THERE WAS cause for celebration in the Ramsgrange-Duncannon area when the St. James' Under-16 hurlers won the 13-a-side Division 4 championship title against Duffry Rovers at Killurin.
With Alan Walsh shining in attack, and team captain Jamie Doran bringing off a few crucial saves in goal, the 'Jimmies' held out for a rare but very welcome hurling win that delighted their many supporters.
The first-half was a mediocre, low-scoring affair, with Duffry Rovers leading by 0-3 to 0-2 at the break thanks to a point each from Seán Brooks, Tim Bowler and Ciarán Pender, while Alan Walsh accounted for both of the opening half St. James' scores.
Gavin Rafter increased the Duffry advantage with a well-taken goal inside the opening minute of the second-half, and the play improved considerably from then on.
By the sixth minute of the second-half St. James' had levelled the scores on 1-3 each after Alan Walsh soloed through for a well-taken goal and Adam Prendergast followed up with an equalising point.
Gavin Watchorn edged the Enniscorthy District team ahead again, but when Alan Walsh caught a high ball in from Adam Prendergast to score a second goal for the 'Jimmies', it put them 2-3 to 1-4 ahead midway through the second-half.
Andrew Walsh then soloed through for a third Ramsgrange goal, and when his namesake, Alan, added a brace of points the scoresheet read 3-5 to 1-4.
But the Duffry put in a storming finish, with Liam Pender pointing a free and Thomas Dunne scoring a late goal.
Only for a few brilliant saves by the St. James' goalie, Jamie Doran, inside the final quarter, the Duffry Rovers number 15, Tim Bowler, would surely have scored at least a couple of goals that would have put a different complexion on the scoreboard.
The cup was presented by Coiste na nOg Loch Garman Fixtures Chairman Noel O'Keeffe to the captain of the winning team, Jamie Doran.
St. James': Jamie Doran, Simon Murphy, John Power, Lee Foley, Joe Walsh, Conor Crosbie, Adam Furlong, Darragh Lyons, Andrew Walsh (1-0), Adam Prendergast (0-1), Jamie Meyler, Alan Walsh (2-5, 0-2 frees), Tomás Walsh. Subs. - Ryan Whelan for J. Walsh, Ryan Slowey for Meyler, also Shane Walsh, Conor Dalton, James Fitzgerald.
Duffry Rovers: Kalem Fenlon, Michael O'Leary, Brian Watchorn, Eamonn Cullen, Thomas Dunne (1-0), Colm Redmond, Gavin Watchorn (0-1), Conor Nolan, Gavin Rafter (1-0), Ciarán Pender (0-1 free), Seán Brooks (01), Liam Pender (0-1 free), Tim Bowler (0-1). Subs. - Conor Coleman, Micheál Kearns, Aaron Coleman, Jack Bates, Conor Carthy, Seán Murphy, Shane Kavanagh.
Referee: Frankie Morrissey (Glynn-Barntown).