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A cold day for St Breckan’s

Neil Hawes of St Breckan’s in action against John Paul Brosnan and Padraig O’Connor of Gneeveguilla during the Intermediate Club Munster final at The Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly

Gneeveguilla 1-11 St Breckan’s 0-7

IN freezing conditions at the Gaelic Grounds, the ease with which Gneeveguilla created and took their scores, eased them beyond St Breckan’s in the 2010 Munster intermediate final.

Neil Hawes of St Breckan’s in action against John Paul Brosnan and Padraig O’Connor of Gneeveguilla during the Intermediate Club Munster final at The Gaelic Grounds. Photograph by John Kelly

Gneeveguilla 1-11 St Breckan’s 0-7

IN freezing conditions at the Gaelic Grounds, the ease with which Gneeveguilla created and took their scores, eased them beyond St Breckan’s in the 2010 Munster intermediate final.
Five of the six East Kerry forwards scored, while Pat Nagle was the sole Breckan’s attacker to split the posts. Although Gneeveguilla were much more free-flowing up front and were shored up by excellent footballers all over the field, the Clare intermediate champions played some decent football, especially early in the game. Both Conor Cormican and John McDonagh were sent off, on second yellows, late in the hour but neither dismissal influenced the outcome.
Right from the throw-in, Gneeveguilla showed that they were up for it, when centre-back Pádraig O’Connor burst forward and set up DJ O’Connor for the Kerry team’s opening score.
A foul on Stephen Tierney, who again played outstanding football for St Breckan’s, allowed Pat Nagle to point the first of his six scores. A minute later, Conor Cormican and Daniel Carey combined to set up Nagle for a superb point from 40 yards. Late in the second half, Stephen Tierney scored Breckan’s only other point from play, which underlined Gneeveguilla’s defensive dominance.
Michael ‘Stones’ Murphy equalised, after a mix-up between Seán Howley and Pat Nagle, who was off target shortly afterwards from a tight angle, after Seán Rouine had been impeded.
Gneeveguilla added 1-4 to their total before their opponents managed a reply, while the Kerry club also landed five balls into Craig Flanagan’s grasp.
DJ O’Connor and Fergus McAuliffe added points, while Michael Murphy banged in Gneeveguilla’s goal in the 17th minute.
Don Murphy caught what was his fourth kick-out and laid off to the number 10, who raced through and hammered the ball beyond Flanagan.
McAuliffe’s point left Gneeveguilla 1-6 to 0-2 up seven minutes before the interval. What was noticeable at this juncture was the regularity with which St Breckan’s spilled possession in contact, while they also lost five of their own 11 first-half kick-outs.
An injury to Seán Rouine, who was replaced by Cathal Blood, contributed to six minutes of injury time. In this period, Nagle pointed two more frees, won by Blood and Denis O’Driscoll. Both were brought forward for dissent, while the scores cut to deficit to five points, 1-6 to 0-4.
Just before half-time, St Breckan’s had a possible goal chance when Conor Cormican made ground but laid off to Stephen Tierney, who was on his shoulder but was dispossessed. Perhaps Cormican could have, himself, shot although he was partially bottled up.
St Breckan’s resumed with Cormac Hehir replacing John Stack, Seán Cormican moving to the forwards, Darragh Considine moving from centre-back to midfield, Shane O’Connor switching to centre-forward and Denis O’Driscoll in the half-back line, while Stephen Tierney moved in to centre-back.
A foul on Conor Cormican allowed Pat Nagle to point his fifth point but Barry O’Leary replied almost immediately for Gneeveguilla.
O’Leary and Liam Murphy, twice from frees extended the winners’ advantage 1-10 to 0-5 16 minutes from time.
Neil Hawes was introduced for Shane O’Connor at this stage, while Conor Cormican was sent off for his involvement in an incident witnessed by the referee but not by many people in the crowd, who were bemused as to what his infringement consisted of.
St Breckan’s tagged on two points though as Tierney landed a score from play and then was fouled, allowing Pat Nagle to slot over the North Clare team’s last score.
Five minutes from full-time, John McDonagh was also shown a second yellow card, thereby reducing St Breckan’s to 13 men. Just before that, Liam Murphy had pointed the games final score from a free.
Gneeveguilla’s win represents a fifth successive title at this level for Kerry clubs. Michael B Murphy played exceptionally well at corner-back for the winners, while John Paul Brosnan and Don Murphy ruled midfield. DJ O’Connor, Michael S Murphy and Barry O’Leary excelled up front, for what was a classy attacking division.
Although a few kick-outs went astray, as Craig Flanagan tried to avoid the middle of the field and find a loose Breckan’s man, he played solidly in goals, while Stephen Tierney was the best of the six defenders.
Up front, Pat Nagle’s frees kept St Breckan’s competitive, while Conor Cormican did his best to show for the ball, against a dominant Gneeveguilla full-back.
While St Breckan’s were beaten by a superior team, they can still reflect on an excellent year and have senior championship football to prepare for in 2011.

St Breckan’s: Craig Flanagan; Daniel Carey, Conor Howley, Seán Howley; Seán Cormican, Darragh Considine (captain), Stephen Tierney; John McDonagh, Shane O’Connor; Mikey Keating, Seán Rouine, Pat Nagle; Denis O’Driscoll, Conor Cormican, John Stack.
Subs: Cathal Blood for Seán Rouine (inj – 19), Cormac Hehir for John Stack (half-time), Tony McGann for Seán Howley (40), Neil Hawes for Shane O’Connor (45) and Declan Curtin for Mikey Keating (55).
Scorers: Pat Nagle (0-6, 0-5f) and Stephen Tierney (0-1).
Frees won: 25; Wides: 2.
45’s: 1.
Yellow cards: Conor
Cormican, John McDonagh and Stephen Tierney.
Red cards: Conor Cormican, John McDonagh.

Gneeveguilla: Patrick O’Riordan; Brendan Sheahan, Eoghan Lawlor, Michael ‘Blonde’ Murphy; Danny O’Connor, Padraig O’Connor, John Sheehan; John Paul Brosnan, Don Murphy; Michael ‘Stones’ Murphy, Fergus McAuliffe, DJ O’Connor; Barry O’Leary, Liam Murphy, Donie O’Connor.
Subs: Gerard Moynihan for Fergus McAuliffe, PJ Murphy for Brendan Sheahan, Mark Sheahan for Michael S Murphy, Donal Murphy for DJ O’Connor and Timmy O’Leary for Danny O’Connor, (all last five minutes).
Scorers: Liam Murphy (0-4f), Michael S Murphy (1-1), Barry O’Leary (0-3), DJ O’Connor (0-2) and Fergus McAuliffe (0-1).
Frees won: 27; Wides: 7.
45’s: 0.
Yellow cards: John Sheahan.

Referee: Michael Collins (Cork).

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