Brosna completed a hat-trick of provincial club football titles for the Kingdom, overcoming the spirited challenge of Glin in a hugely entertaining AIB Munster Junior final at Mallow yesterday.
In a game that had a very competitive edge married to some wonderful passages of play on a bitterly cold December afternoon, the north Kerry side followed up Ardfert’s intermediate crown and Austin Stacks’ senior success to make it a memorable treble of Munster titles for football’s most decorated county.
Brosna’s title was built on industry, craftiness and precision up front and no player personified this more than their brilliant corner-forward Adam Barry.
The former Kerry minor was in regal form, lighting up an intriguing contest by landing 0-8, a contribution that led his manager Jimmy Keane to describe the 21-year-old’s performance as “unforgettable and inspirational”.
Barry curled over a litany of beautiful points off left and right foot from a range of distances and angles while Shane Fitzmaurice, Aaron Cahill, Eamon Kiely, Dave and Shane Curtain and Tom McGoldrick all stepped up to the mark when the need was greatest.
Those contributions were never more in demand after Philip Moloney blasted Glin’s second goal two minutes after the break to push the Limerick champions into a two-point lead in a match that captivated the huge attendance.
The game was still in the melting pot with just ten minutes left on the clock. Though Brosna were playing for a sixth consecutive Sunday, their energy levels never lagged – in fact they upped the tempo in the closing stages — and produced three points during this period to run out deserving winners in front of their huge support in an attendance of 3,086.
Glin’s movement was jauntier in the opening five minutes, and they should have been three points in front but their shooting over the hour proved their Achilles heel – Glin shot eight wides in total — while Brosna looked far more economical up front where Barry sparkled. Though Glin’s best forward Mark Culhane opened scoring in the 7th minute, Brosna took control and landed five successive points between the 8th and 21st minutes including two beauties from Barry, along with efforts from Shane Curtain, Tom McGoldrick and Don McAuliffe.
It looked like the north Kerry side would run riot but Glin responded against the run of play with a well-worked goal on 23 minutes. Good footwork and vision from Padraig Scanlon found the dangerous Culhane unmarked on the edge of the square and the big full-forward rounded Conor Kiely to finish coolly.
From there to half time both sides bossed possession and swapped some eye-catching points. Firstly, Mike Finnegan found Barry, whose golden touch never deserted him, while McGoldrick followed up to push out Brosna’s advantage to three points. However, Glin slowly began to find their range with points from the hard working Philip Moloney and Paddy Fitzgerald leaving it stand 0-7 to 1-3 at the break
Glin restarted in flying fashion and after Culhane pointed, Darren Sheehan did well to fist a pass into space to the hard running Moloney who, left unmarked, made no mistake from close range. That left Brosna three points in arrears but the Kingdom’s representatives didn’t panic.
Eamon Kiely came close to goaling in the 35th minute but, by the 43rd minute, Dave Curtain levelled affairs before McGoldrick and Culhane swapped points to even up matters with just ten minutes left on the clock.
The intensity levels rose entering the closing stages with the Glin defence under all sorts of pressure that led Paddy Fitzgerald and Shane Culhane to receive black cards. Brosna took full advantage from Glin indiscipline, finishing with a flourish with points from McGoldrick and two from the effervescent Barry.
Glin’s first black card in the 52nd minute was the first sign of their slow demise and Brosna took over from there, kicking three match-winning points.
A treble of AIB provincial club titles for the Kingdom.
Glin’s Shane Culhane takes off the tracksuit, replacing black-carded Paddy Fitzgerald in the 52nd minute. Three minutes later the same player receives a black-card and is putting his tracksuit back on.
A no-brainer. Brosna’s Adam Barry gave an exhibition, curling over a succession of beauties off left and right foot. He scored 0-8 in total.
Glin’s Paddy Fitzgerald saw the line after a high and dangerous challenge on Adam Barry. Shane Culhane also saw black late in the second half.
Brosna’s blanket defence in the first half led to Glin panic-shooting, while the deployment of Timmy Finnegan in the middle gave Barry space inside to wreak havoc.
Alan Kissane kept this game skipping along nicely. Though the Waterford man flashed four yellow and two black cards, this was a sporting contest handled superbly by the official.
Brosna return to local action with County League and North Kerry Championship games to keep them tipping over; then in January they face an All-Ireland semi-final.
- Edward Newman
Scorers for Brosna: A Barry 0-8 (0-2 frees); T McGoldrick 0-4 (0-3 frees); S Curtain, D Curtain and D McAuliffe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Glin: M Culhane 1-4 (0-2 frees, 0-1 ‘45’); P Moloney 1-1; P Fitzgerald 0-1.
BROSNA: C Kiely; S Fitzmaurice, M Murphy, A Cahill; T Fitzgerald, E Kiely, F McAuliffe; D Curtain, S Curtain; D McAuliffe (capt.), T McGoldrick, P Curtain; T Finnegan, M Finnegan, A Barry.
Subs: E Prendeville for C Kiely (inj, 25); P O’Keeffe for Curtain (40); J O’Donnell for D McAuliffe (48).
GLIN: M Stack; T O’Connor, B Donovan, K Sweeney; P Costello, J Fitzgerald, J Wallace; P Moloney, E Horan; D Sheehan, T Culhane, K Moore; P Scanlon, M Culhane, P Fitzgerald (capt.).
Subs: T Scanlon for O’Connor (25); S Culhane for Fitzgerald (black card, 52); A Mulvihill for Culhane (black card 55)
Referee: A Kissane (Waterford)