Jack Nolan’s precise free kick taking edged the Jimmies to victory last week in the Sweeney Oil U19 A League final. St. James’ won home advantage with a coin toss earlier in the week and this game attracted large crowds in what was a closely contested affair. An estimated three hundred, plus people, were at this game in Mervue. Christopher Ryan was the official referee on the evening and needless to say, he had his work cut out. It was a game of intensity from start to finish. St. James’ opened the scoring with a slick move leading to a converted free kick from Jack Nolan. Salthill responded immediately with a score from Matthew Thompson and for the next hour the sides exchanged some excellent scores. Darragh Neary, Jamie Hayes and Nial Kirton added to the scoreboard with a point each from play for the home side. The seasiders responded with some good scores coming from Charlie Power and Leo Byrne. Before the break, Nolan added another free and this concluded the opening period. The Jimmies led at the interval six point to three.

A crucial save was made from James Egan at the start of the second half and this denied Salthill the chance of levelling the game. Sam O’Neill added his first score of the game for St. James’ from a free and he had a Man-Of -The-Match performance in the middle of the park. He out fielded the opposition in every aspect.  The score of the game came from a James Egan kickout, fielded by O’Neill and Jack Folan made a burst up the pitch, won a free which O’Neill scored from 30 yards out on the left hand side facing into the Cumann Theach Pa Grealish clubhouse. This gave James’ the edge that they needed but Salthill responded and added a tally of scores but bring the game level. Ryan Kavanagh, Leo Byrne Daniel Flaherty, Pat Nash and Niall Mannion all contributed to the scoreboard. It looked like Salthill were turning the tide but the Jimmies showed great resolve and character.

Darragh Neary added his second score of the day from play and this was followed up by substitute Cian Corcoran who cut through the Salthill defence and scored an exceptional point.  Approaching the final minutes there was lots of turnovers from both sides and there was only one point between the teams. Liam Melody was denied a goal chance but his team mate Jack Nolan added the winner from play which sealed the win. He finished with a tally of 0-4 (3 frees). Salthill had a chance at the end of the game to win it but they struck the ball wide. Martín Curran presented the winning captain, Liam Melody, with the cup after the game and complimented both teams on a fine display of football.  The best for the Jimmies were Sam O’Neill, Darragh Neary, Matthew Mulvaney, James Egan, Keane Griffin, Jack Nolan and Jack Folan. Salthill had good players in Daniel Flaherty, Rory Forde, Daniel Hoare and Matthew Thompson.

Final Score: St. James’ 0-11 Salthill Knocknacarra 0-9

St. James’ Team: 1. J.Egan, 2. J.O’Hara, 3. B.Forde, 4. F.Conway, 5. J.Folan, 6. M.Mulvaney, 7. J.Hayes, 8. S.O’Neill 0-2 (2 frees), 9. D.Neary 0-2 , 10. K.Grennan, 11. J. Nolan 0-4 (3 frees), 12. E.Abiodun (10mins for K.Griffin), 13. N.Kirton 0-1 (45mins for C.Corcoran 0-1), 14. L.Melody, 15. T.Hayes 0-1.

 Salthill Knocknacarra Team: 1. D.O’Leary, 2. C.Joyce, 3. A.Mannion, 4. F.Hanney, 5.B.O’Malley, 6. D.O’Flaherty 0-1, 7. R.Forde (50mins for C. Bray), 8. P.Nash 0-1, 9. R. Kavanagh 0-1, 10. D.Hoare, 11. M.Thompson 0-2 1 free, 12. L.Byrne 0-1, 13. L.Brennan (55mins E. Jennings), 14. C.Power 0-1, 15. N.Mannon 0-1.