*St Breckans celebrate their Cusack Cup success. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
A strong final ten minutes proved decisive for St. Breckans as they claimed the Cusack Cup (Division 1) senior football league title at Cusack Park on Sunday evening.
St Breckans 1-09
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Level at 0-5 each with ten minutes to play, the North Clare side hit 1-3 in a three minute spell to to capture the honours for the first time since 2005.
The first half produced some exciting passages of play but few scores and when the half time whistle sounded the winners were ahead by the minimum margin, 0-3 to 0-2.
Two early second half points from Jamie Stack pushed them three clear but Kildysart responded impressively and points from Jamie Evans, Keith O’Connor and Diarmuid O’Donnell levelled the tie for the third and final time with ten minutes remaining.
Stack landed his third point of the evening to give the North Clare men a lead they would hold to the end and further points quickly followed from Cathal Guerin and Clare player Alan Sweeney before Padraig Kelly’s effort for a point deceived Kildysart goalie Conor Cusack and dipped into the corner of the net to put six points between the sides with ten minutes remaining.
Kelly added another point a minute from the end of normal time while the final score of the game came from Kildysart’s Diarmuid O’Donnell in the first minute of added time.
The winners should have increased their led just before the final whistle but Jamie Stack was penalised for overcarrying.
Patrick Doherty, Maccon Byrne, Dale Masterson, Alan Sweeney, Padraig Kelly and Jamie Stack played key roles in this victory for St. Breckans while Kildysart had impressive performances from Kieran Leahy. Keith O’Connor, Jamie Evans and Diarmuid O’Donnell.
After the game Clare GAA vice chairman Michael O’Connor presented the cup to St Breckans captain, Dale Masterson.
St. Breckans: Tristan O’Callaghn; Patrick Doherty, Raphael Considine, Cian Burke; Jack Sheedy, Alan Sweeney (0-1) Maccon Byrne; Micheal Flanagan, Dale Masterson; Denis O’Callaghan, Padraig Kelly (1-3, 0-2 frees), Ciaran Flanagan (0-1); Jamie Stack (0-3), Aiden Davidson, Colm O’Brien;
Subs: Cian Jimmy Burke for O’Callaghan; Rowan Danaher for C. Flanagan; Cathal Guerin (0-1) for Davidson; Conor Burke for O’Brien; Eoin Guerin for Sheedy;
Kildysart: Conor Cusack; Ian Flanagan Brian Eyers, Stevie Sheehan; Fergal Guinnane, Kieran Leahy, Rory McMahon; Keith O’Connor (0-2), Kieran O’Brien; Oisin Coyle, Jamie Evans (0-1) Seamus Casey; Diarmuid O’Donnell (0-3, 2 frees), Keith Murphy, Conor Hassett;
Subs: Conor Moloney for Guinnane; Mikey Donnellan for McMahon; Conor Donnellan for Hassett; Michael Eustace for Murphy;
Referee: Niall Quinn (St Joseph’s Miltown)