Cumann na mBunscol Finals: First-half goal blitz seals the deal for Castletown NS
After enduring a shaky start Castletown hit four goals with the wind at their back to claim the Boys Div 5 title with a resounding victory over Kill NS at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.
Castletown struggled in the early stages, but were boosted by three huge strokes of luck that put them firmly in the driving seat.
Kill started well and Jonas Dempsey forced Tadhg Sheridan into a fine save, but for all their early dominance they struggled to put scores on the board with Joshua Kelly firing their only point of the half in the eighth minute.
That score woke Castletown from their slumber and from their first meaningful attack they won a free about 30 metres out. Jack Smyth strode forward and lofted the ball goalwards. With the assistance of the wind the ball sailed over the heads of the Kill defenders and into the net.
Two minutes later Castletown won another free in the same position and Smyth repeated his trick by lofting the ball goalwards and into the net.
Another two minutes elapsed and after Padraig McKeown was fouled Smyth netted for the third time from a free from the same spot to boost his side to a 3-0 to 0-1 lead.
Bernard McKeown took over free-taking duties for a close range free and made no mistake to stretch Castletown's lead and when he finished superbly to the net three minutes later it secured a 4-1 to 0-1 interval lead for the north Meath school.
Using the wind to good effect Kill threatened to get back into the game with Lee Farrell scoring a superb score and then Jim Hayes forced Sheridan into a fine save.
Castletown weathered that early second-half storm and on their first attack of the period they found the net again, this time from a brilliant Freddie Kearns finish.
Captain Padraig McKeown added a point a minute later and with a 5-2 to 0-2 lead Castletown were comfortable.
Jonas Dempsey and Tadhg Fagan did get on the scoresheet for Kill, but with Jack Smyth defending superbly Castletown proved hard to break down and with 10 minutes remaining they closed their account with a point from Padraig McKeown.
Kill dominated possession in the closing stages, but couldn't get the goals they craved.Fagan converted a free and Hayes found the net from another free, but Castletown continued to defend well with Smyth clearing a Hayes effort off the line before Sheridan brilliantly saved a fine effort from Nina Doherty.
Try as they might the goals just didn't come for Kill as Castletown deservedly claimed the prize.
Castletown NS - Tadhg Sheridan; Finn Lennon, Charlie Smith, Sean Cassidy, Jack Smyth (3-0 frees); Tom McKeown, Padraig McKeown (0-2); Patrick McKeown, Bernard McKeown (1-1 free), Thomas Curtis, Evan McGahan. Sam Meade Donnelly, William Donegan, Freddie Kearns (1-0), Darrel McKeown, Scott Jordan, Daniel McConnell Hudson, Tadhg Dunphy, Nathan Curtis, Harry Smyth, Tyler Dam, Christopher Shankey Donegan. Mentor - Brien Kearns.
Kill NS - Killian Maher; Adam Farrell, Tadhg Callaghan, Daniel Smyth, Nina Doherty; Tadhg Fagan (0-2 one free), Lee Farrell (0-1); Joshua Kelly (0-1), Jim Hayes (1-0 free), Jonas Dempsey (0-1), Nathan Doherty. Jake Tuohy Doherty, Luke O'Malley, Sam Costello, Méabh Regan. Mentor - Paul Noonan.
Referee - Michael Newman (Skryne NS).