St James 2-11
JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
THREE second-half goals were key as Dohenys turned a four-point half-time deficit into a three-point winning margin in their South West JAHC opener.
St James’ led 1-7 to 0-6 at the break in Enniskeane on Sunday but Dohenys hit 3-5 in the second half to blitz their way to a round one win.
In a classic game of two halves, Dohenys made light of their first-half shortcomings as in the second half, their attack blossomed.
With free-taker Jerry McCarthy, Fionn Herlihy, Don O’Driscoll and two-goal hero Kevin O’Mahony all playing starring roles, and their half-back line of the outstanding Declan Collins, Eoin Lavers and Jamie Carroll in no mood to let St James’ through, the Dunmanway side took control when it mattered.
‘We certainly didn’t show up in that opening half, we had problems with exams, getting lads together as this is only our fourth game,’ Dohenys trainer Declan Lavers said.
‘We blooded five young lads out there today and it’s great to see them involved.
‘As you saw the hurling standard was excellent, St James’ are a fine team, they allowed us little space, closed down the openings and fought with determination and tenacity.’
Certainly in the opening half Dohenys looked sluggish, the free-taking of Jerry McCarthy allied to a nice point by Don O’Driscoll keeping them in touch.
In contrast St James’ were firing on all cylinders, Finbarr McCarthy, Aaron Hayes and ace free-taker Paul O’Sullivan hitting the target, as Dohenys shifted Fionn O’Herlihy to the mark.
Micheál McCarthy (B) was proving an effective sweeper, while Kieran O’Donovan and Aaron Hayes were prominent, a fantastic solo goal by O’Donovan in the 24th minute opening up a handy interval four-point advantage.
Dohenys had it all to do, but when Lavers set up Fionn Herlihy for a cracking goal early in the second half, they were back in this game.
With the scores tied up at 1-9 apiece by the 48th minute came a defining moment as Kevin O’Mahony ghosted inside the Saints cover to billow the net.
Undaunted St James’ battled on, hitting the front again in the 54th minute, 2-11 to 2-10, as substitute Kevin O’Brien, Kevin O’Leary and Aaron Hayes all combined with the latter touching the ball past Vincent Healy.
But scarcely had the Ardfield cheering subsided when Dohenys went on the rampage and O’Mahony sent a searing drive past Diarmuid O’Donovan at the other end a minute later.
Jerry McCarthy applied the coup-de-grace and despite St James’ frantic attempts to salvage the game, the sands of time evaporated.
Dohenys: Kevin O’Mahony 2-2, Jerry McCarthy 0-7 (6f), Fionn Herlihy1-0, Don O’Driscoll, Sean Daly 0-1 each.
St James: Paul O’Sullivan 0-6f, Kieran O’Donovan 1-2, Aaron Hayes 1-1, Finbarr McCarthy, James O’Driscoll (f) 0-1 each.
Dohenys: Vincent Healy; Barry O’Donovan, Tadhg O’Leary, Chris Cronin; Declan Collins, Eoin Lavers, Jamie Carroll; Martin Collins, Patrick McCarthy; Jerry McCarthy, Don O’Driscoll, Fionn Herlihy; Kevin O’Mahony, Sean Daly, Bill Murphy.
Sub: Johnny Kelly for Patrick McCarthy (38).
St James: Diarmuid O’Donovan; Thomas Nyhan, Micheál McCarthy (Dunnycove), Seamus McCarthy; Mark Evans, James O’Driscoll, James O’Sullivan; Kevin O’Leary, Micheál McCarthy (Brittas); Damien Bennett, Paul O’Sullivan, Finbarr McCarthy; Aaron Hayes, Niall Evans, Kieran O’Donovan.
Subs: Kevin O’Brien for Niall Evans (41), Conor Hayes for Damien Bennett (49), Rob Hegarty for Micheál McCarthy (54).
Referee: Alan Long (Argideen Rangers).