Jimmies thrashed in Longford
St. James' short provincial adventure came to an abrupt end as Emmet Og (Killoe) of Longford thumped the Wexford champions in the AIB Leinster Senior Club football championship in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Sunday.
Emmet Og (Killoe) 5-11 St.James' 1-5
The damage was well and truly done in the first quarter with the hosts kicking eight scores, equally spread between goals and points, to leave the Ramsgrange boys staring down the barrel of a hefty defeat.
To their credit, St. James' pretty much matched Killoe for the remainder of the game and probably even shaded the territorial battle, but that's of little consolation when a maiden voyage into a Leinster Senior championship is ended like this.
What will be of solace is the county champion tag that will sit proudly with the Ramsgrange team for the next year, plus the promise of a serious shot at the Intermediate 'A' hurling crown in the next few weeks.
Hurling glory was far from the mind as Killoe motored out of the blocks. Seán McCormack slipped Mark Hughes in for the first goal in the second minute, and the home club followed it with a string of points to move 1-4 to nil ahead.
All the St. James' chances in that spell fell to Matthew O'Hanlon but the midfield giant kicked three consecutive wides as his side failed to trouble the scoreboard in the opening 25 minutes.
The killer sequence came just before the end of the first quarter as Killoe nabbed three goals in barely two minutes.
The first came from a Michael Quinn long ball that McCormack used to steal a march on the defence before feeding Denis McGoldrick who prospered.
Quinn was at it again moments later as his booming kick rode the helping breeze and found McCormack all alone close to goal, and the Longford county attacker couldn't miss from close range. When Larry Moran fisted Paddy Thompson's pass to the net seconds later, Killoe led by 4-4 to nil.
That lead had swelled by two more points when Kevin O'Grady got his side on the board with a close-range free, and they almost grabbed a goal just before the interval, only for Shane Murphy's shot, after Adam Parle's initial effort came off the upright, to be straight at Cillian Burns (4-6 to 0-1).
Another O'Grady free started the second-half on the front foot for his side and, when Parle sneaked past the last defender and drilled to Burns' right corner, St. James' might just have had a glimmer of hope.
Mark Hughes' penalty five minutes later, after he had been fouled, left no questions unanswered. The sides went through the motions for the final quarter with Parle and O'Hanlon adding frees for the Wexford club.
Michael Quinn rounded out the day with three points in a row for the victors, and it probably said something about the gulf between the sides that the Killoe centre-back raised three white flags from play when St. James' managed none all afternoon.
Emmet Og (Killoe): Cillian Burns; Liam Hughes, Pádraig McCormack, Daniel Keogh; Shane Dowd, Michael Quinn (capt., 0-3), Cian Farrelly; Paddy Thompson, Simon Kiernan (0-1); Denis McGoldrick (1-1), Daniel Mimnagh (0-1), Paddy Kiernan (0-2); Larry Moran (1-1), Seán McCormack (1-2), Mark Hughes (2-0, 1 pen.). Subs. - Shane Clarke for Dowd, inj. (24), Joe McCormack for Thompson (42), Eugene Clarke for Moran (43), Ronan Keogh for Farrelly (53), Ciarán Donohoe (55).
St. James': John Ryan; Robbie Barron, Jason Barron, Greg Doyle; Daniel Keating, Graeme Molloy, David Doyle; Brendan Doyle (capt.), Matthew O'Hanlon (0-1 free); Donal Barron, Kevin O'Grady (0-2 frees), Brian Molloy; Mark Molloy, Shane Murphy, Adam Parle (1-1, 0-1 free). Subs. - Liam Murphy for D. Barron (38), Darragh Lyons for Keating (41), Brian Kennedy for G. Doyle, black card (42), Andrew Walsh for M. Molloy (49), Tomás Walsh for S. Murphy (59), Enda Crosbie for B. Molloy (59).
Referee: John Hickey (Carlow).