It was a fine example of the underdog story coming to life as St Josephs Doora/Barefield overcame Broadford to return to the Clare SHC for 2017, a defining moment came when Alan O’Neill kicked the sliotar to the back of the net to put the Parish on course.
This win was a special one for Alan and his teammates having endured some difficult seasons including their relegation from the senior ranks in 2014. “It’s savage I don’t think there’s a better feeling than this winning with your club, the last few years have been very tough we’ve had our ups and downs but I think most of the time its been downs, a lot of us have come from County and come back into training and back playing matches and getting very heavy beating, we’re just absolutely delighted it’s one of the best wins we’ve had in a long time with that group of players”.
Going into the game the aim for The Parish was to match their opponents by giving as good as they got. “We knew coming in here today if we brought the fight to them in the first ten minutes we knew something had to click and thank God it did, we were unlucky with a penalty disallowed, other things went our way, the ref but look we stuck together”.
As they regrouped in the dressing room at half-time, the Clare senior football panellist was content and along with his teammates targeted a strong start. “We went in at half-time we knew if we kept going and kept working as hard as we did all through the first half something had to click, we said the first ten minutes were going to be vital and I think they were, we came out and got the first 1-01 straight away it was very important”.
Broadford were the favourites to come out on top in this encounter and writing off Doora/Barefield only drove them on. “I think this group of players there’s something special there, no one gave us a chance no one at all and at the end of the day just delighted now”.
Even within their own club Alan reveals people didn’t give them a chance, while he feels they or teams coming up along in the club will get to the glory days of the past he’s still embracing getting to play senior hurling for The Parish in 2017.
“I knew this group of players we knew that if we stuck together and by god did we show people here and no one even gave us a chance in our own club and I’m absolutely thrilled, I’m over the moon to go back and that feeling of winning, by god we’ll enjoy it”.