Revitalised St James’ make short work of limited rivals

St James 2-15

Naomh Anna Leitir Móir 0 – 9

By Mike Rafferty at Pearse Stadium

ON a weekend that club stalwart Alfie Howley passed away, St James’ did him and themselves proud with an impressive display at Pearse Stadium on Saturday.

What a difference a year makes as this team’s  struggles of last season appear a distant memory. In 2022, St James’ survived the relegation dog fight but this time round they have won twice in the senior football championship with their prospects of advancing from Group 1 a real possibility.

While the opening quarter might have been competitive, once Aaron Connolly notched the City side’s first goal they never looked back in a contest in which they were never headed. St James’ were pretty much in command for the duration as they strolled to a 12- point victory.

Unfortunately, Naomh Anna did not do themselves justice. They were very competitive in their two earlier games in which they suffered narrow defeats against Milltown and Annaghdown, but on this occasion they struggled to make an impression. While they enjoyed the advantage of the elements in the opening half, it was of little use to them as the Connemara men’s slow build up rarely gave them the opportunity to test the St James’ defence.

Five points up at the break, Barry Downey’s charges just maintained their consistency on the resumption as they gradually pulled away to win with ease. Greatly helped by the experience of Adam Lee, Cathal O’Regan, Paul Conroy, Johnny Duane and Aaron Connolly, some of the younger lads like Sam O’Neill, Jack O’Neill, Jack Nolan, Eoin Finnerty and Dan McNulty have developed into better players.

Moving the ball quicker than previously and also maintaining a forward line that didn’t drop as deep, they attacked at pace with half back Finnerty leading by example. The City side struck for the first two scores of the game, as Jack O’Neill opened their account with an effort from 40 metres, before Aaron Connolly curled over a right footed effort shortly afterwards.

Kasey Ó Ceallaigh was at the end of a neat passing movement to get Naomh Anna off the mark, before Paul Conroy, with a free, and Dylan Seoige exchanged scores as the first quarter drew to a close.

Pictured: St James’ Lee Vahey on the ball against Ciarán Ó Catháin of Naomh Anna Leitir Móir during Saturday’s Senior Football Championship Group 1 clash at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up