Drom-Broadford create history in Munster
Drom-Broadford (Limerick) 0-6 Kilmurry/Ibrickane 0-5 (Clare):History was made at the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon as Drom-Broadford became the first Limerick side to win the Munster Club SFC final since Thomond College in 1977.
After a tense and dramatic contest which was the lowest scoring final since the competition began 38 years ago, Clare champions Kilmurry/Ibrickane were edged out by the smallest of margins.
With the last kick of the game, the Clare men had a chance to tie the game and earn a replay at the same venue next Sunday with a free from close to the touchline, but the late effort curled wide to spark scenes of unprecedented joy for Limerick football fans.
It was only two hours before the game when referee Aidan Mangan deemed the pitch playable and around about the same time Drom-Broadford's key player, Jason Stokes, passed a fitness test.
Ironically, it was Stokes who made the best catch of the day two seconds from the end when he gatherer a kick-out from his own goalkeeper Eamonn Scollard.
Scores from play were very scare and Kilmurry/Ibrickane will regret their 10 wides, five in each half, whereas Drom-Broadford had only two.
The Limerick champions were fortunate to go in at the break on level terms. The opening half produced only six points and five of them came from frees.
Kilmurry/Ibrickane settled much better and totally dominated the first quarter as the short passing ploy by Drom-Broadford made little headway against opponents who hustled and bustled in groups and frequently Drom-Broadford's attacks broke down.
Against the run of play, Pat Donnelly had the opening point from a free for the Limerick side after all of 14 minutes, and a minute later Michael O'Dwyer pointed a free for the Kilmurry/Ibrickane.
Michael Reidy and O'Dwyer exchanged points from frees before O'Dwyer edged Kilmurry/Ibrickane in front for the first time with his third free after 23 minutes.
Just on half-time, the Limerick outfit drew level with a superb point by Derry McCarthy after several players were involved in the build-up.
That sent the sides in level at 0-03 each at the break and Drom-Broadford must have been the happier as they were fortunate not to have conceded a penalty midway through the half.
Odhran O'Dwyer was taken down but a 21-yard free was awarded which O'Dwyer dispatched through the posts.
A superbly-struck point from play by Seanie Buckley edged the Limerick champions in front five minutes into the second half and it was a lead they never relinquished.
Donnelly pointed a free after 43 minutes, and 20 minutes had elapsed before the Clare side had their first point of the half and their first from play thanks to Odhran O'Dwyer.
Micheal Reidy pointed a free for Drom-Broadford but with time almost up, corner-back Declan Callanan came upfield to point for Kilmurry/Ibrickane.
It could have been a crucial score but the last kick of the game floated wide and Drom-Broadord held out for a win that even they could not have anticipated when they began their season with a defeat in a local championship game.
Two minutes from the end, Kilmurry/Ibrickane had a player sent off for a second bookable offence.
Tom McLoughlin was superb at centre-back for the winners with Tommy Stack and Mikey Clancy also prominent in defence.
Stokes had a superb game at midfield with Donnelly, Seanie Buckley and Garrett Noonan working like demons up front.
Kilmurry/Ibrickane were disappointing overall and they will regret not building on their early dominance.
But Michael and Odhran O'Dwyer and Declan Callinan could not be faulted for their failure to win back a title they won for the only time four years ago after a replay.
Drom-Broadford: E Scollard; D O'Leary, T Stack, M Clancy; N Conway, T McLoughlin, E Barry; P Donnelly (0-02, 0-02f), J Stokes; D McCarthy (0-01), M Reidy (0-02, 0-02f), S Buckley (0-01); G Egan, R Lynch, G Noonan.
Subs used: M O'Sullivan for Noonan.
Kilmurry/Ibrickane: I McInerney; D Callinan (0-01), M Killeen, M McMahon; S Hickey, B Moloney, E Coughlan; Peter O'Dwyer, P O'Connor; M Hogan, J Daly, S Moloney; M O'Dwyer (0-02, 0-02f), O O'Dwyer (0-02, 0-01f), N Downes.
Subs used: D Hickey for Peter O'Dwyer, M McCarthy for Downes, Paul O'Dwyer for M O'Dwyer.
Referee: Aidan Mangan (Kerry).