Junior A football league (played in Ardfield)
St James’ 1-11 Kilmacabea 1-7
An exquisite Frankie Hayes goal just minutes before the final whistle sealed the win for St James’ junior A footballers in last Friday’s league fixture with Kilmacabea in Ardfield. The goal was the product of quick and accurate passing from one end of the pitch to the other, as were most of St James’ scores, all of which came from open play. Frankie Hayes, the dynamo of the St James’ attack, was first to score, his point characteristically fashioned from a quick turn and accurate kicking. Also influential for St James’ was Mark Evans, whose two points were the product of determined breakthroughs and good technique. A busy night for Paul O’Sullivan was rewarded with two points, both calmly dispatched under pressure. Donnacha McCarthy snatched a point after pouncing on a dropped ball, whilst his cousin Kevin O’Brien – masterful in midfield – was alert to a short 45 from which he scored a well-placed point. The St James’ defenders – most notably Fearghal Beamish, Eoin Deasy and the McCarthy brothers, Seamus and Micheál – made life difficult for Kilmacabea, whose goal and three points from frees together with one from open play gave them only the narrowest of half-time leads.
St James’ began the second half in positive mood, with James Hayes taking delivery of a Mark Evans pass and turning to score a point that was just reward for his willingness to keep on the move and find space. Kilmacabea managed to score only three points in the entire second half, whilst well-worked points from St James’ Connie Leahy, Frankie Hayes and James O’Sullivan levelled the score. Tadhg Casey, coming on as a sub in his first junior A game, covered a lot of ground and got himself into the action as St James’ went all out for the win. A tense final few minutes were relieved when Frankie Hayes burst through for his goal, followed by a point for luck from the outstanding Mark Evans.
Team: Diarmuid O’Donovan, Eoin Deasy, Micheál McCarthy (B), Fearghal Beamish, Mark O'Brien, Donnacha McCarthy, Garrett Lombard, Seamus McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, Paul O’Sullivan, James O’Sullivan, Mark Evans, Micheál McCarthy (D), James Hayes, Frank Hayes. Subs: Connie Leahy, Tadhg Casey, Niall Evans
Junior B football league (played in Ballygarvan)
Ballygarvan 2-10 St James’ 1-11
The junior B footballers took a spin down to Ballygarvan for this Tuesday evening fixture, and though they came close to overturning Ballygarvan’s lead with sustained second-half pressure, time ran out before St James’ could close the two-point gap. Goals, as so often, made the difference: Tadhg Casey scored the St James’ goal early on, with Shane O’Connell the playmaker. Ballygarvan replied with two first-half goals, and these ultimately proved decisive. Seven points from an on-form Ian Evans and two expertly scored by Jonathan O’Donovan together with a point each from Niall Barrett and Tadhg Casey gave grounds for optimism, especially when Ballygarvan were pinned back in the last quarter of the pitch for most of the second half. On the few occasions they did break out, they managed a few points and came close to finding the back of the net only to be kept out by the superb goalkeeping of Pa Keohane. The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough for Ballygarvan, and when it did St James’ were left to ponder what might have been. Match referee, Nathan Wall, must be credited for a scrupulous no-nonsense style that should serve as a model for refs everywhere.
Team: Pa Keohane, Danny O’Connor, Denis Fitzpatrick, Andrew O’Leary, Peter Barrett, William Sheehan, Garrett Lombard, Jonathan O’Donovan 0-2, Brian O’Donovan, Shane Field, Shane O’Connell, Ian Evans 0-7 (3 frees), Niall Barrett 0-1, John Santry, Tadhg Casey 1-1. Subs: Connie Leahy, Niall Evans
Under 14 Football League (played in Clonakilty)
Clonakilty 4-19 St James' 3-17
The under-14 footballers found out the hard way that even scoring three goals and seventeen points doesn’t always guarantee victory. With some class movements on and off the ball during the first half – and a number of fine saves from goalkeeper Seamus O'Sullivan – St James’ were looking good at half time, going in six points in front. Clonakilty were not finished, however, and scored thirteen times (including three goals) in the second half. The reply from St James’ was not enough to stem the tide, and losing after scoring so many times was a bitter pill to swallow.
Panel: Seamus O'Sullivan, Conor Scully, James Taylor 0-3, Frank Meaney, Joseph O'Sullivan 1-2, Eoin Lombard, Seán White, Alan Butler, Peter Walsh 0-5, Seán O'Reilly 1-4, Peter Whelton 0-1, Ciaran Whelband, Daniel O'Driscoll, Micheal O'Mahony, Cian McPeake 1-2, Jack Oates