James’ Minors Capture West Board Championship Title

October 16th, 2018 | by stjamesgaa
James’ Minors Capture West Board Championship Title
Club News
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It has been a six year wait since St. James’ captured the Minor B West Board Cup. 2012 was the last time that the Jimmies reached this stage of the championship and on that occasion they won and it was to be repeat once again for the St. James’ club. Pearse Stadium was the venue for this final and many supporters from Clifden/Renvylle and St. James’ traveled to cheer on their teams. It must be noted that weather conditions for this game was not ideal. It was the Jimmies that started the game on top and pressed on their opponents kick outs and this led to some unforced errors in the Connemarra defense. Daniel McNulty opened the scoring for the Jimmies with a well taken point from the edge of the D. Clifden responded immediately a raised the umpires white flag. It was Darragh Kennedy who stepped up to the mark and brought the sides level after 6 minutes.

There was a lot of unforced errors in the game due to the difficult conditions but both sides were quick to punish mistakes. On the 15 minutes a ball was kicked in high by James’ captain Ryan O’Toole and Robbie Olusola punched the ball passed goalkeeper Patrick Nevin. This gave the city outfit a 3pt lead and they looked on top of the game. In defense James’ made some great runs up the field and caused Clifden/Renvylle a lot of problems. Unfortunately for James’ they missed a lot of chances that could have extended their lead at the interval. Clifden clawed their way back into the game and narrowed the gap to a single point. The score at halftime resulted James’ 1-3 Clifden/Renvylle 0-5.

At the start of the second half referee Noel Cummins resumed play and Sean Neary grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck when he fielded and excellent ball and laid it off for Daniel McNulty to pop over the black spot. This put James’ in the driving seat and they responded with another point which extended their lead to 5pts. Rory King and Sean Black of Clifden rallied their side and created scoring opportunities which were converted by the Clifden forwards. King and Kennedy were among the scorers. The game was in the melting pot for long durations of the second half but James’ never looked in much danger. Clifden failed to break through on goal time and time again and this was very frustrating for them. When the men from out west would add a score James’ would respond the other end and raise the umpires white flag. James’ introduced 3 substitutes that made a significant impact on the game and their is little doubt that this helped them seal the win.

In the final minutes, the scoreboard read 1-6 to 0-6 points in favor of James’. A goal opportunity then came to the fold for the Jimmies but Sean Neary took the right option and put the ball over the bar. This gave his side a 4pt cushion with very little time left on the clock. A high ball was delivered in by Rory King on the edge of the square in the dying seconds but this move was easily broken up by the James’ defense and when Rory Melody broke out from the backline with the ball in hand referee Noel Cummins blew the full time whistle. There was jubilant scenes in Pearse Stadium and the pitch was invaded with the James’ bench, management and supporters.

Ryan O’Toole was presented with the Minor B West Board trophy by county board officer Martin Curran and sponsor of the family cup Ailish Gorman of Moycullen. On the day James’ had many players that contributed in this epic win and among them in goals was Cian Costello Hynes. In defense were Darragh Connelly, Rory Melody, Ian Casserly, Kevin Hourgian, Bryan McSweeney, Stephen Flaherty Kelly and Mark Gill. Sean Neary and Ryan O’Toole commanded the middle of the field and dictated a lot of the play. Up front was Daniel McNulty, Dylan Carroll, Robbie Olusola, Cian Gilroy, Darren McPeake, Eoin Finnerty, Ryan Corcoran, Conor Boyce and all worked very hard. It is without question or hesitation to acknowledge the efforts of the players on bench and their contribution to team all year. Players such as Liam O’Reilly, David Erakpoweri, Cian Gillespie, John Ralph, Mikey Kerrin, Ben Hugman, Daniel Hugman, Bryan Hale, Jack Greaney, Dessie Hynes and the injured Josh Pyne.

Next up for the Jimmies is a county final date with either Tuam Stars or Mountbellew Moylough. The North Board Final will be played this coming weekend. In the meantime one can look forward to the Minor A Final which will be contested between Salthill/Knocknacarra and Claregalway on Saturday at 2pm in Tuam Stadium.

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