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Nicki Hardiman scores a second goal for St-Joseph’s. Pic by Eugene McCafferty

St Joseph’s Doora Barefield Retain Clare U16 Division One Football Title

St Joseph’s Doora Barefield made it back-to-back Clare U16 Division One football titles with a clinical 6-9 to 2-12 win over Ennistymon.

It is the second year in succession that the sides have met in the decider with the Parish also coming out on top 12 months ago.

Ennistymon hit the first two points of the contest with Josh Guyler taking all of 20 seconds to get off the mark as he raced clear before slotting over.

County minor star Brendan Rouine was next to score as he won a brilliant kick-out before being on the end of the move to apply the finish.

St Joseph’s response was clinical, as Michael Nash slipped a pass through to Matthew Power and his deft flick saw the ball into the net.

Another county minor was next on target as Diarmuid Fahy arrowed over a clinical point for Ennistymon and Rouine restored their lead as he arrowed over a free from a tight angle.

Nash was proving a go to man for the Parish in the inside line and he turned provider for another of the county minors on show as Dara Nagle split the posts.

Fionn Kelliher was another of the county men on show and his driving run created the chance for Joseph Rafferty to fire over. Rouine hit back with an excellent free off the floor from 40m out but the next ten minutes were all about the Parish as 1-4 without reply opened the first real gap between the sides.

Nagle began the run with a well-worked score before Nicki Hardiman finished from close range under pressure for their second goal. He added a point soon after and further scores from Nagle and Nash saw them move 2-6 to 0-5 clear as the half-time whistle approached.

Sean Rynne ended a 10 minute spell without an Ennistymon score but a dipping effort from Hardiman just crept over the bar to see St Joseph’s 2-7 to 0-6 up at half-time.

Another Nagle free extended the advantage for the Parish after the restart but a resurgence from the North Clare men led by Rouine and Fahy saw them close the gap with four unanswered points. Rouine (2), Fahy and Guyler all found the target with just four points between the sides after 40 minutes.

All that good work was undone when a quickfire double saw the Parish effectively put the game to bed. Nash was involved in both goals as he first saw his shot saved before Raferty palmed home the rebound. From that kick-out, Nash drove the center before laying off for Oisin O’Donnell to fire home. It saw St Joseph’s move 4-8 to 0-10 clear inside the final quarter, but there was plenty more to come.

Diarmuid Fahy sent over his third of the night but another hammer blow arrived when Hardiman slotted home his second goal and a fine point from Eoin Talty gave them a 5-9 to 0-11 lead.

Fahy notched a brilliant individual goal in the closing stages but a Dara Nagle penalty cancelled it out as he rolled home to the bottom corner after a foul on Nash.

St Joseph’s controlled the game well in the closing stages as they ran out deserving winners with an injury time penalty from Fahy proving little more than consolation.

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