*Enda Finucane struck the all-important goal. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
Lissycasey have advanced to the semi-finals of the Clare SFC for the second year in succession after overcoming last year’s intermediate champions St Josephs Doora/Barefield.
St Josephs Doora/Barefield 0-10
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis
Enda Finucane’s goal on forty eight minutes proved to be a turning point in this contest, coming following a third quarter which was dominated by St Josephs Doora/Barefield.
With four of the first five points and the last three scores of the half, Lissycasey held a deserved 0-08 0-05 advantage at the sounding of Niall Quinn’s half-time whistle. Neither side could be accused of being overly wasteful in the opening half with St Josephs Doora/Barefield missing just two scoreable opportunities.
Within the first thirty seconds, Lissycasey were off the mark as Matt O’Shea won the throw-in, was fouled and found Aaron Griffin who used his pace to good effect before splitting the posts. Tom McDonald punished a Brian Cahill error to open The Parish’s account at the other end with five minutes on the clock.
In need of a score to steady themselves, Lissycasey delivered through centre back Seamus Collins as he fired over a long-range effort which was followed by a shout to “put it up” which may well have rippled the water back at the Cascades. They added further scores through Niall Kelly and Paul Nagle to build up a three point advantage but it was wiped out within five minutes as Conor Brannock, Tom McDonald and Jack Hannan to see the sides on level terms at the end of the first quarter.
Corner back Martin O’Connor and Jack Hannan traded scores soon after before Lissycasey hit the final three points of the half via Aaron Griffin and the Finucane brothers to hold a three point lead at the half-time whistle.
Doora/Barefield outscored their opponents 0-04 0-02 in the third quarter to reduce the deficit to a single point with goalkeeper Tom O’Brien pulling off a save to stop Aaron Griffin from raiding for goal during this window of time.
Their inroads came undone with the first score of the final quarter seeing Finucane put the ball past O’Brien in the Doora/Barefield net. The ball broke between Sean Hayes and Kevin Harrington with Finucane pouncing on it and slotting it past O’Brien to make it 1-10 0-09. His younger brother Conor added a free for Lissycasey in their next attack while substitute Dara Nagle kicked the first score for The Parish in seven minutes to bring the gap back to four points.
Nagle’s effort would turn out to be the last score for the reigning intermediate champions while additional placed balls were converted by Conor Finucane and Killian Normoyle. Two goal chances were spurned by substitute Shane Griffin, chances like this will have to be capitalised on by Lissycasey in their next outing. The game concluded with O’Brien stopping Griffin’s second effort while Killian Normoyle produced a superb save to stop Tom McDonald from goaling at the other end.
Throughout this year’s championship, St Josephs Doora/Barefield certainly didn’t look out of place fresh from their promotion from the second tier. A place in the knockout stages was well deserved this year and should their panel of players stay on board, there is no reason to suggest they cannot replicate their showings of the past decade in which they reached successive county finals. Tom McDonald, Jack Hannan, Fionn Kelleher and Conor O’Brien stood out for Kevin Frehill’s side.
John Ryan’s Lissycasey had strong performances from Seamus Collins, Aaron Griffin, Matt O’Shea and Martin O’Connor. A return to the semi-finals is a job well done on their end but their preparation for the last four clash will be telling to see if they can put lessons from this encounter into practice in order to advance to the county final as performances from them so far this year will not be sufficient to do just that.
Scorers Lissycasey: E Finucane (1-01), A Griffin (0-03), C Finucane (0-03 3f), S Collins (0-01), N Kelly (0-01), P Nagle (0-01), M O’Connor (0-01), S Hayes (0-01), K Normoyle (0-01 1’45).
Scorers St Josephs Doora/Barefield: C Kelleher (0-03 2f), T McDonald (0-02 1f), J Hannan (0-02), C Brannock (0-01), J Rafferty (0-01), D Nagle (0-01).
1: Killian Normoyle
4: Martin O’Connor
3: Ryan Griffin
2: Martin Moran
10: Cian Meaney
6: Seamus Collins
7: Brian Cahill
8: Matt O’Shea
12: Enda Finucane
5: Oisin Hanrahan
21: Sean Hayes
15: Conor Finucane
14: Paul Nagle
11: Niall Kelly
13: Aaron Griffin
19: Shane Griffin for Nagle (38)
17: Michael Madigan for O’Connor (53)
24: Luke Griffin for Meaney (57)
18: Kevin Shivers for Kelly (64)
St Josephs Doora/Barefield:
1: Tom O’Brien
4: Fionn Kelleher
3: Conor O’Brien
2: Peter Collins
19: Aodhan O’Shea
5: Kevin Harrington
7: Cian McDonagh
8: Eoin Hanrahan
9: Jack Hannan
12: Conal Kelleher
11: Tom Hannan
10: Kieran Thynne
15: Joe Rafferty
14: Tom McDonald
13: Conor Brannock
21: Eoghan Thynne for McDonagh (36)
20: Dara Nagle for Brannock (48)
22: Eoin Talty for C Kelleher (50)
18: Cathal Duggan for Rafferty (58)
Referee: Niall Quinn (St Josephs Miltown)