Junior A Football League (played in Ardfield)
St James’ 1-18 Diarmuid Ó Mathúna’s 1-4
St James’ junior A footballers took another two league points as just reward for this convincing win over Mathúna’s. A goal from Frank Hayes augmented a slew of points from a team already firing on all cylinders. Though the forwards must be acknowledged for taking their chances, with Mark Evans having played a blinder, this win owed as much to stout defending, not least from rock-solid full backs Eoin Deasy, Seamus McCarthy and Fearghal Beamish.
Team: Finbarr McCarthy, Eoin Deasy, Seamus McCarthy, Fearghal Beamish, Mark O’Brien, Kevin O’Leary, David Hayes, Micheál McCarthy (Brittas), James O’Driscoll, James O’Sullivan, Mark Evans, Donncha McCarthy, Frank Hayes, Paul O’Sullivan, Tony Hayes. Subs: Eoin Feen, Garrett Lombard, James Hayes.
Junior B Football League (played in Clonakilty)
St James’ 2-13 Clonakilty 0-5
The short trip into town last Saturday proved to be very fruitful for the junior B footballers. Clonakilty seemed taken by surprise, and certainly had no answer to a well-organised, enthusiastic and very effective St James’.
While two goals by Michael Santry were the highlights, the key to the win was consistent point scoring, not least because eight different players succeeded in putting the ball over the bar. Ian Evans took the lion’s share, scoring five points (four from frees), whilst James O’Sullivan made his own vital contribution with three points that owed everything to his willingness and ability to carry the ball and take his points.
This was a team performance in every sense, and the St James’ defence must be given credit for holding the line against a Clonakilty side that included several experienced and very skillful players. Tight marking and determined tackling limited Clon to a small handful of scoring chances, and most of these were frustrated by St James’ defenders keeping space to a minimum. Eoin Feen and Emmet Hayes were very dependable in this regard, whilst Thomas Nyhan displayed flair and imagination by repeatedly bursting out of defence and carrying the ball up the field to initiate attacking moves. Denis Fitzpatrick was another defender willing to venture forward, and his burst of speed and limitless stamina made these forays very effective. The midfield battle was dominated by the hard-working Jonathan O’Donovan, who was never content to simply win the ball but always looked to make a telling pass.
Making their junior debuts, Reuben O’Hea and Tadhg Casey both came close to scoring a goal, with Casey’s saved attempt falling into the path of Santry, who gratefully put the ball away for his second goal.
Team: Johnny Carroll, Thomas Nyhan, Eoin Feen, Emmet Hayes, Peter Barrett, Denis Fitzpatrick, William Sheehan, Jonathan O’Donovan, Garrett Lombard 0-1, Tadhg Casey, James O’Sullivan 0-3, Conor Hegarty, Ian Evans 0-5 (4 frees), Michael Santry 2-1, Reuben O’Hea. Subs: Frank Hayes 0-1, Shane O’Connell, Paul O’Donovan, Niall Barrett, S. McCarthy 0-1, Shane O’Connell
Under-16 Football League (played in Ahiohill)
St James’ 6-7 Oliver Plunkett’s 4-6
This seven-point win was, in the end, hard fought for, but on their first outing of the season the Ardfield/Rathbarry side did enough in the first thirty minutes to dispose of Plunkett’s. St James’ opened the scoring with an Adam Ahern goal; Plunkett’s reply of a goal and two points was itself answered by Aaron Hayes finding the back of the net. More goals (Adam Ahern (2), Conor Ryan and Seán O’Connor) enabled St James’ to establish a comfortable half-time lead of 6-1 to 2-4.
St James’ struggled a little in the second half, and a couple of goals by Plunkett’s brought them back into it. However, the Ahiohill team had the misfortune to hit the uprights and crossbar an uncountable number of times, had a goal disallowed, and were denied several times by outstanding point-blank saves by St James’ goalkeeper Ciarán O’Donovan. In the meantime, points for St James’ (Peter Walsh, Jack Butler, Cian McPeake (2), Seán O’Connor and Aaron Hayes) put the game beyond Plunkett’s.
Team: Ciarán O’Donovan, Ewan Courtney, Peter Walsh 0-1, Sean O’Connor 1-2, Cian McPeake 0-2, Brian Lombard, Aaron Hayes 1-1, Adam Ahern 3-0, Seán O’Reilly, Jack Butler 0-1, Conor Ryan 1-0
Match reporters/score-keepers wanted
No experience necessary. Training provided. Please contact Dominic Carroll at 8840881.