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*St Josephs Doora/Barefield’s David Conroy. Photograph: Martin Connolly

St Josephs Doora/Barefield produced a remarkable comeback to force extra time and seal their place in the Clare IHC decider.

St Josephs Doora/Barefield 3-25
Scariff 2-17
Venue: Dr Daly Park, Tulla

For the second knockout game in a row, St Josephs Doora/Barefield had to fight through extra time and once again came out the right side. Unlike their quarter-final win over Tubber where they let a nine point lead slip, The Parish had to claw their way back from being ten points down in the second half to warrant extra time.

With three minutes played, Scariff were two points clear thanks to Sean Minouge and Conor McNamara only for Doora/Barefield to reply via David Conroy and Brian Guilfoyle.

Conor Tierney raided for his first goal of the day on ten minutes, he accelerated past his opponents before firing low and hard past Liam Doyle, the strike would prove to be significant as it kept them within touch for the duration of the half. Diarmaid Nash accounted for seven points of Scariff’s tally in the opening half as punished some poor discipline from their counterparts to leave them one point ahead at the interval.

Mark Rodgers who was taken off as a blood sub just before half-time following a dangerous collision resumed his place on the resumption and made quite the impact. Although Adam Mungovan had kept his former Clare minor teammate scoreless for the opening half, he let rip with two goals in short succession to put Mark McKenna’s men in a very controlling position as the scoreboard read 2-12 1-05.

However within five minutes, Alan O’Neill had struck for goal at the other end of the field as they began to mount a comeback. With less than five minutes of normal time remaining, four points separated the teams, during this spell Doora/Barefield limited Scariff to a single Conor Hayes score and added points of their own through David Conroy, Darragh O’Shea, Cian Barron and Brian Guilfoyle. With time almost up, a misplaced clearance from Daniel Treacy fell to Aaron Landy who pointed from distance to send the game to extra time.

It was all one way traffic from here on with Scariff getting one point in extra time as The Parish hit 1-09. The opening half saw them add six scores in succession courtesy of Conor Tierney, Cathal Ruane, Cian Barron and Cathal Ruane. Tierney killed off the contest with his second goal and third in two games to see them through to the intermediate final, twelve months after their relegation from the senior ranks.

Scariff suffered elimination at the semi-final stage for the second season in a row, they lost the eventual champions Feakle by fifteen points in 2018 but this year’s exit has caused more pain. They showed promise last year and were coached by Darragh Egan, who has since gone on to become an All-Ireland winning selector with Tipperary. He was among their supporters today that witnessed a horrific extra time on their behalf. Without doubt, they are a promising side who should be aiming to make the last four of this grade every year and are well capable of winning it out but bridging the gap will be no easy feat.

Luck is needed by any successful team. This year, Sean McMahon’s side have had their misfortune, they’ve lost to Hannan twins to season-ending injuries and were without Kevin Dilleen and Brian Clancy for this clash. But they also had some luck by not seeing Aaron Landy receive his marching orders for splitting open minor Mark Rodgers in the opening half. The character building victories in their last two outings will definitely stand to them for two weeks on county final day and neither Smith O’Briens or Broadford will make the error of underestimating them.

St Josephs Doora/Barefield: Paul Madden; Peter Collins, Conor Kearns, Adam Mungovan; Keelan Butler, Aaron Landy, Thomas Hehir; Jarlath Colleran, Darragh O’Shea; Cian Barron, David Conroy, Caimin O’Connor; Conor Tierney, Alan O’Neill, Brian Guilfoyle.

Scariff: Liam Doyle; Michael O’Brien; Michael Scanlan, Cathal Madden; Conor Moloney, Daniel Treacy, Padraig Brody; Martin Cunningham, Thomas McNamara; Conor McNamara, Diarmuid Nash, Ross Horan; Mark Rodgers, Sean Minouge, Fergus Madden.

Referee: Neil O’Brien (O’Callaghans Mills)

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