Date: 5 September 2021
Competition: Leinster Senior League Sunday Senior Division 1B (sixth tier)
Result: Rush Athletic 1-2 Castleknock Celtic
Tickets: free in.
Attendance: circa 150
The game: This was my first time checking out my new local team, Rush Athletic, who are playing their very first season at the senior level of Irish non-league football this year. They look a decent physical team, with a pacey striker, if a little naive for the level.
Castleknock took the lead with virtually their first attack, a break down the left wing that was tapped in at the near post. Rush equalised before half time with a breakaway goal that was typically of their pace-led attacking style, before conceding a silly penalty at the end that cost them the game in the final couple of minutes. They’ll be in a relegation battle this season but on this basis should have a decent chance of grabbing a few points and hanging in there as they get used to the level.
The ground: St Catherine’s is a quaint little roadside spot at the edge of what was once the Kenure Estate, formerly Rush’s dominant feature, beaches aside. It has a smart looking little club house and a bit of old stone masonry that seems to host the ‘ultra’s – and yes, there actually are a bunch of rowdy teenagers letting off flares.
They make plenty of effort with it, with club branded corner flags, lots of extra coloured flags down on side, and little tents for the subs to huddle in, so while it’s fairly standard non-league stuff in some senses, it’s also got a really nice feel to it. It’s well worth a walk around nearby, too – you can get to the coast by walking for five minutes via the dirt track the other side of the road.
Extras: For this game, they had a fancy pink coffee caravan serving iced lattes and fruits bowls, plus a few picnic tables, outside the club house. It’s probably worth checking out the St Catherine’s graveyard just a few metres away, too, it has a rundown, creepy feel to it.
Assorted asides: This could end up a regular spot for me – well worth a two minute drive from home.
My totals for the year so far:
Games: 7. Home wins: 3. Draws: 1 Away wins: 3
Goals: 22. Home goals: 13. Away goals: 9. Goals per game: 3.1
A few pics: