Junior A Hurling League (Tracton)
St James’ 0-16 Tracton 0-8
St James’ junior A hurlers got their league campaign off to a winning start last Sunday in a fast-paced game against a good Tracton side that just didn’t have enough on the day. This was the first time St James’ had ventured into the Carrigdhoun division for a league encounter, so both sides were up against unknown quantities. A glance at the final score will show that St James’ took two scores for every one of Tracton’s, and these are the quantities that matter. First point for St James’ was from a free taken by Garrett Lombard, followed by two more from Seamus McCarthy. Other early scores came from Mark Evans and Garrett Lombard, before Kieran O’Donovan took centre-stage to score the first of his eventual five points. James O’Driscoll added another before the break, so that the half-time score stood at 7-4 in favour of St James’.
Though Tracton obviously have plenty of hurling in them, St James’ didn’t let up in the second half, and more points were added to the scoreboard by Seamus McCarthy, Kieran O’Donovan, James O’Driscoll and Mark Evans (both from frees). The cherry on the cake was provided by the evergreen Damian Dooley, who showed yet again his instinct for scoring. With their work done, St James’ headed home content having fashioned a performance from good hurling, fitness and teamwork.
Team: Diarmuid O’Donovan, Eoin Deasy, Finbarr McCarthy, Donncha McCarthy, James O’Sullivan, Paul O’Sullivan, Mark O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien, Micheál McCarthy (Brittas), Mark Evans 0-3 (2 frees), Seamus McCarthy 0-3, James O’Driscoll 0-2, Garrett Lombard 0-2, Kieran O’Donovan 0-5, Kevin O’Leary. Subs: Damian Dooley 0-1, Conor Hegarty, Ian Evans, Brian O’Donovan, Kevin Kearns, Emmet Hayes
Minor Football League (Durrus)
Durrus 3-13 St James’ 3-5
The minor footballers were called upon to play their first two league games in quick succession, one away, the other at home. First up was a trip to Durrus on St Patrick’s Day. First-half goals from James Hayes and Aaron Hayes were added to points scored by Tadhg Casey and Cian Kavanagh to ensure the sides were level at half time. Though James Hayes was on the mark again in the second half, scoring three points, Durrus continued to score without sufficient reply from St James’.
Team: Pa Keohane, Danny O’Connor, Jack Hurley, Aaron Hayes 1-0, Thomas Nyhan, Brian O’Donovan, Niall Evans, Tadhg Casey 0-1, Cian Kavanagh 0-1, Shaun Goggin, Reuben O’Hea, James Hayes 2-3. Sub: Seán O’Connor
Minor Football League (Ardfield)
Ballingeary 4-18 St James’ 5-8
The minors were in action again on Sunday last, but – as is so often the case – the final score does not accurately reflect the match itself. Though Shaun Goggin provided St James’ with an early point and Niall Evans quickly increased the gap with a nice goal, Ballingeary notched up three goals and seven points before St James’ came back into it. The St James’ response was kick-started by Reuben O’Hea, who found the space to score a nicely struck point. Next to score was Ruairc Courtney, who put the ball over the bar from distance, and things really began to look up when Niall Evans hammered home his second goal.
In the second half, St James’ took command for an extended period, with Tadhg Casey leading the charge with a couple of quick goals, followed by St James’ fifth goal, this one scored by Shaun Goggin. Casey and Evans chalked up more points to bring St James’ to within just one point of Ballingeary. However, this seemed to spark a Ballingeary revival, and their next six points went unanswered. Though James Hayes – the St James’ playmaker for the day – found time to venture forward and add a point of his own, it was too little too late. Still, the Ardfield/Rathbarry team will take heart from having nearly turned the game around, and the potential in this side will surely be realised soon enough. Mention should also be made of Ciarán O’Donovan, who showed good handling in his debut as minor goalkeeper. Noteworthy, too, were the impressive performances from Jack Hurley and Seán O’Connor in their first two matches with the minors.
Team: Ciarán O’Donovan, Danny O’Connor, Jack Hurley, Ruairc Courtney 0-1, Thomas Nyhan, Brian O’Donovan, James Hayes 0-1, Reuben O’Hea 0-1, Cian Kavanagh, Niall Evans 2-2, Shaun Goggin 1-1, Tadhg Casey 2-2. Sub: Seán O’Connor