Castleknock’s band of brothers are set for their first ever SFC final. Picture: Niall O’Connell

CHARLIE Spillane – chairman of fast-rising west Dublin GAA club Castleknock – has spoken of his pride in the side after they won their first ever county football semi-final, to book a matchup with St Vincent’s for the county title on November 5.
Castleknock defeated St Jude’s by four points, winning 0-11 to 1-4 in a tense contest at Parnell Park, completing a rise that has seen them go from AFL10 to the top of the club game in the county.
“That’s a dream come true,” Spillane told GazetteSport following the game. “A senior championship final back here playing the aristocracy of Dublin GAA in Vincent’s. A great night for the club.
“It was a tight game, but I thought Castleknock played very cute football.
“Into the wind they kept possession, nice and tight. They cut loose a little bit in the second half. They built the team on a strong defence, and there are some great players in there, some young kids and the old heads. All round it’s a brilliant performance.
“We’ve never got anywhere near this, and it’s an absolute dream come true for everybody, especially those who’ve been there since the formation about 17 or 18 years ago,” Spillane explained.
“It’s going to be such a great boost for the area, everyone in Castleknock, all the kids in the area, everything. Brilliant.
“I think Vincent’s have done three or four finals in a row. We’re the new kids on the block, and we’re going to give it our best shot. There was a very strong wind down to the far end [against Jude’s] and I think Castleknock were very cautious playing into it for the first 30 minutes.
“But we’ve been nervous all day long. I’m not sure you enjoy a game like this at all. But we’ll celebrate tonight, and then we move on tomorrow and plan for the final.
“We can celebrate, but it’s ten days, so the players will have to behave themselves.
“Everyone seemed to get through it okay, a few subs got a bit of game time, so it’s all very positive. We’ve got no excuses!
“We’re so proud to have made it to here, we just have to go to the final and do our best.”
Castleknock’s wins on the way to the county final include victories over Skerries Harps, St Sylvester’s and Oliver Plunketts ER.
They will go into Saturday’s final at Parnell Park at 3pm as very much the underdogs. That hasn’t stopped them to date.