*St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield celebrate. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

ST JOSEPH’S DOORA/BAREFIELD stood tallest in extra time to seal their return to the senior ranks.

St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield 0-23
Tulla 1-15
AET
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

Six years after last winning the intermediate title, St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield ensured they wouldn’t lose a third intermediate final in succession and prevailed in a dour affair against Tulla, a tie which took extra time to determine a winner.

Np and tuck for the majority of a below par contest, it was Doora/Barefield that upped the ante in extra time, limiting their opponents to 0-02 and tapping on 0-08 of their own.

Alan O’Neill’s influence in extra time was central to the outcome. He had an involvement in their three scores of the opening period of this spell while when it was time to lock up shop, he had the smarts to drift back the field and help to derail Tulla’s attempts to put scores together.

They didn’t take the lead until the thirty eighth minute but St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield got their timing right, bringing a kick to proceedings when it mattered most. Tulla for their part, will be left to rue an abundance of missed chances including a penalty in the opening half.

An impact from the bench would also prove vital for the winners with Matthew Power (0-02), Jarlath Colleran (0-01) and Senan Crosbie (0-01) all making their mark on the scoreboard while the remainder of their substitutes also played their part.

Tied eight times during normal time, it came as no surprise that extra time would have to decide the winner. Having shown an ability to push on during the third and final quarter in their knockout games versus Parteen and Sixmilebridge, Tulla failed to match the pitch of previous displays and crucially didn’t replicate these finishes when it came to the final.

That said, William Halpin’s point on fifty seven minutes which put Tulla one point ahead looked like a potential winner. David Conroy replied at the other end before another Tulla substitute, Andrew Conheady shoved his side back ahead. The final score of normal time fell to Conroy who pointed from play.

Lively corner-forward Conor Murphy was first on the board with the tie a mere ten seconds old. David McInerney won the ball from the throw-in and hit the ball into the space of the pacy Murphy who got round Dara Talty before splitting the posts.

Doora/Barefield nearly responded with a green flag only for Paul Lynch to block a David Conroy shot, Tulla worked the ball up the field and doubled their lead through Niall Bolton. Three minutes passed before the next score and the clock had six minutes on it to mark St Joseph’s opener, this arriving through Cathal Ruane. They levelled for the first time via Cian Barron.

Paul Madden made the first of his many saves of the day on ten minutes, denying Dan Withycombe, his younger brother Sean made no mistake with the resulting 65 while moments previous Daragh Corry fetched a puckout and drove the sliotar over the bar leaving Tulla in a strong position.

More Doora/Barefield interventions stopped Tulla from raiding for goal. Fionn Kelleher blocked a David McInerney effort while Madden this time saved a Daragh Corry shot, simple points here would have kept the scoreboard ticking for the East Clare outfit who could have then had the score reading 0-06 0-03 in their favour.

Instead Michael Guilfoyle’s Doora/Barefield finished with three of the final four scores in the half to ensure they only trailed by the minimum at the break. Crucially, Tulla also missed a penalty with the usually reliable Sean Withycombe seeing his effort trail to the left of the goal.

Putting further wind behind the sails of Doora/Barefield was their return of 0-03 without reply on the restart, pushing them ahead for the first time.

Withycombe scored Tulla’s first point of the second half on forty three minutes. He would also play a vital part as they struck for goal in their next attack. A Tony Leyden delivery was broken through by David McInerney, Conor Murphy then got a vital touch to push the sliotar towards Withycombe and he handpassed to Niall Bolton and the talented handballer let fly on the ground to send a rasper to the back of the net and put Tulla back in the driving seat.

There was no push from Tulla to exert an influence from this goal with Doora/Barefield responding with 0-02 without reply from David Conroy to get back on level terms. Withycombe and Conroy traded scores on two further occasions before the final flurry which sent the tie to extra time.

Fitness shone through here as The Parish outscored Tulla 0-08 0-02 and with such a conclusion deserved to get their hands on the Paddy Browne Cup.

