*Joe McGann takes on Connor Meaney. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill
ST BRECKAN’S are targeting going “a step further” as they compete in their third semi-final in four years.
In a battle of the Saints, Breckan’s will meet Miltown for the first time in this year’s championship with the winner advancing to the county final.
A 1-9 0-5 win over Lissycasey in the quarter-finals saw a Joe McGann inspired St Breckan’s seal their spot in the last four.
Manager of St Breckan’s, Declan O’Keeffe is very content that his charges are one of the final four teams standing. “We’re happy to get through and be in the last four. We’ve been there twice before in the last few years so it’s nice to be back there again and hopefully we can go a step further this year. The lads did control the game fairly well I thought and played some good football but for every team there are aspects of the game that you would be happy with and also aspect that you wouldn’t be so pleased with so we have a lot to work on over the next two weeks”.
O’Keeffe told The Clare Echo, “We left a lot of scores behind us too which turned out to be okay today but against better opposition we would be punished for those misses. We have a number of goal chances in the second half but only took one so we’re just lucky that they didn’t come back to haunt us. Our shot selection too needs some work as some of those shots on goal were a little ambitious as a goalkeeper of Killian Normoyle’s standard, it would take a fair good shot to beat him. Look, we’re also happy that we created those chances in the first place and happy overall with the performance and looking forward to a semi-final now”.
Reflecting on their exit, Lissycasey manager, Aiden Moloney noted they had been “hit and miss throughout the championship”. He added, “We didn’t play well defensively and left ourselves a bit open while at the other end, they [St Breckan’s] crowded us out well and hit us on the break.
“I think that’s where they made hay against us primarily, with pace and runners coming from the half-back line and midfield and we just couldn’t police them enough. We started slowly and were a little bit in twos and threes early on but we settled in the second quarter and were competitive. So being only three down at the break, we altered our tactics, tried to curb Breckan’s a little bit and looked for a quick start but they were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over and we weren’t unfortunately”.
Moloney added, “I think we needed to get level to see how they’d react but we just couldn’t do that. We’d be disappointed with the performance but taking into account the amount of changes in the team and squad, we’d have to say that we’re happy to have stayed in the Cusack Cup and got to a quarter-final. Obviously when you get there, you want to leave a better amount of yourself but I felt that we didn’t today.”