THE 2013 Limerick U-21 premier football championship final ended all-sqaure this New Year’s Eve.
After a thrilling encounter in Mick Neville Park it finished Dromcollogher-Broadford 2-9, St Marys Sean Finns of Rathkeale 1-12.
After an end-to-end game of fast free-flowing football the sides were only level on one occasion and that was at the final whistle.
They will have to do it all again on Saturday January 11 with the replay again fixed for Mick Neville Park.
Interestingly, it appears the replay will be played under the new football rules (ie black cards) and gum shields will be necessary.
In this final neither side showed any ill effects of playing this final just days after their St Stephen’s Day semi-finals.
The Rathkeale men may look back with some regret after playing some superb football to open seven and six point leads on different occasions.
Indeed with 18-minutes to play, the men in blue led 1-12 to 1-6.
But that was to be their last score and Drom-Broadford fought back to level through Kevin Noonan.
The equaliser came in the 49th minute and despite chances, neither side could grasp a winner.
Backed by a tricky cross-field wind, St Marys Sean Finns flew from the traps.
They were seven points up inside 11-minutes with Eoin O’Donnell (2), Steven Power, Mikey Morrissey and Sean, Paul and Andrew White all kicking points.
It was one way traffic and only a fine Gearoid Greaney save denied Rathkeale a goal in this early onslaught.
But like their senior side of the last decade, Drom-Broadford never panicked.
They got the boost they needed in the 14th minute when Micheal Brosnan goaled after Paul Madigan created the opening.
That left it 0-7 to 1-0 and back came Sean Finns with Paul and Andrew White points.
But Drom-Broadford edged ever closer as half time approached.
Daniel Collins (frees) and Kevin Noonan got on the scoresheet and all of a sudden the interval lead was just three points, 0-10 to 1-4.
Damien Lacey opened the second half scoring but Colin Barry (free) and O’Donnell had Sean Finns’ points to open a 0-12 to 1-5 lead with 20-minutes to play.
Lacey kicked his second but then came the Rathkeale goal.
Darren Jones surged forward from centre back and his shot (perhaps for a point) from 25-metres dipped brilliantly over the head of the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net.
That put his side six points up and with just under 20-minutes to play.
Alas, they were not to score again.
Two frees from Daniel Collins edged Drom-Broadford closer but it looked as though they would need a second goal.
That goal came in the 47th minute and from the same player as their first.
Micheal Brosnan was on the end of a move that involved Fahy and Madigan and he coolly finished from close range. Just moments after the goal Kevin Noonan lofted over the equaliser and that was to be it despite 10-minutes remaining.
SCORERS: Dromcollogher-Broadford: Micheal Brosnan 2-1, Daniel Collins 0-4 (4frees), Kevin Noonan and Damien Lacey 0-2 each. Sean Finns: Eoin O’Donnell 0-3, Darren Jones 1-0, Sean White, Steven Power, Andrew White (2frees) 0-2 each, Paul White, Mikey Morrissey, Colin Barry (free) 0-1 each.
DROMCOLLOGHER-BROADFORD: Gearoid Greaney; Paddy Lordan, Darren Boyce, John Barrett; Keith Lacey, Seamus Brosnan, Patrick Stack; Brian Noonan, Cillian Fahy; Niall O’Brien, Paul Madigan, Micheal Brosnan; Damien Lacey, Daniel Collins, Kevin Noonan.
SEAN FINNS: Danny Coleman; Adrain Stackpoole, Frank Geary, Ciaran English; Paul White, Darren Jones, Patrick Wilmott; Sean Sheahan, Colin Barry; Sean White, Eoin O’Donnell, Mikey Morrissey; Andrew White, Steven Power, Jimmy Dillane. Subs: Marty Roche for Sean White, inj (half-time), Brian Meade for Jimmy Dillane (532mins).
REFEREE: Jason Mullins (St Kierans).