Under-21 Football Championship (played in Timoleague)
Kilbrittain 3-10 St James’ 2-6
St James’ involvement in the under-21 football championship came to a halt in Timoleague last Saturday following a semi-final defeat to Kilbrittain. The first half belonged to St James’, with scores by James Hayes, Garrett Lombard, James O’Sullivan, Michael Santry and Kevin Kearns. Peter Barrett at wing-back dealt well with the threat posed by Cork under-21 player Jamie Wall, whilst good work by goalkeeper Pa Keohane and a sturdy St James’ back line kept Kilbrittain at bay until the break.
St James’ half-time lead of 1-6 to 1-3 was narrow enough for Kilbrittain to fight their way back, and they did so in style, scoring ten times whilst St James’ managed only a single score during the entire second half, albeit a goal from a well-placed penalty by James Hayes. Whilst not denying the formidable challenge presented by Kilbrittain, St James’ suffered an early set-back when Brian O’Leary had to be stretchered off with a knee injury, and his presence was sorely missed when Kilbrittain turned up the heat.
Team: Pa Keohane, Emmet Hayes, Eoin Feen, Thomas Nyhan, Garrett Lombard 0-1, Peter Barrett, Brian O’Donovan, Brian O’Leary, William Sheehan, Tadhg Casey, James O’Sullivan 1-0 (45), Kevin Kearns 0-1, James Hayes 1-3 (3 frees, 1 pen.), Michael Santry 0-1, Niall Barrett. Subs: Reuben O’Hea, Ryan Petit-Mee, Niall Evans, Johnny Carroll
Junior A Football League (played in Ardfield)
St James’ 1-8 Bandon 0-11
St James’ junior-A footballers were looking to bounce back after their championship setback, and though this league meeting with Bandon in Ardfield last Saturday ended in a draw, the St James’ trainers were satisfied with the positivity and drive very much in evidence. St James’ played a good passing game, and the willingness of players to run into space and look for the ball was rewarded with scores. Mark Evans, as always, wasted no time putting the ball over the bar, and there was an unmistakable sense of urgency as Kevin O’Leary powered home the game’s only goal before five minutes of the fixture had elapsed. Bandon recovered with a couple of points before David Hayes answered for St James’ with a score that demonstrated a sharp awareness of those around him and an ability to link up at speed. The same could be said of Kevin O’Brien when providing a perfect pass to Frankie Hayes, who took his point with typical ease. Just before the break, Donnacha McCarthy scored a fine long-range point, and though Bandon had kept in touch during the first half, St James’ went to the dug-out a goal to the good.
Bandon put on a spurt in the second half, scoring six points. The Evans brothers, Ian and Mark, kept the scores going for St James’ – with Ian assuming free-taking duties – and the game ended in a draw that both sides would consider a fair result.
Team: Diarmuid O’Donovan, Fearghal Beamish, Seamus McCarthy, Eoin Deasy, Mark O’Brien, Micheál McCarthy (B), David Hayes 0-1, Kevin O’Brien, Mark Evans 0-2, Kevin O’Leary 1-0, James O’Driscoll, Donnacha McCarthy 0-1, Tony Hayes, Paul O’Sullivan 0-1 (1 free), Frankie Hayes 0-1 Subs: Ian Evans 0-2 (2 frees), Dennis Fitzpatrick, Finbarr McCarthy, Conor Hegarty
Under-16 Football League (played in Ardfield)
St James’ 3-9 Caheragh 1-11
The under-16 footballers welcomed Caheragh to Ardfield on Easter Monday for a league fixture, but there the niceties ended as the hosts went all out for victory. St James’ owed much of their success to the five points scored by Shaun Goggin, but also to excellent scores by Jack Butler, Seán O’Connor, Aaron Hayes, Kevin Horan, James Taylor and Conor Ryan. For seven players to get on the score sheet augers well for this panel, not least when three of the scorers came off the bench. Also pleasing was the performance of Ciarán O’Donovan in goal; he clearly has a good understanding with full-back Seán Walsh, who was always ready to receive the ball and quickly seek out his team-mates. Aaron Hayes continues to be influential, and his outstanding performance was remarked upon by several of those watching the match. Credit also to cousins Jack Butler and Conor Ryan for getting a goal apiece.
Panel: Ciarán O’Donovan, Peter Walsh, Ewan Courtney, Brandon Creagh, Jack Hurley, Seán O’Connor 0-1, Dylan O’Sullivan, Adam Ahern 1-0, Shaun Goggin 0-5, Jack Butler 1-0, Aaron Hayes 0-2, Brian Lombard, Alan Butler, Conor Ryan 1-0, Kevin Horan 0-1, James Taylor