It scarcely makes up for the 2016 County Final defeat but Castleknock’s historic first championship victory over St Vincent’s, born out of sheer persistence and a never-say-die team spirit, certainly goes some little way to healing the hurt of three years ago.
Like the double-decker buses of old, the Somerton side waited and hoped for the goal that might give an edge, only for two to come along one after the other in a two-minute spell between the 28th and 30th minutes of the second-half.
Both resulted from long, high balls into the Vincent’s full-back line and, in the wet, slippy conditions Gerard McDermottroe was on hand to punch the first and sub Kevin Stephenson provided the magic for the second.
It gave Castleknock a four-point lead into time-added-on, of which there was some seven nail-biting minutes.
The first-half had been a very even affair until a burst of three Vincent’s points, including a much disputed sixth point in the final two minutes of the half, left Vincent’s three points to the good, 0-7 0-4, at the break.
Tomás Quinn landed three of those seven while for Castleknock Seamus O’Carroll hit two points, the second a searing effort just over, with Tommy McDaniel and McDermottroe adding the other two to leave Castleknock still well in the game.
The first 10 minutes of the second-half made uncomfortable viewing for Castleknock supporters as St. Vincent’s hit three more points, the third coming after James Sherry had miraculously cleared off his own crossbar.
With Diarmuid Connolly spraying the passes around from centre-back, for a brief moment it looked 0-10 to 0-4 – over and out – for Castleknock.
But when a move begun by a strong Darragh Warnock run was finished low to the Vincent’s net by the ever hard-running Shane Boland, Castleknock were dramatically back in the game.
In the last 20 minutes, Knock outscored Vincent’s by 3-4 to 0-4, even if it was nip and tuck until the second and third goals.
Four different point scorers – Tommy McDaniel, Ciarán Kilkenny and subs Kevin Kindlon and Stephenson – made it 1-8 0-13 going into the final minutes before those late goals.
St Vincent’s could only manage a point in reply as the Castleknock defence, as it had done all evening, performed heroically to manage out this famous victory.