‘This can never be taken away’

IN the midst of Drom-Broadford masses that engulfed the Gaelic Grounds pitch, Ned English stood smiling.

In his freshman season guiding their football fortunes, English attempted to convey the significance of this Munster title for the Limerick club.

“I’m over the moon, it’s just a fantastic occasion. It’s great for Drom-Broadford — a tiny, tiny community. We’re up against a side who won the last five U21s in their county, so they’re a very strong outfit. We wouldn’t have that strength, our panel is very tight and short on resources. But it’s great for Drom-Broadford and great for Limerick.”

The decider never reached classic status, but such a fact did not surprise English.

“It was a dogged game but finals very much are. Both had so much to lose. They came at us and really pressurised us. We’re delighted to win by a point. We always said it would be tight and it was.

“It’s always great to win a big battle because then your nerves are tested as is your ability to make good decisions under pressure. We talked at half-time about how it was going to be a game of pressure and nerves, and how the fitness was going to come out in the end. They were tremendous in the second-half.”

At the end, the match could have been snatched away from Drom-Broadford. Their one-point advantage looked precarious as Kilmurry-Ibrickane’s Mark McCarthy lined up a late, late free to equalise

English remained composed. “It was a difficult angle. It was going to be hard for him to kick it. It was outside of our control at that point. We were delighted when it went wide but football turns on small things like that.”

Where to now for Drom-Broadford’s remarkable odyssey? A date with one of the Ulster heavyweight duo Crossmaglen or Ballinderry beckons in February. From now on they are in bonus territory according to English.

“We’ll pick them up after this and give it our best shot. As I said to them beforehand, this is like ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’. If you lost this one, you go back to the Limerick final. We won this today so we can now put that in the bank.

“They have something now that can never be taken away from them. The next game now will be a totally new experience and we’ll practice hard for that. It’s great to be playing football in January and February. They’re among the last teams now and that’s a tremendous achievement.”

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