St James to face Salthill after solid win over St Michael's

St James's Eoin Concannon shows his determination,  under pressure from St Michael's Jamie Downes. in action from the senior football championship at Pearse Stadium on Saturday. 		Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

St James's Eoin Concannon shows his determination, under pressure from St Michael's Jamie Downes. in action from the senior football championship at Pearse Stadium on Saturday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

St James are seen by many football people as a club that can win a county senior championship over the next few years, if they keep progressing.

And, after a solid 0-14 to 1-7 win over city rivals St Michael's at Pearse Stadium at the weekend, they are now one of the last four teams standing.

The reward for their victory over John Ruane's charges is a semi-final spot against Salthill-Knocknacarra, who narrowly defeated Caltra by 0-9 to 0-8 in Tuam on Sunday evening.

The foundation rock for the St James’ challenge for the Frank Fox this year is county midfielder Paul Conroy.

Conroy is a splendid passer of the ball, and it was his vision and composure that made the Renmore/Mervue outfit tick last Saturday evening. In addition to his skill in possession, his ability to kick points from frees is a key weapon for the team and he stroked five points from placed balls in this tie.

Conroy had willing and able accomplices in Johnny Duane at centre-back, Alan Deacy at number three, and Mark Kelly, who did well in a covering role in front of the full-back line and Jamie Burke.

Forwards Alan O' Donnell, Ronan O' Connell and Eoin Concannon in the second half also did their bit to get Frank Doherty's charges into the county semi-final. Concannon was a transformed player after half time and he revelled in a centre-forward role compared to his performance when in the full-forward line.

Unfortunately, it was a game that never really opened up and the standard was average in the main.

St Michael’s competed well in the first half and led by 1-5 to 0-6 at the break, with some fine points from team captain Eddie Hoare, John Carroll, and a flicked goal by Damien Connaughton following good work by Colm Tummon and Eamonn O' Donnell.

However, whatever was in the St James’ water at half time worked, and they came out and blitzed Michael’s with seven points on the trot to take over the game and put them into a 0-13 to 1-5 lead that they never looked like losing.

Despite valiant effort from Hoare, Dave Cunnane and Alan Glynn, St Michael’s were not able to raise a flag for most of the second half and when a team does not score for the guts of 25 minutes, there can be no real surprise when they lose.

St James will have to lift it up another gear or two to beat the current county champions and get into a first county senior final, but they are not without hope.

They have a good spine down the middle of the team and, if David O' Connell and Eoin Concannon could really tear into the scoring, they could give Salthill plenty to worry about.

That all city semi-final is due to be played at Pearse Stadium with a provisional fixture of September 15.

St James: D Curran; S Coughlan, A Deacy (0-1 ), E Lee; A Lee, J Duane, J Burke; M Kelly, P Conroy (0-5, 5fs ); T Walsh, D O'Connell, S Donnellan (0-1 ); R O'Connell (0-2 ), E Concannon (0-4, 2fs ), A O'Donnell (0-1 ). Subs: A Burke for E Lee (4 mins ), E Teagle for A Lee (36 mins ), S Rabbitte for O'Donnell (49 mins ), S Glynn for Donnellan (54 mins ), A Connolly for Kelly (57 mins ).

St Michael's: B Sheridan; C Tummon, A Glynn, J Hanbury; J Downes, K Clancy, S Hoare; F Daly, D Cunnane; T Curran (0-1 ), E O'Donnell, G O'Connor; J Carroll (0-2 ), E Hoare (0-4, 2fs ), D Connaughton (1-0 ). Subs: B Grogan for Daly (48 mins ), P Regan for Tummon (53 mins ), N Grogan for Hoare (54 mins ), P McTigue for Carroll (57 mins ).

 

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