*Newmarket Celtic’s Shane Cusack. Photograph: Mark Hayes
“Patience” was key for Newmarket Celtic A according to Shane Cusack as they overcame Newmarket Celtic B to win the Clare Cup for the eighteenth time on Friday evening.
Goalkeeper Cusack collected his second Cup medal as they recorded a 3-0 win over their clubmates in what was the first time two teams from the same club met in the Clare Cup Final. Preparing for the game was different as the twenty six year old outlined. “Obviously the build-up was going to be completely different, great buzz around the village with the bunting, the flags, the craic, organising trainings.
“At the end of the day, these are the lads that are making the club as strong as it is, competition for places, they’ve a squad of two teams as well, you don’t want to see them lose, of course it’s nice to get another Clare Cup medal but at the end of the day it is just a great occasion for the club, very enjoyable”.
He noticed “a real hunger” from the players chasing their first Clare Cup and expressed his delight at achieving further success with his home club.
Though he was not kept busy for every minute of the contest, the former Colchester Utd, Limerick FC and Athlone Utd netminder denied Ronan McCormack an equaliser in the first half and would also launch the counter attack that created Eoin Hayes’ second half goal.
He told The Clare Echo, “My job is only a small part of it and tonight I was a bystander for ninety to ninety five percent of it but credit to the lads. We knew the B team would bring heart, effort, work rate and they did along with the football they possess, it was a patient performance, I thought it was a smart performance by ourselves, when you win a match there are going to be little things that win you the game, the penalty or whatever but overall I think it was a really smart performance”.
Not alone did Shane have to compete against neighbours and clubmates in the final but he also lined out opposite his best friend Paudie Hayes who is also coach to the A team. While Cusack may have got the result, a small kickaround after the final whistle saw Hayes get some revenge as he put the ball through the keeper’s legs, subsequently putting an end to their excursion. “I thought nobody saw that, thanks a million for mentioning it,” Shane remarked.
“There’s always great craic with Paudie. we’re best mates since playschool, we’ll go down and we’ll socialise tonight, of course you don’t want to see him lose he actually has more medals than me, I’m catching him a little bit now. Paudie has been brilliant involved with us and the club plus all the other coaching bits on the side he’s done to improve, he is a fantastic asset for the club playing wise for the B team and coaching wise, we need to keep him”.