Junior A Football League (9th June 2012, Ardfield)
St James’ 0-14 Muintir Bhaire 1-7
The junior-A footballers of St James’ overturned a half-time deficit of four points to beat Muintir Bhaire by the same margin in last Saturday’s league meeting in Ardfield. The blanket defence paid dividends for Muintir Bhaire for the first thirty minutes, with St James’ pointing just five times, and the Durrus lads able to break out for scores and the lead. But this energy-sapping strategy could not be sustained by Muintir Bhaire, and the second half was played in the traditional formation, with a very fit St James’ panel limiting the opposition to a single point whilst clocking up nine points to win the match on a scoreline of 0-14 to 1-7.
Five of St James’ six forwards got on the scorecard, with the outstanding Paul O’Sullivan scoring in both halves for a total of five points, whilst the speed of Frankie Hayes and Tony Hayes left the Durrus backs in a spin as both players pointed three times. Wing-forward Conor Hegarty earned his point through a high-intensity approach to the game that he maintained to the final whistle, whilst the unflappable Finbarr McCarthy scored his two points with typical composure and elegance.
Amongst the new generation, minor Seán Scully again showed himself to be well able for junior-A football, as did Eoin Feen and Kevin Kearns. Also encouraging was the return from injury of the influential Micheál McCarthy (Brittas), and with exams coming to an end, the return of several other players will strengthen the squad in advance of the second round of championship. [DC]
Panel: Diarmuid O’Donovan, Fearghal Beamish, Micheál McCarthy (D), Eoin Deasy, Kevin O’Leary, Micheál McCarthy (B), Eoin Feen, Seán Scully, Kevin O’Brien, Conor Hegarty (0-1), Paul O’Sullivan (0-5), Frankie Hayes (0-3), Kevin Kearns, Finbarr McCarthy (0-2), Tony Hayes (0-3), Andrew O’Leary, Shaun Goggin.
U-12 Football League (9th June 2012, Ardfield)
St Mary’s 7-10 St James’ 2-5
On a sunny Saturday morning in Ardfield, a large crowd of parents and siblings watched the St James' under-12 footballers take on and, ultimately, lose out to St Mary's by 7-10 to 2-5. Two early goals and three points for St Mary’s signalled an uphill battle, and there was a long wait before Harry Oates finally got St James' onto the scoreboard with a well-taken point, followed by a superb goal from Conor Hayes. St Mary's came up with another two goals and five points, whilst Harry Oates and Fionn McPeake were able to add a point apiece for the home side. St James’ were unable to capitalise on several goalmouth scrambles, though a piledriver that hit the crossbar before bouncing down and possibly over the line was not given as the referee did not have the benefit of goal-line technology. By half-time, St James’ trailed 1-3 to 4-8.
The second half got off to a great start with Gary Lombard and Conor Hayes each contributing a point for St James’, and Hayes then came up trumps with another goal. St James’ continued to pose a scoring threat, especially when St Mary’s swopped keepers (the first one would not have been asked his age if he turned out for a game with the minors). However, the eagerness to get forward often left the defence exposed. Thankfully, Michael White and Conor McCarthy did an outstanding job, whilst goalkeeper Pádraig O'Donovan kept out several goal-bound attempts. The game served as a useful learning experience in both competitive play and gamecraft, and the mentors were pleased with a team that continues to improve with training and matches. [CMcP]
Panel: Pádraig O'Donovan, Michael White, Conor McCarthy, Niall O'Sullivan, Cristóir Hayes, Conor Hayes, Fionn McPeake, Liam Crowley, Gary Lombard, Harry Oates, Alison Taylor, Clodagh Walsh, Lorraine Callanan, James Hodnett.
Under-12 Hurling League (2nd June 2012, Ardfield)
St Oliver Plunkett’s 5-11 St James’ 2-3
The under-12 hurlers failed to get the better of the mighty St Oliver Plunkett’s at home in the league. The opposition were too strong on this occasion, and took an unassailable lead into the break. Nevertheless, St James’ rallied in the second half, with nice goals by Niall O’Donovan and Conor Hayes in addition to a few points (brothers Conor and Christeoir Hayes the scorers).
Panel: Harry Oates, Pádraig O’Donovan, Christeoir Hayes, Alison Taylor, Niall O’Donovan, Conor Hayes, Fionn McPeake, Andrew Whelton, Gary Lombard, Eavan O’Driscoll, James Hodnett, Aoife O’Driscoll, Michael White.