St James U12A defeated neighbours Oranmore Maree in a fantastic City League A final at a rain soaked Pearse Stadium on Thursday. The City League has been revived after a few years hiatus and it has been a fantastic success for footballers all over the city . Nothing separated the sides in the earlier round robin series in Maree and so it continued in the final. The teams traded scores throughout an end to end first half. Christopher Ryan kept a close eye on proceedings and tried to let the game flow in what were testing wet conditions. The Jimmies battled gamely and kicked some lovely scores in the first half from the likes of Tony o Brien and Jamie de Paor.
There was only one point in it at half time. 3.2 to the Jimmies lads. The second half was also relentless from start to finish with no team conceding an inch. The crowd were shouting for their team at every turn. Indeed either team couldn’t get more than one score ahead such was the ferocity of play. The St James lads played with real heart throughout that second half and scores by Conor Conneely and Oisin Scanlon were crucial to the St James efforts. Oranmore similarly didn’t shrink the challenge and kicked a brilliant score to equalise at the end of normal time. This led to extra time where St James no11 Oisin Scanlon had a telling impact in this period. He led the team superbly aided by his team mates in every line. In the end St James rattled off 3 brilliant scores to win by 11.8.
They had great performances in every area. Darragh McGrath was colossal in goal, the full back line of James Freeman, Evan Dilleen and Ryan Dillon worked so hard throughout. The half back line of Ryan Connolly, Finn o Reilly and Cormac Murphy never gave up and were a great platform . The captain in midfield Jamie de Paor and his central partner Liam Kelly put in 40 minutes of trojan work tackling and working at every juncture . In the forwards Liam Murphy, Oisín Scanlon and Tony o Brien were brilliant and were aided by a talented full forward line of Alan Corcoran, Mark Allnutt and Sean o Halloran. The finishers or impact subs were huge to the win and they were Niall McHugh, Conor Conneely, Oisín Gorham, Evan Molloy and Christopher Fitzpatrick.
All in all a brilliant night’s football edged by the lads in white. I’m sure there will be many more battles against a magnificent Oranmore Maree side. Jamie de Paor was presented with the Nally Cup by St Michaels stalwart and well known referee Tom Nally to rapturous applause in the main stand. A night to remember in Pearse Stadium for sure!