Barróg's senior savvy can beat 'Knock's minor class
CASTLEKNOCK will hope to emulate the success of their minor footballers when they contest the Dublin Under-21 'C' Football Championship final against Naomh Barróg at Somerton Park this Saturday (2.15).
The Dublin 15 club tasted glory at minor 'A' level last November, beating Ballyboden St Enda's comprehensively with a very mature display and they'll be hoping to build on that victory against a well-balanced Barróg side.
Four of that minor-winning team are expected to feature with Graham Hannigan, Kevin Kindlon, Ciarán Kilkenny and Tom Quinn offering their side a wealth of big-game experience in addition to their obvious footballing talents.
Castleknock's campaign was almost derailed at the first hurdle and it took an inspirational display from centre-back and captain Jack King to see them overcome Naomh Olaf 0-14 to 2-7 while midfielder Jamie Tunney impressed in their semi-final victory over Templeogue Synge Street.
The returning Stephen Byrne has also given them greater presence in attack and his scoring threat will be pivotal if they are to overcome a more seasoned Barróg side, with many of their panel having contributed to their promotion to AFL2 last year.
Midfielder Evan Scanlon, Colm Quill, Dan McGee and dual player Dean Flood have been blooded in the learning ground that is Division 3 and that experience could be vital.
Dublin junior Barry Hehir, who manages the team alongside David O'Mahoney, is reasonably confident of his charges' chances.
"We've been training hard before and after Christmas and we have a good mixture of minors coming through. I've been happy with our wins over Mark's and Anne's and we'll take playing away as it comes," added Hehir.
Despite that perceived disadvantage and the precocious talent available to the hosts, the Kilbarrack men look better equipped to sneak what could be a cracking encounter.
VERDICT: Naomh Barróg