*The Finnucane family celebrate in Miltown Malbay. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

LISSYCASEY’s confidence has taken a big leap ahead of the start of the Clare senior football championship after winning the Cusack Cup for the second time.

Aiden ‘Horse’ Moloney’s side had a commanding win Ennistymon on Sunday in Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay winning out on a score of 1-9 0-2.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Moloney was a happy figure after watching his side claim the first piece of silverware on offer this year. “The Cusack Cup has always been a great competition, in my own playing days we used to love playing well in it and it is still a great competition. We got lots of new players through the system and got plenty of game time into them in the last six or seven games, it is a huge bonus to win it, we’re delighted to get a cup and it isn’t often for Lissycasey, we’re delighted, it is what it is now and we have bigger days ahead, we’ll need to get back down, put this on the shelf and work towards the next one”.

This feat is made more impressive given that the former Kilmurry Ibrickane championship winning captain and manager had a big rebuilding job when he became Lissycasey manager last year with the exit of key players like Seamus Collins, Brian Cahill, Oisin Hanrahan and Mikey O’Neill for multiple reasons including emigration.

Aiden Moloney. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill.

A taste of success at senior level is a positive omen for the youthful Lissycasey, he believed. “It is a great experience especially for a lot of the young players, we’ve had some excellent minors come through over the last year or two, one thing about Lissycasey is they have a lot of young players coming through and we’re trying to blood as many of them as we can with some of the older fellas that are still doing a great job, this is great for them, that winning feeling and knowing you can go and play well in a final augurs well for the future”.

He added, “There’s no better way than putting yourself in this position as often as possible and performing on a good day like today, it is a very important trophy and it is the number two football in the Clare football calendar and it is a great achievement for them, we thought we would struggle a bit with numbers at the start of the year but we got four or five really good minors in this year who made a huge difference to us, the more the better and the youth is the way to go, we have a few older citizens on our team, they know their positions and give us what we need as well”.

Although they were minus several of their first-choice team, a stronger test was expected from Ennistymon who claimed the Cusack Cup title for the first time last year, however the North Clare side failed to register a score in the opening half. “I think Ennistymon weren’t at their best it is fair to say, they left a good few scores out there, we had a comfortable lead and they didn’t put us under a lot of pressure we have to say, we had a comfortable lead at half time, we felt they would come at us in the second half, they did for a while but they didn’t put it on the scoreboard but eventually we closed the game out and once the goal went in that was the end of it,” Moloney admitted.

Having expected a fight back from Ennistymon when they spoke as a management team at half time, Horse and his Lissycasey mentors opted to make changes despite holding a seven point advantage. “We brought on two subs at half time to make us more solid and have more ball players to hold onto possession because we knew it was a matter of sitting back and counteracting the second half, it worked out okay for us”.

How Clare’s hurlers fare in the All-Ireland semi-final will dictate the start of the club championships but winning the league title in advance of their first round opener versus Kilmihil is a step in the right direction for Lissycasey. “It is fixed for three weeks, hopefully it will go out another two after that and we wish the best to the Clare hurlers but there is no doubt that it is all go at the moment, we’re trying to get some challenge matches in the lead up to championship but this is a good match for us today and it will bring us on”.

 

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

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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