What a waste it would have been if this game had taken place behind closed doors during the Kildare lockdown a few weeks ago. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case and the lucky Castledermot fans who travelled to Hawkfield on a crisp Sunday afternoon got to experience the full rollercoaster of emotions that came with a Lazarus-like recovery from the boys in blue.
With only ten minutes gone, even the most optimistic fan may have had a bleak outlook as Castledermot found themselves 1-5 to 0-00 down in a rapid-fire opening salvo from St. Kevins. Things could have been much worse but for a couple of cracking saves from David Doyle in the Castledermot goals. During that time, the Castledermot lads were kicking a few wides in answer to the scores flying over from Kevins so they knew they had the ability to break that defence and that they had the players to do it with plenty of time remaining.
Another sucker-punch goal from St. Kevins put them an amazing ten points up before Castledermot put over the final two points of the half to ensure they were in touching distance of the rampant Kevins and give themselves just a chance.
That chance seemed to be on the cards as Castledermot put over the first two points of the second half to close the gap to six points. They had now scored the last four points of the game and were beginning to find their range as the sun dropped in Hawkfield. The comeback seemed to be put to bed when St. Kevins banged in their third goal to take a nine-point lead and surely a place in next weekend’s final. Then the madness started..
When the chips are down you look to players that have been in these trenches before and who else would you want on the field but two of Castledermot Gaa’s finest soldiers in Gary Mulhall and Hop Lawler. Hop was covering every blade of grass on the field and his determination led to Muller grabbing the all-important first Castledermot goal that gave them the belief that this was still possible. A quick point followed Muller's goal before Joe Keatley grabbed the second goal and the touch paper was well and truly lit! This was Joe’s second game of the day as he lined out for Castle Villa in the Kildare Senior Division that morning!
The sight of Gary Hendy coming on the field would have surely helped drive the Castledermot’s lads on. A shell-shocked St.Kevins got another two points on the board to steady the ship as time was running out for the Castledermot, who were still five points behind. In the Radio Castledermot studio, Thomas was being kept updated by Sinead on how it was going and once Castledermot had grabbed another goal and a point, the text came in “Nearly over i’d say”. Bad news for Castledermot who were still a point down. That is when that man Muller popped up to bang in his second and what would ultimately be the winning goal as the text flew in from Sinead “Goal CD, MULLER! He better blow the final whistle!!” Blow the whistle he did, but not before Castledermot sailed over one last point to ensure the win by 4-08 to 3-08 and a place in the final against Ballymore Eustace next Sunday at 4pm in Hawkfield.