Taghmon capture Ross District crown
Two goals in the first 15 minutes guided Taghmon-Camross to the New Ross District Under-21 football Roinn 1 championship title in O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Saturday.
Taghmon-Camross 2-6 St.James' 0-10
The winners, governed by former Wexford and Kildare Senior football boss Jason Ryan, edged a tight and entertaining game.
St. James' started in a rush as corner-forward John Power tapped over from close range after a nice link-up with Donal Barron in the opening minute. However, in the fifth minute Shane and Pierce Doyle combined in the full-forward line, and when the latter's shot was saved, the rebound fell kindly to Luke Sinnott who buried the ball in the empty net to open the scoring for Taghmon-Camross.
Just after, Andy Walsh and Ian Carty exchanged frees to leave the score 1-1 to 0-2 after ten minutes. Taghmon-Camross were guilty of some poor wides in the following attacks but on twelve minutes they struck their second goal when Richard Stafford sent in a high ball and when it broke off the fingers of Luke Sinnott inside, Pierce Doyle was rushing through and slotted low past Dylan Nolan.
St. James' looked in danger of sailing adrift as Taghmon-Camross led by five points and we were still in the opening quarter. However, the Jimmies replied with four unanswered points, a free from Andy Walsh, a huge point from distance from centre-back Darragh Lyons, with midfielder Brian Molloy and Shane Murphy also slotting over to leave Taghmon-Camross ahead by 2-1 to 0-6 at the break.
The second-half was a tight end-to-end affair. Pierce Doyle scored a fine point from 25 yards after a neat turn, but Donal Barron replied straight away for St. James' after a solo run through the middle when he blasted over off his left foot.
Substitute Adam Parle slotted over a free to level the game with 18 minutes remaining. Scores dried up until Luke Sinnott edged Taghmon-Camross back in front going into the last quarter.
Darren Carty saw his pointed effort come off the crossbar and Pierce Doyle was alert to tap over from close range. Midfielder Stephen O'Gorman and Pierce Doyle kicked two crucial scores in the last few minutes, but St. James' were not finished yet.
Three points down with time just up, they had a great goal chance but Adam Parle's shot was just too high and ended up as a point. The following kick-out resulted in the final whistle and Richard Stafford of Taghmon-Camross collected the trophy to the delight of his team-mates and management as they were crowned the first District Under-21 football champions of the year.
Taghmon-Camross: Jack Dunne; David O'Keeffe, Jack Murphy, James Carroll; Stephen Stafford, Darren Carty, Conor O'Keeffe; Richard Stafford (capt.), Stephen O'Gorman (0-1); Luke Sinnott (1-1), Ian Carty (0-1 free), Barry Og McGrath; Shane Doyle, Pierce Doyle (1-3), Stuart Murphy. Subs. - Lee Hayden for S. Stafford, black card (17), Adam Winters for McGrath (50).
St. James': Dylan Nolan; Conor Crosbie, Robert Murphy, Jamie Doran; Enda Crosbie, Darragh Lyons (0-1), Tomás Walsh; Shane Murphy (0-1), Brian Molloy (0-1); Andy Walsh (0-2 frees), Andrew Walsh, Liam Clarke; Michael O'Grady, Donal Barron (0-1), John Power (0-1). Subs. - Adam Parle (0-3, 1 free) for Clarke (20), Simon Murphy for C. Crosbie (60).
Referee: Anthony Tobin (Geraldine O'Hanrahans).