Junior A Hurling League (1st April 2012, Kilbrittain)
St James’ 2-14 Kilbrittain 0-17
The junior A hurlers got off to the best of starts in the league with an away win against Kilbrittain on a perfect Sunday afternoon for hurling. Replacement goalkeeper Conor Hegarty kept a clean sheet and a cool nerve, with the outstanding Finbarr McCarthy at full-back snuffing out most Kilbrittain moves towards goal to ensure the new keeper was afforded the kind of protection normally reserved for royalty. Nevertheless, Hegarty did the business as and when required to do so, and with style.
Both sides pointed seven times in the first half, but St James’ also fired in two superb goals, the first by Tadhg Casey at the end of a great move involving Micheál McCarthy (Dunnycove) and Kieran O’Donovan, the second by McCarthy himself, with O’Donovan again the provider. Points came from Mark Evans – one a magnificent long-ranger – Brian O’Donovan and the aforementioned Casey, O’Donovan and McCarthy.
Of the second-half scores, the two 75-metre frees converted by James O’Driscoll were outstanding examples of long-range free-taking. Equally impressive was the point scored by Mark Evans from a seemingly impossible angle. St James’ led the match from start to finish, but both sides will take something from an entertaining and high-tempo game.
Panel: Conor Hegarty, Eoin Feen, Finbarr McCarthy, Donnacha McCarthy, Shane Field, Paul O’Sullivan, James O’Driscoll (0-2), Micheál McCarthy (B), Seamus McCarthy, Mark Evans (0-2), Micheál McCarthy (D) (1-1), Brian O’Donovan (0-2), Damian Dooley (0-2), Kieran O’Donovan (0-4), Tadhg Casey (1-1).
Minor Hurling League (1st April, 2012)
Final score: St Colm’s 3-9 St James’ 1-12
The minor hurlers travelled to Kealkill for a Sunday-morning league meeting with St Colm’s, and though they outpointed the opposition, three goals for Colm’s against one for St James’ gave the Kealkill lads the winning margin.
With numbers tight for St James’ this year (seven of the starting twelve were under sixteen), the willingness of Adam Ahern to resume goalkeeping duties despite being still in recovery from a broken foot says much about the commitment of the St James’ panel. Better still, Ahern made several superb saves, and even left his area when required to do so despite the obvious discomfort it caused him.
Tadhg Casey was top scorer for St James’ (1-5), pointing from close in and long range, and scoring a great goal after collecting the ball sent upfield with pinpoint accuracy by Niall Evans. Evans himself once again demonstrated his scoring ability, with three points (1 free and a 65). Aaron Hayes deserved his point for his efforts, Brandon Creagh again caught the eye with an honest, hard-working performance, whilst corner-back Peter Walsh also played extremely well.
Panel: Adam Ahern, Seán O’Connor, Peter Walsh, Seán Scully, Niall Evans (0-3), Cian McPeake, Aaron Hayes (0-1), Brandon Creagh, Brian Lombard, Tadhg Casey (1-5), Dylan O’Sullivan (0-1), Shaun Goggin (0-2), Ciarán O'Donovan.
Under-16 Hurling League (2nd April, Skibbereen)
St James' 9-9 O'Donovan Rossa 1-0
The words 'one-sided' and 'demolition' fail to adequately describe the outcome of this U-16 hurling encounter, but they give an inkling of what went on in Skibbereen last Monday. Leaving aside the obvious shortcomings of Rossa's, St James' will be encouraged by not just the good hurling of these players but also by their dedication to their task.