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Thomas Davis pull off upset victory over 2017 Dublin finalists Castleknock

They’ll play holders Kilmacud Crokes in the semi-final.

Castleknock's star forward Ciaran Kilkenny.
Castleknock's star forward Ciaran Kilkenny.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Thomas Davis 3-12

Castleknock 1-17

THOMAS DAVIS PULLED off a big upset in the Dublin SFC as they knocked out 2017 finalists Castleknock at the quarter-final stage.

Goals from Eoin Kirby, Ciaran Farrelly and Brendan Kirby paved the way for the well-deserved victory in a high-quality encounter. Some of the score-taking on show from either side was out of the top drawer.

Castleknock’s Ciaran Kilkenny (0-3), Gerard McDermottroe (0-5) and Shane Boland (0-3) clipped over some excellent efforts, while Eoin Kirby top-scored for the victors with 1-5.

It means all four clubs in the last four of the competition hail from the southside. Thomas Davis will play reigning champions Kilmacud Crokes, while Ballyboden St Enda’s clash with St Jude’s in the other tie.

Thomas Davis are certainly a side on the up, having won promotion from the second tier in 2018. They edged out Raheny to second place in the group stage on scoring difference despite losing their last game to St Judes’.

In recent years Castleknock have employed a more defensive strategy and they may consider a return to that approach given how vulnerable they looked at the back at times. They were cut open for three goals and ultimately that proved their undoing.  

Westmeath native Thomas McDaniels curled over a couple of good scores in the early stages as Castleknock built up an 0-5 to 0-3 lead. Thomas Davis came to life into the middle part of the half and powered ahead with a two-goal blitz in the space of 22 seconds.

First Ryan Deegan put through Eoin Kirby with an inviting handpass and the latter dispatched it past Morven Connolly. Connolly’s sloppy kick-out was then intercepted by David Keogh who fed Ciaran Farrelly for the easy finish. 

Within a minute of the restart Thomas Davis had their third goal. This one arrived from the boot of Brendan Kirby after the Castleknock defence was sliced apart by Sean Kennedy.

When Eoin Kirby stroked over a free to bring his personal tally to 1-4 in the 42nd minute,  Thomas Davis’s lead had stretched to six points. Castleknock needed to up the ante and they did, firing over four of the next five scores – including a peach from Kilkenny. 

While Castleknock had plenty of possession, they never managed to get on level terms as they chased the game in the final quarter. Limerick forward Seamus O’Carroll came off the bench and converted a 45 and Kilkenny continued to probe, landing one fine point to help them to within two.

At the death, Thomas Sheils curled over a point to reduce the deficit to the minimum before time ran out on Castleknock’s season. 

Scorers for Thomas Davis: Eoin Kirby 1-5 (0-2f), Ciaran Farrelly 1-1, Brendan Kirby 1-0, Shane McGrath 0-2, Robbie Crilly, Cian Murphy and Ryan Deegan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Castleknock: Gerard McDermottroe 0-5 (0-1f), Thomas McDaniels 1-3 (0-1f), Ciaran Kilkenny and Shane Boland 0-3 each, Thomas Sheils, Robert Shaw and Seamus O’Carroll (0-1 45) 0-1 each. 

Thomas Davis 

1. Robbie Crilly

5. Adam Fallon
6. Brian Kirby
7. Aaron Shorten

3. Peter Quinn
4. Cian Murphy 
18. Eoin Lambert

8. Ryan Deegan
9. Brendan Kirby

13. David Keogh
10. Eoin Kirby
2. Sean Kennedy

14. Ciaran Farrelly
11. Shane McGrath
15. Eanna O’Toole

Subs 

27. Mark Nolan for O’Toole (35)
22. Oisin Kelly for Keogh (49)
12. Stephen O’Bryne Braiden for Shorten (54)
17. Josh Lambert for Kelly (black card, 61)

Castleknock

1. Morven Connolly

2. Paul Bourke 
3. Thomas Quinn
4. Ciaran Murphy

5. Thomas Sheils
6. Eoin O’Brien
7. Robert Shaw

8. James Sherry
9. Matthew Walsh

10. Darragh Warnock
11. Ben Galvin
12. Sean Gibbons

13. Gerard McDermottroe
14. Ciaran Kilkenny
15. Thomas McDaniels

Subs

18. Seamus O’Carroll for Galvin (41)
5. Thomas Shiels for McDaniels (49)
23. Kevin Stephenson for Warnock (50) 

Referee: Gary McCormack

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / reports from Parnell Park

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