Rafter show fires Aidan's
Assassin sets tone as Saints start with win
Scoil Aodhain 4-15
Castleknock CC 1-6
A strong first-half display paved the way for St Aidan's to complete a comfortable 18-point win on home soil in the Dublin Schools Juvenile 'A' Football competition at a sun-kissed Collins Avenue last week.
Backed by six starters from the Ballymun Kickhams team, which secured All-Ireland Féile Division 1 silverware in Cork over the summer, Aidan's never looked troubled in this contest.
The hosts blazed a trail in the opening half, registering 1-5 without reply in the opening eight minutes, including 1-1 from centre half-forward Paddy Small, brother of Dublin minor player, John.
Top-scorer Jeff Rafter and Adam Conway also contributed to the hosts' tally in those opening minutes and, indeed, Aidan's could have been further ahead but for Castleknock 'keeper Alex Bardean denying Conway's fifth-minute goal effort.
Aidan's added two goals before the break with full-forward Rafter dispatching efforts in the 18th and 22nd minutes after good support play from Small on the way to both three-pointers.
Castleknock were unlucky not to get a goal of their own in between Rafter's goal brace, with midfielder Diarmuid O'Connell denied in the 21st minute by Aidan's goalkeeper Sam Bruton.
The hosts could also afford 11 first-half wides, with Castleknock not sending any of their efforts wide of the posts in the opening 30 minutes.
Aidan's continued to prove hungry on the restart, with a 33rd-minute Conway shot forced out for a '45' by Bardean, while the red-and-white clad side added the first two points of the half through Elliott Craig and Rafter.
Castleknock eventually broke the St Aidan's rearguard when substitute Ryan Gavin claimed his side's only goal in the 37th minute to ensure a 3-11 to 1-3 score-line.
The visitors would only add a further three points to their tally -- all of these scores coming in succession between the 46th and 48th minutes, after Craig had completed the Aidan's quartet of goals.
Conway and substitute Fionn Byrne added points for St Aidan's in the closing 11 minutes to ensure a comprehensive victory on their 2011-2012 season Championship bow.
SCORERS -- St Aidan's: J Rafter (1f) 2-4; P Small 1-4; A Conway 0-4; E Craig 1-1; D Gray, F Byrne 0-1 each. Castleknock CC: R Gavin 1-0; B Neville (2f), A Caffrey 0-2 each; N Millmore, C Hamilton 0-1 each.
ST AIDAN'S: S Bruton; B Aston, S Brennan, A O'Brien; C Gerrard, S Finnegan, A Thomas; C Burke, D Byrne; E Craig, P Small, C Gallagher; A Conway, J Rafter, D Gray. Subs: F Byrne for Craig (44); E Dunne for O'Brien (45); C McHugh for Gerrard (51); A Gibbons for Gray (51); D Boland for Conway (51).
CASTLEKNOCK CC: A Bardean; M Gallagher, R Shaw, D Ferreira; S Sweeney, Z Higgins, L Kearney; J Carrie, D O'Connell; N Millmore, B Neville, P Carroll; C Hamilton, A Caffrey, S Moran.
Subs: C Gibney for Ferreira (33); R Gavin for Carroll (33); B Moran for Carrie (46).
REFEREE: Jim Sweeney