Saints stay on top
Blistering start the key to success
A blistering first 25 minutes from St. James' paved the way for a four-point victory after an enthralling Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship Group A encounter in Oylegate on Saturday.
St James' 4-13 Clongreen 3-12
The Ramsgrange men were smartly out of the blocks with Mark Molloy and Matthew O'Hanlon splitting the posts either side of a Michael O'Grady goal within the first four minutes.
The lively Quinn Saunders steadied the ship for the Island with a quick brace of points, with John Walsh also raising the white flag twice to leave the minimum between the sides.
However, St. James' had goals in their sights and hit the back of the net three more times by the 25th minute, with O'Hanlon twice applying the finish and Kevin O'Grady grabbing the other.
In a frantic spell Dean Maloney (two) and Jack Pettit also knocked over points for Our Lady's Island with Michael O'Grady, Mark Molloy and Liam Kinsella (free) replying for St. James'.
When a Shane Murphy point made it 4-5 to 0-8 after 25 minutes, Our Lady's Island looked dead and buried, but a stirring end to the half with two goals in a minute from Darragh Sinnott and Liam Kinsella followed by a Kinsella '65 left them only two adrift at the break (4-5 to 2-9).
The second-half lacked the fireworks of the first with St. James' in particular looking a more solid defensive unit, and they stretched their advantage to 4-12 to 2-10 by the 49th minute thanks to four points from placed balls from Shane Murphy, two from Mark Molloy and one from Kevin O'Grady, with Dean Maloney replying for the Island.
However, Our Lady's Island weren't prepared to lie down without a fight and finished the game strongly with a goal from Dean Maloney and points from Jack Pettit and Liam Kinsella (free), while the impressive Mark Molloy completed the scoring for St. James'.
St. James': Simon Murphy; Paul Barron, Jason Barron, Brian Molloy; David Doyle, Liam Murphy, Daniel Keating; Mark Molloy (0-5), Robbie Barron; Kevin O'Grady (1-1), Matthew O'Hanlon (2-1), Donal Barron; Andrew Walsh, Shane Murphy (0-5, 3 frees, 1 '65), Michael O'Grady (1-1).
Our Lady's Island: Noel Dempsey; Davy Corish, Eamon Maloney, Joey Murphy; Gary Walsh, Fintan Mullins, Colm Kinsella; Quinn Saunders (0-2), Jack Pettit (0-2); Leigh Aylward, Liam Kinsella (1-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1 '65), Nicky Keane; John Walsh (0-2, 1 free), Dean Maloney (1-3), Darragh Sinnott (1-0). Sub. - Eoin Wright for J. Walsh.
Referee: Jack Stafford (Clongeen).