BRUFF lifted the Limerick JBHC title with a 1-11 to 0-11 win over Mungret in Ballyagran.
Albert Shanahan may remember many moments in his long career but few will be as sweet as his goal two minutes from the end of normal time that delivered the county junior B hurling crown to Bruff in Ballyagran on Sunday. Coming at the end of an absorbing contest, his precision strike from the ‘21’ broke the back of a Mungret revival that to be on the verge of delivering a major upset in the final of the fourth tier of championship competition.
It took a while for both teams to settle into the seasonal conditions before Bruff’s better instincts up front allowed John Anthony Moran and Tim O’Sullivan shoot them into the lead. However, their sharpness wore of once they got their noses in front and Mungret battled back to parity through a Paudie Kirby free from halfway and Niall Long.
Stirred into response, Patrick Dempsey and Cathal Bulfin edged the Morning Stars ahead again but, once again, the effort tailed off for Denis O’Connor and a second long Kirby free brought the sides level again. Ever alert to the opportunity, Moran hit back in added time from a free and from play to give his side an advantage of 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.
Although Moran added another free straight from the restart, Mungret had found more in the dressing-room and two Long frees brought the margin back to the minimum. But before they could build further on Kirby’s dominance in the middle of the park, Bruff responded to the alarm bells and lifted themselves into clear water through Ray Hourigan, Moran’s free and Bulfin.
Attacking with greater purpose, Kirby’s free, Dean Jordan and Long’s free had them back within a score and they could have leapt into the lead had Oisín Casey’s pull not been cleared off the line after James Browne had saved off Jordan.
Sub Kieran Conroy did manage to draw the sides level but Mungret paid for that missed opportunity when, in a breakaway attack, Shanahan collected Moran’s crossfield pass to wallop past Evan Ryan. Just to make sure, Moran followed up on the resulting puckout to split the posts as Mungret’s conviction finally fell away as they settled for Long’s closing score from a free.
SCORERS, BRUFF: John Anthony Moran 0-6 (3 frees), Albert Shanahan 1-0, Cathal Bulfin 0-2, Tim O’Sullivan, Patrick Dempsey, Ray Hourigan 0-1 each; MUNGRET: Niall Long 0-5 (4 frees), Paudie Kirby 0-3 (3 frees), Denis O’Connor, Dean Jordan, Kieran Conroy 0-1 each.
BRUFF: James Browne; Maurice Hehir, Declan Reale, Mike O’Shea; Aidan Moloney, Mike Weekes, Adrian O’Shea; Tim O’Sullivan, Ian Hogan; Patrick Dempsey, Ray Hourigan, John Anthony Moran; Eric Finn, Albert Shanahan, Cathal Bulfin. SUBS:Francis O’Dwyer for Eric Finn (47 mins), Roger Mulqueen for Cathal Bulfin (55 mins), Greg Dempsey for Patrick Dempsey (63 mins), John Mulqueen for Albert Shanahan (64 mins).
MUNGRET: Evan Ryan; Adrian Dillon, Dave Moore, Cian Ó Loinsigh; John Roche; Cormac O’Connor, Dave Kennedy; Paudie Kirby, Stephen Dilworth; Dean Jordan, Oisín Casey, Eoin O’Doherty; Niall Long, Denis O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Connor. SUBS: Dave Coffey for Eoin O’Doherty (half-time), Kieran Conroy for Denis O’Connor (46 mins).
REFEREE: Justin Daly (Pallaskenry).
See the weekend print edition of the Limerick Leader for a full match report.