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Monday 17 December 2018

'Knock swoop to 'kill off the Faithful

Castleknock advanced to the semi-finals of the Leinster Special Club Junior Hurling Championship following their ultimately comfortable 1-18 to 1-9 victory over Crinkill in O'Toole Park on Sunday.

The Dublin 15 outfit struggled at times in the opening half, but they were a far more settled prospect as they seized the initiative after the turnaround to prevail by nine points.

"We were outstanding in the second half," said Castleknock manager Antoin Ó Cléirigh. "We need to stick to our game-plan and, when we do, we are a serious prospect.

"There is a great depth to the panel at present and, having used up to 29 players this year, it is great that we can enjoy a clean bill of health and that is very important for a young team like ours," he said.

DOMINANT

The Offaly club were the dominant team in the opening half, leading by 1-6 to 0-8 at the interval, with only full-back Conor Prunty playing at the level expected for the Dubliners as he delivered an exceptional performance.

At the opposite end of the field, Ciarán Kilkenny floated to telling effect in the second half and his goal in addition to five points highlighted his increasing influence since their county final win over Lucan Sarsfields.

With their short puck-out strategy working to telling effect, Castleknock pushed clear through a number of crucial scores from Brian Hughes, while Shane Boland and Tom Quinn combined admirably in the midfield engine room.

The influence of substitutes Niall O'Callaghan and Paul Burke, who played for the club's minor team earlier in the day, could not be underestimated for a Castleknock team that face Meath club Moylagh in Sunday's semi-final at St Peregrine's, Blakestown (2.30).

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