NEWCASTLE West ended a 23 year wait as they were crowned Limerick senior football champions this Sunday afternoon with a 2-10 to 0-9 final win over Dromcollogher-Broadford.
The underdogs led from start to finish in a superb display to end seven points winner in Kilmallock.
Beaten in the 2011 and 20102 finals, Newcastle West were clearly the hungrier side in this fine final, watched by 1643.
They now progress to the Munster club SFC quarter final away to Tipperary’s Clonmel Commercials on November 1.
Champions in 1987 and 1992, Newcastle West blitzed Drom-Broadford in the opening half to lay the foundation for a deserved win for the Mike Quilligan managed side.
They were 1-8 to 0-4 clear at the break with all but one of their scores coming from play. Indeed, they notched 2-9 from play, while their opponents could only manage three points from play over the hour.
The new champions were led by Man of the Match Stephen Kelly, who rolled back the years with a return of 1-3 in the first half to set the tone.
His side were 1-5 to 0-1 clear at the end of the opening quarter with two Seanie Buckley points keeping Drom-Broadford in touch.
In the second half, Drom-Broadford reduced the deficit to 1-8 to 0-7 but in their first score of the second half, Jamie Lee had the second Newcastle West to all but seal the win, 2-8 to 0-7.
Lee and sub Sean McAuliffe kicked their final points to seal a most deserved win with Drom-Broadford unable to break down their defence to register any score in the final 10-minutes.
SCORERS: Newcastle West: Stephen Kelly 1-3, Jamie Lee 1-2 (0-1free), Thomas Quilligan 0-2, James Kelly, Mike O’Leary and Sean McAuliffe 0-1 each. Drom-Broadford: Killian Phair 0-5 (all frees), Seanie Buckley 0-2, Derry McCarthy and Pat Donnelly (free) 0-1 each.
NEWCASTLE WEST: John Joe Sheehy; Mike O’Keeffe, Brian O’Sullivan, Sean Browne; Mike O’Leary, Stephen Nix, Paul Hannan; Cian Sheehan, Iain Corbett; Thomas Quilligan, Stephen Kelly, Stephen Brosnan; James Kelly, Mike McMahon, Jamie Lee. Subs: Sean McAuliffe for Mike O’Leary (49mins), Brian Doherty for Thomas Quilligan (51mins), Mike Quilligan for Jamie Lee (56mins), Gavin Reidy for Stephen Brosnan (60mins), Donnacha Woods for Mike Mahon (61mins).
DROM-BROADFORD: Gearoid Greaney; Darren Boyce, Garrett Noonan, Brian Noonan; Micheal Brosnan, Dee O’Leary, Cillian Fahy; Jason Stokes, Michael O’Sullivan; Seanie Buckley; Pat Donnelly, Kevin Noonan; Ray Lynch, Killian Phair, Micheal Reidy. Subs: Derry McCarthy for Jason Stokes, inj (26mins), Gary Egan for Darren Boyce (h-t), Paul Madigan for Kevin Noonan (50mins).
REFEREE: Donie Enright (Dromin-Athlacca).