Undoubtedly missed chances will be pointed to when Tulla reflect on where it went wrong. They had eighteen wides in the course of the contest plus three missed goal opportunities, Doora/Barefield weren’t much better in this sector and also had a wasteful fourteen wides.

With Tommy Reddan’s influence from placed balls in the 2021 final crucial to Smith O’Briens upsetting Doora/Barefield, Tulla should have aspired to make hay from Sean Withycombe in this regard but instead allowed David Conroy to punish indiscipline on their behalf by coughing up scoreable opportunities. Utilising David McInerney in a better capacity from midfield back will also be key for the 2007 senior champions to return to the top tier. For Jim McInerney’s charges, Tony Leyden, Kevan Conlon, David McInerney, Conor Murphy and Jimmy O’Gorman did well.

Evident at the final whistle was the wave of relief which washed over the St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield set-up and support base. Captain Tom Hannan gave an insight into how difficult the setbacks on and off the field have been for the side with the tragic death of Fionn O’Brien last year referenced and Hannan indicating that the win was dedicated to his memory. After accepting the trophy from Clare GAA Chairman, Kieran Keating he also said that he had no desire to lift the cup again and that he was hopeful they would properly compete at senior level.

Their experienced players stood up when they had to – Alan O’Neill, Jarlath Colleran with a boomer of an extra time point and Donal O’Halloran really came into the contest. Each player used off the bench made an impact whether it was through scores or the incessant appetite of Eoghan Thynne to win back possession. Alan O’Neill, Fionn Kelleher, Adam Mungovan, Cathal Ruane and Tom Hannan were their standout players.

Oisin O’Brien did what Shane Dowling couldn’t in coaching The Parish to get back to the promised land. The club only lost the Minor A final by extra time and also won the Junior A championship so they definitely will have the numbers to push on, the challenge in 2023 once the Munster Club concludes is to exactly that.

Scorers St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield: David Conroy (0-11 5f), Cian Barron (0-02), Matthew Power (0-02), Tom Hannan (0-02), Donal O’Halloran (0-02), Cathal Ruane (0-01), Alan O’Neill (0-01), Senan Crosbie (0-01), Jarlath Colleran (0-01).

Scorers Tulla: Sean Withycombe (0-08 5f 2’65), Niall Bolton (1-01), Daragh Corry (0-02), Conor Murphy (0-01), David McInerney (0-01), William Halpin (0-01), Andrew Conheady (0-01).

St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield:
1: Paul Madden

2: Fionn Kelleher
21: Dara Nagle
4: Brian Clancy

30: Alan O’Neill
6: Darragh McMahon
7: Adam Mungovan

28: Darragh O’Shea
8: Brian Guilfoyle

15: Cian Barron
12: Tom Hannan
10: Jack Hannan

14: Eoin Hanrahan
11: David Conroy
20: Cathal Ruane

Subs:
3: Jarlath Colleran for Nagle (HT)
19: Matthew Power for Hanrahan (41)
24: Eoghan Talty for McMahon (46)
9: Donal O’Halloran for J Hannan (60)
13: Eoghan Thynne for Barron (60)
Jack Hannan for Clancy (FT)
27: Cian Lahiffe for Guilfoyle (69)

Tulla:
1: Daniel Vaughan

2: Liam McInerney
3: Paul Lynch
4: Kevan Conlon

5: Sean Torpey
6: Tony Leyden
7: Feargal Kearney

8: Dan Withycombe
9: Padraic Mulconroy

14: Niall Bolton
12: David McInerney
10: Jimmy O’Gorman

13: Sean Withycombe
15: Conor Murphy
11: Daragh Corry

Subs:
17: David Meehan for D Withycombe (39)
21: Shane Hunt for Torpey (50)
19: William Halpin for Mulconroy (54)
18: Andrew Conheady for Murphy (56)
20: Colm McInerney for Meehan (70)
Conor Murphy for O’Gorman (HT ET)

Referee: Kevin Corry (Sixmilebridge)

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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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