*St Breckans manager Donie Garrihy. Photograph: Willie O’Reilly (Burren Eye Photography)
Child of Prague statues are more associated with trying to get divine assistance on the big wedding day but in Lisdoovnarna and Doolin those same statues may be seen as they pray for fine weather this Sunday on what is another very big day, the Munster club IFC semi-final as opposed to any nuptials.
“Hopefully the weather will be good for us in Lisdoonvarna, just hopefully lady luck will shine our way and we’ll host it in Lisdoonvarna and we’ll welcome the Tipperary champions to Lisdoonvarna,” St Breckans boss Donie Garrihy told The Clare Echo of his aspirations for Sunday’s crunch provincial semi-final to be held in North Clare as opposed to the county grounds.
He continued, “The supporters deserve it, the players deserve it. Today was a reward for the players for all their hard work since January”.
Moycarkey-Borris will come to Clare this Sunday, with the venue confirmed as Lisdoonvarna on Tuesday morning. St Breckans secured their place in the last four with a five point win over Galtee Gaels on Saturday, one which stemmed from their third quarter dominance where they returned 1-06 without reply.
It was all part of the plan as Donie outlined. “I could be cagey, I could duck and dive. What we spoke about in the dressing room at half-time was ‘let’s finish the game here guys the game will be over, we’ll play the educated pass, we’ll close them down from the kickouts’. Declan told us what to do and how to manage it, it worked, sometimes it doesn’t work but when you have those great players in the full-forward line it will work sometime maybe not inside ten minutes but it will work inside fifteen minutes, just be patient. We emptied our bench today, we have to play the boys”.
Among their star men were Dale Masterson, Aiden Davidson and Joseph McGann, Garrihy confirmed that McGann has received a call up to the county senior panel by Colm Collins. “Joe works really hard, Colm Collins has called him into the squad and that is good for us, I hope Joe McGann steps up to the plate now with Colm, Joe deserves it and Colm deserves a top forward”.
Netminder Tristan O’Callaghan was also one to catch the eye with four excellent saves throughout the quarter-final win. When Clare won two Oscar Traynor titles in a row with Donie the manager, he was always quick to praise coach Denis Hynes and he adapted a similar approach by paying tribute to Declan O’Keeffe for the volume of quality work he has done.
“You have to point the figure to Declan in that, he has been tremendous since he came in with us. He has three good pupils, Oisin O’Loughlin, Colm Haugh and Tristan O’Callaghan, they are great listeners, we also have people that Declan is training, he is training guys to train the keepers so we are getting great value out of Declan, he is excellent. Tristan has come an awful long way since the man that told us in February he can’t kick out the ball that it had to be short, now he’s driving it 60m”.
Of the Munster run, the Doolin2Aran ferry operator stated, “It’s a new venture for us and for me, I really enjoy it”. A win on Sunday would see the enjoyment levels soar in North Clare.