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'knock look to bounce back

Castleknock suffered the disappointment of a provincial defeat as they succumbed to Seán O'Mahony's of Dundalk by 1-10 to 0-12 after extra-time in their AIB Leinster Club IFC first round clash at Clan na Gael Park last Sunday afternoon.

The Dublin IFC winners entered the contest in confident manner but they struggled to show their true form for large parts with their opponents showing the more compelling form in extra-time to complete a deserved victory.

"It was a massive defeat for both the players and the management," said Castleknock selector Gerry Kelly.

"We appreciated before the game that there can sometimes be a hangover after a successful county campaign so we were well prepared for that.

"It was just a difficult first-round assignment and unfortunately, we didn't play to the level that we know we are capable of and we suffered the consequences as a result," added Kelly.

The signs were reasonably encouraging for Castleknock in the first-half and despite falling 1-4 to 0-1 behind after Conor Martin's goal, they trailed by just 1-5 to 0-5 having played against the elements.

A strong start to the second-half re-affirmed that optimism with Des Carlos kicking four successive scores to hand his side the initiative.

However, points for O'Mahony's by Conor Finnegan and Stephen Fisher ensured extra-time with the latter and Martin kicking the critical scores to confirm their side's progression.

Castleknock must now turn their attention to their final two league matches with plenty to play for over the coming weeks.

"We didn't play with the same fluency that we managed in Dublin and some players struggled a bit," said Kelly.

"Winning the Dublin Intermediate Championship and gaining promotion from AFL2 were our two main targets at the start of the year.

"It may seem ambitious after only gaining promotion last year but we know what the lads are capable of and the potential that they possess.

"Promotion is certainly in our hands and we need to put this defeat behind us and show our true form over the coming weeks.

"The lads were hugely despondent after the defeat on Sunday but they are determined to finish the season on a positive note.

"They are a very well-motivated bunch of lads and it is important that we make the season as successful as it possibly can be and that means finishing the league in a positive manner," he added.