Junior B Hurling League (played in Ardfield)
Clonakilty 2-5 St James’ 1-6
In this low-scoring encounter, Kevin Kearns stood out for St James’, pointing five times (1 free) and showing a superb touch for so early in the season. Nevertheless, the half-time score of 4 points for St James’ to Clon’s 1-2 reflected what was a typically tentative season’s opener. The low score was not for want of trying: between them, the sides were to puck the ball wide a total of 23 times before the final whistle, but will no doubt improve their aim as the league rolls on. That said, St James’ goalkeeper Niall Evans also did his bit in keeping the score down with good saves and excellent composure when fielding the ball.
St James’ took the lead towards the end of the match when Michael Santry nipped in to score a goal after Kearns had dropped a long-range free into the danger area. However, Clon wasted no time in responding with a goal of their own, thus securing the win.
Team: Niall Evans, Danny O’Connor, Eoin Feen, Thomas Nyhan, Emmet Hayes, Garrett Lombard, David Hayes, Kevin O’Brien, Shane O’Connell, Damian Dooley, Kevin Kearns 0-5, Michael Santry 1-1, Paul O’Donovan, James Hayes. Subs: Tadhg Casey, Reuben O’Hea, Andrew O’Leary, Pa Keohane, Diarmuid Keohane
Minor Hurling League (Timoleague)
Argideen Rangers 4-7, St James’ 2-6
The minor hurlers came unstuck on a very sticky Timoleague pitch, despite some decent hurling and no lack of effort. A goal and two points from Brian O’Donovan were well deserved given that he caught every ball that came his way and was never afraid to battle his way through the Argideen defence. Tadhg Casey was also in the wars, and his goal from a powerfully struck penalty kept St James’ in touch. Good work from Pa Keohane, Danny O’Connor and Thomas Nyhan in defence, backed up by a confident Adam Ahern in goal, ensured a respectable half-time score. Cian Cavanagh put in a trojan effort at half-back, though he paid for his endeavour with an extremely painful blow to the knee. Two goals early in the second half ensured the win for Argideen, but St James’ mentors Donncha McCarthy and Mark Evans expressed broad satisfaction with their team in this its first match of the season.
Team: Adam Ahern, Danny O’Connor, Thomas Nyhan, Pa Keohane, Aaron Hayes, Cian Cavanagh, Niall Evans, Reuben O’Hea, Brian O’Donovan 1-2, Tadhg Casey 1-1, Shaun Goggin 0-3, Seán O’Connor. Subs: James Hayes, Brian Lombard
Under-16 Hurling League (played in Kealkil)
St Colm’s 1-11, St James’ 0-12
Under-16 hurling-team mentors Diarmuid O’Donovan and Kieran Barry will not be overly disappointed at this two-point defeat to Colm’s as the lads of St James’ stood toe-to-toe with a very strong Kealkil side that was made to earn every one of their points. In addition, St James’ had the disadvantage of having to play with a player less than their opponents for the entire second half after losing a player through injury and lacking a replacement. Despite this setback, St James’ captain Shaun Goggin spurred the team on with an impressive ten points, one pucked from within his own half. Also on the mark twice was Jack Oats, who on the evidence of this match is set to build on the superb form achieved last year with the double-winning under-12s. As is often the case at under-age, several of St James’ players were drafted in from a younger panel, yet each put in a courageous performance.
Team: Peter Walsh, Brandon Creagh, Adam Ahern, Alan Butler, Cian McPeake, Brian Lombard, Shaun Goggin 0-10, Seán O’Connor, Jack Oates 0-2, Jack Butler, Ciarán O’Donovan, Seán O’Reilly