St James outclass Bal to show they mean business 

October 7th, 2021 8:30 AM

By Southern Star Team

St James' Kevin O'Brien breaks past Argideen Rangers' Victor Lovell in the opening round of the Bandon Co-op JAFC earlier this season.

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St James 2-13

Ballinascarthy 0-6


SUPERBLY coordinated all over the park with their lethal attack in red-hot form, St James effortlessly brushed aside the disappointing challenge presented by old adversaries Ballinascarthy at a damp Barryroe recently.

This Bandon Co-op JAFC third-round tussle had the makings of a cracker, but instead turned out to be a damp squib.

The winning Ardfield/Rathbarry combination was in cruise control in a facile trap-to-line win over an extremely out-of-touch Reds side who never got out of first gear.

‘We were hungry today, it showed and is a vital component that we need as we face Argideen Rangers or Carbery Rangers in the quarter-final,’ St James player/manager Alan O’Shea said.

St James led 2-5 to 0-2 at half time, with Bal’s points coming from their best player and full forward Cillian Cullinane, both from frees in the 25th and 31st minutes.

St James were in devastating scoring mode at the other end. Points by Conor Hayes (2), namesake Frank and a cracking goal in the eighth minute from Alan O’Shea had them up and running. It was the Hayes movement in earnest as Aaron and Frank added a further brace to leave the Saints in cruise control at the first water break, 1-5 to 0-0, Bal yet to score.

The two Micheál McCarthys, Tadhg Feen and Kevin O’Leary were hoovering up Bal’s laboured attacks with ease, but the introduction of Eoghan Ferguson and Dean Harte did put a bit more pep in Bal’s step. To emphasise how it should be done St James strung some delightful moves together before Aaron Hayes administered a huge blow to the Reds chances of survival in the 25th minute, ushering home the leather from an acute angle.

It made for an Everest to climb for Bal on the resumption, trailing by nine points, as they introduced Ricky O’Flynn and Padraic Cullinane. A goodBal  move involving Brian O’Donovan saw Cathal Nyhan find the range and when Andrew O’Leary scored one of the points of the game, a dim light of survival flickered.

In two breakaways Frank Hayes did the business, one from a free, but in the 52nd minute Cillian Cullinane came close and from the resultant 45 Dean Harte made no mistake to point. St James lost the influential Alan O’Shea, but four further points, two by impressive substitute Seán O’Reilly and one each from Frank and Aaron Hayes, put paid to Bal’s faint hopes of survival. Another substitute Mark Evans was on target twice as a consolation point by Brian O’Donovan was of little consolation to outclassed Ballinascarthy.

Scorers –  St James: Frank Hayes 0-5 (1f); Aaron Hayes 1-2; Alan O’Shea 1-0; Conor Hayes, Sean O’Reilly, Mark Evans (1f) 0-2 each. Ballinascarthy: Cillian Cullinane 0-2(f); Cathal Nyhan, Andrew O’Leary, Brian O’Donovan, Dean Harte (45) 0-1 each.

St James: Diarmuid O’Donovan; Micheál McCarthy (Brittas), Tadhg Feen, David Hayes; Micheál McCarthy (Donnycove), Kevin O’Leary, Peter Whelton; Conor Scully, James O’Driscoll; Kevin O’Brien, Aaron Hayes, Conor Hayes; Frank Hayes, Finbarr McCarthy, Alan O’Shea. Subs: Cristoir Hayes for Finbarr McCarthy (25), Sean O’Reilly for Alan O’Shea (44), James O’Sullivan for Peter Whelton (44), Paul O’Sullivan for Kevin O’Brien (53), Mark Evans for Conor Hayes (54).

Ballinascarthy: Cian Ryan; Aaron Ferguson, Chris Ryan, James Lynam; Ciarán O’Neill, Gearóid O’Leary, Andrew O’Leary; Ciarán Nyhan, Cathal Nyhan; Jeremy Ryan, Brian O’Donovan, Seamus McCarthy, Seán Ryan, Cillian Cullinane, Conall Cullinane. Subs: Dean Harte for Ciarán O’Neill (17), Eoghan Ferguson for Seamus McCarthy (27), Ricky O’Flynn for Jeremy Ryan (ht), Padraic Cullinane for Conall Cullinane (37), David Walsh for Ricky O’Flynn (51).

Referee: Denis McCarthy (Tadhg MacCárthaigh).

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