JONES DRIVES GAELS TO VICTORY
Early goals is crucial in Crumlin as Garristown fail to make the most of their opportunities
DUBLIN JFC ‘A’
ST JAMES GAELS/AN CAISLEAN 1-8
AN early Kevin Jones goal made all the difference at the Iveagh Grounds on Sunday morning as St James’ Gaels/An Caisleán enjoyed a winning start to their Dublin JFC1 group two campaign.
The impressive Jones finished with a personal haul of 1-3 for Gaels, who made full use of home advantage on their return to competitive fare.
Daragh Shanahan and Niall McGloughlin did their level best for Garristown, contributing a combined tally of five points over the course of the hour. They remained in contention throughout, but couldn’t rein in the challenge of their southside opponents to a sufficient degree.
With Civil Service – the only other team in a three-strong group – receiving a bye in the opening round, it was an ideal opportunity for both of these sides to lay down a marker. Whereas James’ Gaels finished 11th in Division Seven last year, Garristown enjoyed an unbeaten march to the Division Eight title.
Nonetheless, the elongated absence of sport owing to the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease ensured the form guide went out the window. As it transpired, it was Gaels who initially found their feet at the Crumlin venue.
Jones was a livewire presence at the base of their attack and posted a fine point with two minutes on the clock. Following a turnover deep inside the Garristown half just four minutes later, he was released on goal and made no mistake with a thunderous three-point finish.
This was supplemented by a Gavin Stakelum point from a distance of 30 metres to give Gaels a firm grip on proceedings. Under the watchful eye of club stalwart Barney Rock, Garristown were struggling to impose themselves on the play.
Full-forward Niall McGloughlin was carrying the fight to the hosts and eventually opened his side’s account with an excellent score out on the right-wing.
A blistering Jack Gormley run got the visitors on the front-foot again and Shanahan rounded off this particular move by splitting the uprights in clinical style.
Shortly after the conclusion of the game’s first water break, tempers started to flare. Garristown centre-forward Adam Carberry and direct marker Alan O’Riordan were issued with yellow cards, before Gaels half-back Shane Cashman was sent to the sin-bin.
During his 10-minute absence, Cuthbert and McGloughlin cancelled out each other with white flag contributions. A Carberry hand-pass then put Shanahan clean through on the target in stoppage-time, but he had to be content with another point.
This meant that Garristown were just two in arrears (1-3 to 0-4) at the break, leaving the tie delicately poised. It took seven minutes for the first score of the second period to arrive, but when it did, Jones was once more the provider.
He displayed his dead-ball prowess off his trusty right boot and repeated the trick from just inside the ’45’ moments later. This offered them precious breathing space on the scoreboard, though Ben O’Brien did break free to kick a Garristown point in the 42nd-minute.
Gaels had earlier introduced Conlon instead of Karl Stakelum and, with his first touch, he forced a superb point-blank stop from opposition netminder Sean Madden. Moving into the final-quarter, he delivered a tantalising ball over the top of the Garristown defence and midfielder Ronan Whyte complimented it with a neat point.
The Garristown management also looked to examine their reserve points, with Michael Battersby indirectly replacing centre-fielder Shane Darcy. This move had the desired effect as Battersby capitalised on outstanding approach work by Shanahan with a tap over score.
The Garristown challenge was beginning to rise and Shane Kane cut the deficit back down to two (1-6 to 0-7) with four minutes of normal time remaining.
Gaels didn’t panic, though, and Cuthbert added his second with a magnificent strike off the outside of his right foot.
There was nine minutes of added on time at the end of the contest, raising the possibility of a dramatic Garristown fightback. Ultimately, the only score they mustered in this period was a third Shanahan point.
Jones had rattled the crossbar off a 65th-minute penalty but with Shane Wright claiming a point off the ensuing rebound, Gaels had done enough to come out on top.
Scorers – St James Gaels/An Caisleán: K Jones 1-3 (0-2f), B Cuthbert 0-2, R Whyte, S Wright, G Stakelum 0-1 each. Garristown: D Shanahan 0-3 each, N McGloughlin 0-2 (1f), S Kane, B O’Brien, M Battersby 0-1 each.
ST JAMES GAELS/AN CAISLEAN: S Dunne; D Maguire, C Weir, C Hannigan; S McKeever, A O’Riordan, S Cashman; C Wood, R Whyte; D Byrne, S Wright, B Cuthbert; G Stakelum, K Jones, K Stakelum.
Subs: K Conlon for K Stakelum (40), D Aughey for Maguire (56).
GARRISTOWN: S Madden; J O’Connor, B Quinn, D Sheridan; J Gormley, G Glennon, S Gormley; S Ennis, S Darcy; S Kane, A Carberry, B O’Brien; E Andrews, N McGloughlin, D Shanahan.
Subs: J Brown for Andrews (30+1), D Markey for McGloughlin (48), M Battersby for Darcy (51).
MENTORS – St James Gaels/An Caisleán: Darragh Kenny, Richie Britton. Garristown: Dave Synnott, Martin O’Brien, Mark Kinsella.
Referee: Gerard Delaney (Faughs).
WIDES – St James Gaels/An Caisleán: 4 (1+3). Garristown: 7 (5+2).
CONDITIONS: Breezy at times but dry throughout.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Kevin Jones (St James Gaels/An Caisleán).