In his weekly Limerick Leader column, Martin Kiely argues that Dromcollogher-Broadford look set to rule Limerick football again.
The sleeping giants have given a clear signal that they are back in the hunt for yet another championship. It’s early days yet in the Limerick senior football championship but we are fast approaching a place where teams need to be showing form and, in this regard, former champions Drom-Broadford have sent a very clear signal to all concerned that they have not gone away.
This club has produced some great men over the years and many of them are still pulling on the boots and prepared to go to the well once more for their club.
For a good number of years Drom-Broadford led the way in Limerick football but, from what I saw in their game against Monaleen last weekend, they will make life very difficult for many teams before this championship ends. As a club they are what you might call a sticky outfit and when the challenge is greatest they will not be found wanting.
Many of the same names are still there but I saw signs that some new talent is coming through to assist those who have given so much over the years. It’s not that long ago that I had lads telling me that Drom/Broadford were gone - well, if they were, it was only to rest because the great tradition they have will live long into the future.
From a football point of view this was a poor game and from the very start the West Limerick side were in control. They showed signs of what we saw before but they will be very happy with the way some of the young lads played. Young Cillian Fahy, only 17, was at corner back and from what I saw in this game we will see lots more of him in the future.
Brian Noonan was outside him in the half backline and he also has fitted well into his side’s game plan. The most impressive player on the pitch in Rathkeale was Michael Brosnan, this lad has lots of ability and I feel he has much more to give. He scored a goal and kicked points but his movement was impressive and he will be a handful for most defenders. Those are some of the new names but many of the names we know well are still plying their trade and, just as they did before, they are having a telling impact.
Some of these players will have decorated cabinets but I get the sense it’s not just about medals, the club is so important to them and that is clear to see on the field. The pride of the parish is wrapped around them and in this game with Monaleen they made sure to get into the game early.
To win championships you have to train hard but also have leaders and in this regard Drom-Broadford are blessed to have guys who will not shy away from the challenge. Tom McLoughlin is one of the greatest club players I have seen in Limerick, we are more accustomed to seeing him at centre back but with Tommy Stack out injured he has now taken up duty at full back. His place at centre back is now manned by Eoin Barry and it is in safe hands. Players like Jason Stokes, Pat Donnelly, Michael Reidy and Seanie Buckley have entered many a battle but they still want more.
Monaleen never got into this game and they lacked the sort of drive and desire they had twelve months ago.
They allowed Drom-Broadford to run at them but they also failed to take the couple of goal chances they had on the night and that was always going to make for a difficult evening for them. Monaleen could only manage three points in each half and that was never going to be good enough against a team like Drom-Broadford. Gary Egan’s goal before half time ended the game as a contest in real terms because after that Monaleen were like a man on a mountain trying to bring in sheep with a dog.
Drom-Broadford will know only too well that there is much football to be played before they get back to where they want to be but under new boss Jerome Stack they are certainly going in the right direction.
As a team they know how to win and they have within them the patience to keep to their game plan. Monaleen were this year chasing three in a row but at no stage during this game did they express the sort of passion required to achieve such an honour.
They managed only a few points during the game and all of their play looked laboured. They have turned it around before but it will take something very special from them if they are to make progress in the remaining games in the championship. Monaleen have the players but too many of them failed to turn in a performance in this game against Drom-Broadford.
Make no bones about it, Drom-Broadford will be challenged and teams like Fr Casey’s, Newcastle West and many others will relish the chance to halt their gallop. There is little room for mistakes by a lot of teams as they approach another round of games this weekend.
This is the time of year to be showing some form and we are beginning to see that now in some teams. Some teams that were not going well at the start of the championship are now building at the right time because the run in is very important. Newcastle West will also be in the shake up and I saw them overcome Ballysteen. From a football point of view Newcastle West have the talent but they need to focus if they are to win this championship. They tend to focus on matters that they have little control over and if they continue to play that way then they may well pay a heavy price. It took them a while to nail down the gritty Ballysteen but when they did they showed signs of what they are capable of doing.
Others teams like St Kieran’s and St Senan’s are making progress and it’s great to see traditional football clubs doing well. Many clubs have just fallen away and that is a great pity and from what I am seeing they may well never come back to where they once were.
Monaleen will play St Senans this weekend and if Monaleen have any hope they need to get a result here. St Senan’s won’t fear them and it could well be a very close game.