CIARAN KILKENNY was Castleknock's saviour yesterday in Mitchelstown, capping his return to Gaelic games with a late, injury-time-in-extra-time equalisier to send their AIB All-Ireland club JFC semi-final with Kenmare to a second outing.
The replay is likely to be next Saturday, thus ruling Kilkenny out of Dublin's NFL opener with Cork but the player himself was adamant his four-point haul (0-2f) in the 1-12 to 0-15 draw alone, was worth turning his back on Australia.
"The way the whole community came out today, it was just fantastic to see people from around the club who travelled so far to see our game," he said.
"It shows how strong our community is and the passion and the love that they have for the GAA. I'm just glad to get a crack at it another day. It was tough. The ground was very heavy.
"Kenmare are a very good team and I am really looking forward to the next day. It was great football, pure football.
"There is a lot of muck on me now but that is what you want, you want to be grinding out the hard games with your friends and the people you grew up with."
EAMONN FITZMAURICE, meanwhile, will finish his playing days in Croke Park after Finuge's 0-9 to 0-5 win over Monasterevin, the Kerry manager kicking two points on the day, just 24 hours after managing the Kingdom to a 1-12 to 0-5 win over Tipperary in the McGrath Cup final.
"We'll put our strongest possible team next weekend but we have two seriously tough games coming up, away to Mayo and at home to Dublin," he explained.
MICKEY HARTE collected his sixth McKenna Cup title in his nine years as Tyrone manager as his charges beat Monaghan by 4-11 to 1-10, with Mark Donnelly bagging a brace of goals.
"We know we're going into a very tough league competition but I'd rather be going in as a winner rather than someone who can't win in this competition," Harte reasoned.
LEITRIM won the FBD League in Markievicz Park yesterday, beating Sligo by 0-8 to 0-5.