Nolan hits six points as St James’ stun Annaghdown

St. James’ 0-8

Annaghdown 1-4

By Ivan Smyth at Kenny Park

GALWAY U-20 footballer Jack Nolan kicked six points as St. James’ opened their senior football chanmpionship campaign with a valuable if surprising first-round win at Kenny Park on Saturday.

Nolan’s haul all came in the final period as St. James’ came back from 1-3 to 0-1 down at the interval to prevail by the bare minimum. The Mervue/Renmore based side claimed a measure of revenge after losing out to Annaghdown in last year’s championship. The strong breeze blowing towards the scoreboard end was a big factor in this game. Both sides only scored a solitary point when shooting towards the dressing rooms.

This was a tough watch at times as both sides packing their defences with long periods of holding onto possession the order of the day. Annaghdown struggled badly against the wind as they went the first 27 minutes of the second half without scoring. Diarmuid Kilcommins did finally get them off the mark as Jack Dowd laid off to the rampaging midfielder who went for goal only for Galway U-20 shotstopper James Egan parrying the effort over the top.

This reduced Annaghdown’s deficit to the minimum, but they were unable to build on this as they were made to pay for shipping seven second half points in a row, six of which came from Nolan. St. James’ could have prevented the dramatic finale which unfolded as Johnny Duane played Aaron Connolly through on goal but Annaghdown ‘keeper James Healy got down low to make a smart stop.

Pictured: Annaghdown’s Ian Burke breaking away from Dessie Hynes of St James’ during Saturday’s Senior Football Championhip clash at Kenny Park. Photos: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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