James’ Boy’s Victorious in County ‘A’ Championship Football Final

James’ Boy’s Victorious in County ‘A’ Championship Football Final

October 10th, 2015
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t was a historic win for the St. James’ club when Keith Murphy’s side defeated Salthill/Knocknacarra today in Caherlistrane in the U-14 ‘A’ Championship final. James’ started the game on top with a well taken point from Jamie Hayes. Shortly after this a mistake in the Salthill defense cost them a goal when Jack Nolan intercepted a pass and ran through on goal and buried it into the back of the net. The umpire signaled the green flag and James’ were on top 1-1 after 5 minutes played.The Sea Siders responded and were rewarded a penalty for a late challenge inside the square. Captain and goalkeeper Ciaran Kinsella stepped up to the mark and pull off a spectacular save to deny Salthill from getting on the score board. Nevertheless, Patrick Maughan of Saltill got his team on the score board with a point from a set piece shortly after the penalty miss.

In addition, James’ moved the ball at pace and found the back of the net once again. This time it was wing back Noah Folan who found himself unmarked and he dispatched a well taken shot passed Niall McGinn. The Jimmies were now in lead after 10 minutes 2-1 to 0-1. However their lead was short lived when Salthill pressed on their opponents kickouts and added a tally of scores to narrow the deficit to 2pts. Salthill missed two goal opportunities and failed to capitalize when the opportunity presented itself. Danger man for the Jimmies was Jack Folan and he scored an excellent point from 30 yards off the ground and this extended the lead to 3pts. Shortly after this Maughan raised the umpires white flag to narrow the gap to 2pts before the break. James’ had the chance to extend their lead but failed to do so and the score resulted 2-2 to 0-6 at halftime. The first half did live up expectation in terms of the football on display. Both sides played very well and moved the ball quickly up the field. The kickpassing and handpassing was exceptional to say the least and it only got better in the second half.

The first ten minutes of the second half was a battle with both teams putting in hard challenges and contesting the ball fairly. The tackling was excellent on both sides and their defenses were dogged and tenuous. Whenever Salthill would score, James’ would respond at the other end with a score. Cian Griffin, Jamie Hayes and Darrah Neary all contributed when called upon. The game was in the melting pot for the majority of the second half and either side looked like giving up. But when Jack Nolan added two master class points from play for the Jimmies, this rocked the Sea Siders hopes and dreams of retaining the title. Jack Folan fielded some excellent ball in the middle of the park and his influence on the game awarded him the ‘Man of the Match’ award. Joshua Osifo of Salthill/Knocknacarra burst the back of the St. James’ net in the final minutes of the game to bring the sides back to 3pts. James’ had another two chances to extend their lead but were denied by the Salthill goalkeeper. County board referee Tony Keating of Tuam Stars blew the final whistle to bring the game to an end and it was the Jimmies that emerged winners for the first time in the history of the club. The final score resulted St. James’ 2-9 to Salthill/Knocknacarra 1-9. Juvenile football board chairperson Peter Bane presented the winning trophy to St. James’ captain Ciaran Kinsella and also highlighted that Jack Folan was the ‘Man of the Match’. Jack was presented with his award and afterwards the Jimmies celebrated in style by lifting the cup aloft.

On the day James’ had many stand out player and among them in defense was Timothy Shogbein, Dylan Power, Daire Crowe, Darragh Neary, Joey O’Hara, George Omaka, Noah Folan and Shane Hugman. In midfield was Emmanuel Adiodun and Jack Folan and their partnership and work ethic was excellent to say the least. In the forward line was Conor Fahy, Jamie Hayes, Tommy Hayes, Keane Griffin, Eanna Fitzpatrick and the reliable Jack Nolan. It is important to note that all the players including the substitutes all had a role and played a big part in getting to the final and among them included Charlie Leonard (injured), Stephen Keogh, Liam Cloherty, Leon Sheridan, Eoin Griffin, Niall Kirton and Ronan Conway.

Finally, when all the celebrations had ended and the tour of the parish was over, Michael John Crowe treated the boy’s, parents and supporters to a lovely meal in the clubhouse. Afterwards juvenile chairperson David Henry addressed the floor and thanked everyone for all the hard work and efforts on and off the field of play. He added that this was the first time in the history of the club that a team had won an U-14 A County Championship title and was extremely proud of their achievements. The day ended with some family photographs with this prestigious cup and there was a great community vibe and spirit at HQ in Mervue as the sun set over the clubhouse.

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St James GAA Club