*Brian Guilfoyle puts pressure on Andrew Conheady. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

ST JOSEPH’S DOORA/BAREFIELD are determined to build on the bounce currently being experienced by the club.

On Saturday, The Parish defeated Tulla by five points following extra time to be crowned intermediate champions. St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield a fortnight previously had a one point winning margin over Éire Óg in the Junior A decider while it took extra time in the U17A final for Clooney/Quin to overcome the club.

This was referenced by midfielder Brian Guilfoyle as he outlined the determination of St Joseph’s to now keep their place in the top tier of the hurling ranks in the county. “The numbers are there at underage level so it’s about trying to bring lads through to the senior set-up, it’s great to be able to do that and provide that. We’ve a Junior team going up to intermediate so we’ll be looking to have a fourth team next year again, it’s getting lads out to hurl again which is brilliant”.

Guilfoyle was part of the 2016 side which overcame Tubber in the intermediate final before suffering relegation from senior two seasons later. To have sealed a return after near misses in recent years was very satisfying, he said. “We’re a long time waiting to come back realistically, we’ve lost two finals which is mentally draining, especially last year with everything that happened it was a hard winter season and then to come back again, it’s incredible to actually win it now”.

He acknowledged that their latest win had a sense of liberation about it. “Relief is right. We know we want to be at senior level, we’re expected to win it every year we go out for the last number of years, that adds more pressure than any other team in the championship”.

Substitutes made the difference for The Parish, the former Clare minor corner forward believed. “The lads that came on, every lad that came on the field had a difference, Senan Crosbie came on at the end and put a ball over the bar, Matthew Power came on and put two balls over, everyone of the sub did amazing when they came on and I think in the end that was the difference”.

His move from the half-forward line to midfield for the club in the past two seasons has seen his possession count increase and act as an important link in feeding the full-forward line. “You don’t get in The Clare Champion every week for the scores but you’ve to do the job you’re told to do and you’re happy to do it,” Brian remarked of his current role.

That his father Michael is the manager hasn’t seen him receive more criticism than any other player, he admitted. “Everyone knows what Mike is like, you have to accept it, they’re not going to abuse me for him, they know Mike is pure passionate about it, there’s no way to stop him. He’s fair, he would give it to anyone, he calls spade a spade”.

With his twin Barry involved in the backroom team, it added to the family affair. “Barry has always been involved and around the scene, it’s a real family effort”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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