AFL Division Two
By Kevin Mallon
CELEBRATION time in Castleknock as their senior footballers made a quick-fire return to Division 1 of the league, securing promotion from AFL2 with a polished 13-point victory away to Ballyboughal on Saturday.
A disruptive cross-field breeze made scoring difficult so it was no surprise that, at the end of a low scoring first quarter, the margin was only one point.
Castleknock led 0-3 0-2, with Seamus O’Carroll involved in all three points, scoring two himself and setting up Mattie Walsh for the third.
While Ballyboughal failed to improve on their total in the second quarter, Castleknock scored four more points.
A Sean Gibbons lay-off helped Mattie Walsh grab the first of those, before Seamus O’Carroll closed the half with another three points, two from play, to bring his first-half total to five, leaving Castleknock 0-7 0-2 ahead at the break.
Within seven minutes of the restart, Ballyboughal had reduced the margin to three points, just one score, and it seemed as if Castleknock were facing into a huge battle to secure the all-important league points.
Between then and the full-time whistle, however, Castleknock outscored the home team by 1-9 0-2 with Mattie Walsh’s goal 22 minutes into the half, created by a terrific James Sherry interception, proving to be the game’s decisive score.
Indeed, time and again in the second-half, the Castleknock defenders turned over possession to act as the launch pad for a series of great scores.
Kevin Stephenson fired over two points within a minute of each other. Seamus O’Carroll brought his total to six before going off injured and, not to be outdone, the backs also surged forward with Tommy Corcoran and Ciaran Murphy recording fine scores ahead of that Walsh goal.
Before the end, John Kindlon and Gerard McDermottroe helped themselves to two points each to give the scoreboard a deceptively one-sided appearance.