season and won Division 3A at the first time of asking.

The Tallaght side now add the Division 3 crown to their list of honours and can look forward to Division 2 football next season.

Going in to the last round of fixtures, Kingswood were three points ahead of title rivals St Columban’s. Both sides were due to face Celtic Park in their remaining fixtures.

But with the Beaumont side unable to field a team for either fixture, Kingswood were crowned champions in manager John Hanratty’s first season at the helm.

Kingswood Castle Chairman Emmet Kavanagh was understandably delighted with the club’s achievement.

He told Dublin Gazette: “I’m so proud of our group of players. It’s a long slog. Nine months of training and travelling northside every week or second week, so they deserve the reward at the end of it.

“I’d like to congratulate our management team of John Hanratty and Darren Kennedy, along with our club secretary Sharlene Kennedy and other committee members for all of their efforts this year.

“We move forward now to next season and look to improve the squad, bring more players in and build on the success of this season.

“I’d also like to thank our main sponsors, Frank Keane Volkswagen, as well as all of the companies that sponsored our Man of the Match prizes throughout the season.

“Their support has been invaluable throughout the year.”

Kingswood dropped just eight points in the league all season but were pushed all the way by St Columban’s and Mourne Celtic.

Back to back league victories secured against Columbans ultimately proved decisive.

Kingswood ran out 3-1 victors at Ballymount Park in April, with a sublime free kick from Stephen Sheerin the pick of the goals.

The return game two and a half weeks later was an event tighter affair. Kingswood prevailed 1-0 thanks to a close-range finish from top scorer Ian “Beano” Corrigan.

While Kingswood may have thought they had one hand on the trophy, they were given an almighty scare three days later at home to Hot Press.

In a game they would have expected to win, The Castle found themselves 3-1 down with just 10 minutes left to play.

But goals from Stephen Sheerin, Paul Maxwell and Des McGrath sealed an epic comeback victory.

Kingswood ran out 3-2 winners in the reverse fixture in Grangegorman two weeks later in what would ultimately prove to be the last league fixture of the season.

The league title marks a fitting way for club founder Stephen Kennedy to end his career.

The veteran defender retires at the end of the season and goes out on a high having added one more medal to his glittering collection.

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