A powerful performance from St Josephs Doora/Barefield saw them claim their third Clare Minor A Football Championship.
St Josephs Doora/Barefield 3-13
Éire Óg 1-06
Venue: Cusack Park
Doora/Barefield deservingly took the spoils and their first minor title since 2010 against an Éire Óg side that failed to find their groove.
Conor Brannock, Darragh Duggan and Maurice Duggan all raised white flags inside the opening ten minutes to get the Parish off the mark. Phillip Talty opened the Ennis side’s account from play shortly after. Nugent added two more points while Duggan increased his tally but it was an effort from Tom Hannan arguably the score of the game as he held off several challenges on a fifty metre run before kicking from thirty yards out that deserved the most praise.
Colm Walsh O’Loughlin slotted home from a penalty for Éire Óg’s second score of the half. A Maurice Nugent point followed to leave it 0-08 1-01 at the break.
Ben Quinn got the Townies off the mark two minutes into the second half however their momentum was drained when Eoin Thynee was first to reach when Maurice Nugent’s shot hit the crossbar and he palmed to the net. Nugent and Tom Hannan added a point each but they were cancelled out by two frees from Ben Quinn who had taken up the free-taking duties.
Doora/Barefield powered ahead in the final quarter with white flags from Mikey Whelan, Keelan Butler and Nugent. Quinn and Darren O’Brien split the posts for Éire Óg but goals from Thynne once more and Conor Kearns put the result beyond doubt. To make matters worse Darren O’Brien received his marching orders on the sixtieth minute for an off the ball incident.
Getting to the final is an achievement for both sides but Éire Óg will be disappointed not to have done themselves justice on the big day.
It’s been six years since their last minor title but this win may give The Parish the lift it so badly needs. Over the hour they were by far the superior team and deservingly won the game. They had strong performers all over the field most notably Tom Hannan, Maurice Nugent, Scott Currid and Peter Collins while it was an unforgettable showing for two goal hero Eoin Thynne.
As was the case throughout the contest Doora/Barefield were admirable and honest post-match as captain Peter Collins gave one of the better speeches Cusack Park has heard in recent times. The young full-back spoke of his delight at winning with his “best friends” while paying tribute to a fine Éire Óg team.
Celebrations were cut short as substitute Jason Herbert sustained a dislocated knee as players rolled on the ground. The Clare Herald can report that Jason rejoined his teammates on Sunday night and got to enjoy the win after having the knee reset.
St Josephs Doora/Barefield: Tom O’Brien; Darragh O’Shea, Peter Collins, Niall O’Brien; Cathal O’Brien, Tom Hannan (0-02), Cian Barron; Jack Hannan, Scott Currid; Cian Murphy, Mikey Whelan (0-01), Maurice Nugent (0-06 2f 2’45); Eoin Thynne (2-00), Darragh Duggan (0-02), Conor Brannock (0-01). Subs: Keelan Butler (0-01) for Brannock (39), Conor Kearns (1-00) for Murphy (51), Conor Tierney for Duggan (56), Eoin Campbell for T O’Brien (57), Keith Shea for Whelan (60), Kieran Mulqueen for Thynne (64).
Éire Óg: Paddy Honan; Rory Brennan, Mark Collins, Cathal Darcy; Liam McMahon, Tadhg Connellan, Darren O’Brien (0-01); Ikem Ugwuru, Danny Griffin; Phillip Talty (0-02), Gavin Cooney, Colm Walsh O’Loughlin (1-00 Pen); Ben Quinn (0-03 2f), Barry Cotter, Colin Reidy. Subs: Jamie Roche for Reidy (37), Cillian O’Donoghue for Quinn (50), Paul Martin for Brennan (61), Colm McGrath for Darcy (61), Jack Connolly for Cotter (64).
Referee: Barry Kelly (St Josephs Miltown)
All photos by Martin Connolly