The sendings off, however, had very little impact on the game as Gneeveguilla were well in control when the Breckan’s full-forward Conor Cormican was shown a straight red after 48 minutes and midfielder, John McDonagh, was shown a second yellow with just five minutes remaining.
Indeed it was after Cormican got his marching orders that they (Breckan’s) enjoyed their best spell of the second-half, landing points from Stephen Tierney and then another from a Pat Nagle free.
DJ O’Connor signalled the intentions of the Kerry champions when he pointed after just 14 seconds. Pat Nagle, with a point from a free, equalised and then scored what would be one of only two points from play for the Clare men to gave them the lead.
Gneeveguilla came to terms with the threat from the fast breaking wing back, Stephen Tierney, and began to mop up all the breaking ball around midfield.
Time and again they caught St. Breckan’s on the counter attack and it was from one of those breaks that wing forward Michael Murphy scored the only goal of the game.
Gneeveguilla midfielder Don Murphy won possession in their own half, delivered a pinpoint pass to Michael Murphy and he slipped inside two opponents before putting the ball well out of the reach of Breckan’s goalkeeper, Craig Flanagan. Centre forward, Fergus McAuliffe quickly landed a long range point.
However, the Lisdoonvarna men, with Stephen Tierney and Conor Cormican, driving forward came storming back. The Gneeveguilla defence held firm and their reward was just two points from the unerring boot Pat Nagle, as they went into half time trailing 1-6 to 0-4.
Pat Nagle ended up with 0-6 of his side’s total — 0-5 coming from frees — as a disciplined Gneeveguilla defence closed down a forward line-up that also included former inter-county star, Denis O’Driscoll, while up front five of the six forwards put their names on the scoresheet with Barry O’Leary and DJ O’Connor particularly impressive.
Scorers for Gneeveguilla: M Murphy 1-1, L Murphy 0-4 (frees), B O’Leary 0-3, DJ O’Connor 0-2, F McAuliffe 0-1.
Scorers for St. Breckan’s: P Nagle 0-6 (0-5 frees), S Tierney 0-1.
GNEEVEGUILLA: P O’Riordan; B Sheahan, E Lawlor, M B. Murphy; D O’Connor, P O’Connor, J Sheahan; JP Brosnan, D Murphy; Michael Murphy, F McAuliffe, DJ O’Connor; B O’Leary, L Murphy, D O’Connor.
Subs: G Moynihan for F McAuliffe (52), PJ Murphy for B Sheahan (53), M Sheahan for Michael Murphy (53), D Murphy for DJ O’Connor (56 mins), T O’Leary for D O’Connor (56).
ST. BRECKAN’S: C Flanagan; D Carey, C Howley, S Howley; S Cormican, D Considine, S Tierney; J McDonagh, S O’Connor; M Keating, S Rouine, P Nagle; D O’Driscoll, C Cormican, J Stack.
Subs: C Blood for S Rouine (inj 19), C O hEithir for J Stack (HT), T McGann for S Cormican (39), N Hawes for S O’Connor (46); D Curtin for M Keating (55).
Referee: M. Collins (Cork).