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*Denis O’Callaghan is held by Mark McInerney. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

A “professional performance” laid the foundations for Éire Óg’s senior footballers securing their appearance in the biggest day of the Clare football calendar.

“If you told me at the start of the year that we’d be in a football final, I’d take it. As I said to the lads ‘it was a very professional performance today’ but we’re still just on the train line and now are heading towards the county final which is where we want to be,” manager, Paul Madden noted following their semi-final win over a fancied St Breckans.

Workrate and discipline were singled out by the hotelier when asked for what impressed him most from their 0-11 0-05 win. “We got a good start and the lads really thundered into it and to be fair, everything we said to them during the week they did as they kept going and plugging away. Workrate is going to trump most things so that was the big thing today.

He added, “Discipline was the one thing we emphasised beforehand. They’re [St Breckan’s] are a fine football team, they’re young and are definitely a coming team and are well organised so we needed to have discipline and I think we had that for the most part. We probably did concede a couple of silly turnovers that led to scores but if you told me that we’d keep them to five points, I’d have been happy with that beforehand.

“We were probably written off to a degree in some quarters but at the end of the day there’s a good group of lads there and they have great ambitions so today was just another step in that ladder,” Madden concluded.

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