Daithi O’Bruadair secured the U21 ‘B’ county title on Sunday afternoon, as their goal rush was enough to squeeze past Ballylanders. Daithi O’Bruadair is mainly comprised of players from Dromcollogher/Broadford, however, they also had a healthy contribution from Feenagh Kilmeedy, including three in their starting team. (Ballylanders 0-11 Daithi O’Bruadair 3-4)
The winners appeared in trouble at the start of the second half as they trailed by three points on two separate occasions, but two goals in less than sixty seconds propelled them to silverware.
The game was played on a well maintained Martinstown surface, which allowed for fast attacking football. But it wasn’t attacking football that gave the game its first green flag. Tied at a point apiece, after a Colm Ryan free had cancelled out Shaun Moloney’s second minute effort, Ballylanders put the ball into their own net.
Playing possession in their own goalmouth saw a miss-controlled pass trickle over narrowly the line for a rare sight in Gaelic games. Shocked by the concession, the south Limerick side responded superbly.
They kicked four unanswered points to lead. Three efforts from the impressive Shane O’Donoghue, one from Oisin Browne put Jimmy Barry Murphy’s side ahead by the 26th minute. O’Donoghue at full-forward was a constant threat, and was regularly fouled by the Daithi O’Bruadair defence who struggled with his pace and movement.
Colm Ryan brought the eventual winners level but O’Donoghue pushed his side ahead at the break with a free. He had been denied a goal by a good Timmy Brosnan save, but made no mistake when the play was brought back for a foul.
Shane Ryan, Ruairi O’Connor and Killian Lane all added to the lead after the restart but eventually the men from the west kicked into gear. Moving James Molyneaux to midfield appeared to give them more possession and a platform to attack. Molyneaux carried an injury throughout the game but kept the ball moving for his side around midfield, he was highly effective earlier this year as Drom-Broadford retained their senior status.
Brian Aherne added to a Colm Ryan free, to make it 1-4 to 0-8, but Ballylanders stretched their margin to three points once again, with 15 minutes remaining. A wonderful effort from Shane Ryan was followed by another from Moloney – this time off the back of a superb Enda O’Neill catch.
This three point margin was flipped on its head as Colm Ryan buried a 48th minute penalty before Aherne finished high to the net less than a minute later.
Ballylanders had one more score, a Shane Ryan free on 58 minutes, but the defensive solidity shown by Daithi O’Bruadair in the closing stages was enough for the victory. They kept possession very well at times and had the bodies back to deny Ballylanders a game winning goal in stoppage time.
BALLYLANDERS: Shane O’Donoghue 0-6 (0-3 frees); Shaun Moloney 0-2; Killian Lane, Ruairi O’Connor, Shane O’Donoghue 0-1
DAITHI O’BRUADAIR: Colm Ryan 1-3 (1-0 pen 0-2 frees), Own Goal 1-0, Brian Aherne 1-1
BALLYLANDERS: Mark O’Callaghan; Patrick Kelly, Mark Faust, Patrick Holian; Enda O’Neill, Patrick Shanahan, Jordan Sheehy (Capt); Shaun Moloney, Daniel Blade; Oisin Browne, Ruairi O’Connor, Killian Meade; Michael Cleary, Shane O’Donoghue, Killian Lane
Subs: Martin Frewen for Mark Faust (inj, 16 mins)
DAITHI O’BRUADAIR: Timmy Brosnan; Graham Roche, Eoin Enright, Nigel O’Callaghan; Jack Mullane, Michael Ryan (Capt), Ronan Cahill; Donal Molyneaux, James Molyneaux; Jack O’Sullivan, Colm Ryan, Damien Burke; Brian Aherne, Luke Ryan, Jack Pierce
Subs: Michael Brennan for Nigel O’Callaghan (35 mins)