*Shane Fitzpatrick in action against Fionn Doherty. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

ST BRECKAN’S have qualified for the U21A football final for the first time since 2019.

St. Breckans 2-6
Western Gaels/Doonbeg 1-6
Venue: Shanahan McNamara Park, Doonbeg

When St. Breckans found themselves scoreless and four points in arrears as the first quarter of their under 21 A football championship semi-final at Shanahan McNamara Park in Doonbeg drew to a close, their chances of making it through to the Clare final didn’t look good.

Two goals in the space of a minute midway through the opening half turned things in their favour in this meeting with the combination of Doonbeg, Naomh Eoin, O’Currys and St. Senans Kilkee.

Shane Fitzpatrick who lined out at wing back in this tie, came up field to struck for their first goal and within a minute they were in front thanks to a Jamie Stack goal. Stack and Cian Jimmy Burke added points and the Lisdoonvarna outfit went to the half time break with three point lead, 2-2 to 0-5.

The combination outfit had started very well firing over four unanswered points through.

The second half produced few scores but the winners maintained the advantage with Stack adding three points to his first half tally of 1-1 while team captain Denis O’Callaghan also pointed.

There was concern for the North Clare side when Shane Fitzpatrick picked up a back card with twelve minutes remaining and this reduced their playing number by one for the next ten minutes.

Halfway through that ten minute period the home side were reduced to ten men when Shane Browne was shown a black card and this together with an earlier yellow meant that his involvement in the game was at an end.

To their credit they battled to the end and closed the gap to one score in the final minute when Fionn Doherty converted from the penalty spot.

It wasn’t enough to deny St. Breckans a merited win and a place in the decider against either the holders Ennistymon or Kilrush/Killimer.

St. Breckan’s: Oisin O’Loughlin; Joseph Flanagan, Patrick O’Doherty, Noah McNamara; Thomas O’Dwyer, Eoin Guerin, Shane Fitzpatrick; Denis O’Callaghan (0-1), Patrick O’Dwyer (0-2); Eoin Fitzpatrick, Cian Jimmy Burke, Seamus McNamara; Lorcan Doolin, Jamie Stack (0-5, 3f), Aidan O’Loughlin;

Subs: Cathal Morgan for Stack (inj); Paddy Haugh for Aidan O’Loughlin; Dan Garrihy for Burke; MacDara Garrihy for Doolin;

Western Gaels/Doonbeg: Eoin Daly (Naomh Eoin); Conor O’Mahoney (Doonbeg), Dara Keane (O’Currys), Shane Bermingham (Doonbeg), Paddy Clancy (O’Curry’s), Adam Haugh (Naomh Eoin), Gavin O’Shea (Doonbeg); Jack McNamara (St Senans, Kilkee), Cathal Killeen (Doonbeg); Fionn Doherty (Naomh Eoin), Eoin Killeen (Doonbeg), Fergal Keane (Naomh Eoin); Shane Browne (O’Currys), Darragh Burns (Doonbeg), Danny McNamara (St.Senans, Kilkee);

Subs; Dara O’Shea (St.Senans, Kilkee) for P Clancy; Eoin Kelly (O’Currys) for J. McNamara

Referee: John O’Connell (Cooraclare)

Magpies into final:

Meanwhile Clarecastle qualified for the under 21 B football final when rhey recorded a one goal win over a fancied Cooraclare side in a game played on the new astro turf pitch at Clarecastle.

In the final they will take on Western Gaels, an amalgamation of Naomh Eoin, O’Currys and St. Senans Kilkee and this fixture will pose an interesting situation for O’Currys clubman Brian Troy who is in charge of Clarecastle where he is domiciled.

The all-important score in Saturday’s semi-final was the game’s only goal which was scored by Sam Browne while Cian Galvin kicked some good points for the home side.

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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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