Drom-Broadford in seventh heaven

Dromcollogher-Broadford 2-09 Monaleen 2-07

This victory over the city side saw them retain their crown for the third time.

The final pitted the two kingpins of Limerick football in opposition for the first time despite the fact that they had won 10 of the previous 12 final between them.

But Drom-Broadford proved themselves the undisputed standard-bearers on Shannonside with a deserved win and their hero was newcomer Killian Phair.

A Cavan native, Phair scored the all-important second goal midway through the second half and notched two points from frees and one superb effort from play with the outside of his boot.

Th secondary school teacher was winning his first title with Drom-Broadford but it’s his third senior county title, having had previous wins in his native Cavan and in London.

Playing with the wind, Phair and colleagues were only 1-4 to 1-1 up at half-time as a tally of eight wides hindered their progress on the scoreboard.

But it was an interval lead built despite conceding a goal with the final’s opening score. That green flag was raised by Darragh Bonfil, who soloed through the heart of the defence, to crash brilliantly to the net.

But his side failed to build on that early boost and scored just a Ger Collins free for the remainder of the half as the eventual winners took control of possession.

It took Drom-Broadford all of 13-minutes to open their account, with defender Dee O’Leary surging upfield to score from a tight angle.

Phair and captain Micheal Reidy added points as the game was level after 18 wides. Then came the Collins free but it didn’t stop Drom-Broadford ending the half on top.

Another free from Phair regained the lead and then came their first half goal.

It came from the penalty spot after Michael Brosnan was fouled, Reidy cooly crashing the spot kick high to the net for a three point half-time lead.

Backed by the wind, Monaleen needed to find early second half momentum, and they did with Graham O’Connell (free) and Collins pointing to reduce the lead to 1-5 to 1-3. But they failed to find any more scores and up the field went Drom-Broadford to find their second goal. Jason Stokes was just on the field and his pass created the opening for Phair, who brilliantly lopped over the goalkeeper from a tight angle.

He added a point almost immediately and all of a sudden the lead was 2-7 to 1-3. The game was only entering the final quarter but two points from Pat Donnelly held off any Monaleen charge.

But just when it looked like the game would peter out, Monaleen dug deep, with Michael Crowley, Padraig Quinn and sub Muiris Gavin kicking successive points.

Then Bonfil was fouled and referee Martin Doherty pointed to the spot for the second time. Collins finished the penalty low to the keeper’s left and all of a sudden the lead was down to a point.

But the champions didn’t buckle and Garret Noonan ensured the win with a point in the final minute.

Scorers for Dromcollogher-Broadford: K Phair (1-3, 2f), M Reidy (1-1, 1-0p), D O’Leary, D McCarthy, P Donnelly, G Noonan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Monaleen: G Collins 1-3 (1p, 2f), D Bonfil 1-0, G O’Connell (f), Ml Crowley, P Quinn, M Gavin 0-1 each.

MONALEEN: D O’Sullivan; F Nash, R Murray, C Moran; B Fitzpatrick, P Russell, P Quinn; B Geary, P Kinnerk; E Keating, J O’Brien, D Bonfil; G O’Connell, M Crowley, G Collins.

Subs: M Gavin for Keating (40), J Hoare for Fitzpatrick (44), D Bourke for Murray (46).

DROMCOLLOGHER-BROADFORD: K Noonan; E Barry, T McLoughlin, G Egan; G Noonan, D O’Leary, C Fahy; S Buckley, M O’Sullivan; D McCarthy, P Donnelly, M Brosnan; R Lynch, M Reidy, K Phair.

Subs: G Greaney for Noonan (23), J Stokes for O’Sullivan (40), S Brosnan for McCarthy (52), B Noonan for Fahy (59).

Referee: M Doherty (St Marys Sean Finns).

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