Ahern stars as Dromcollogher-Broadford prove too good for Ahane in Limerick U-21 ‘B’ decider:

By John Redington Limerick leader Sport

“I TASTED my first success as a player at Under-21 level, so it’s fantastic to get my first as a manager at the same grade”, was Garrett Noonan’s reaction as Dromcollogher-Broadford regained the Limerick U21 ‘B’ title after a four year absence when a final quarter blitzkrieg dethroned holders Ahane on a 2-13 to 3-4 scoreline on Mick Neville Park’s astroturf pitch on Saturday.

“We were punished for our mistakes before the break, but the hard work put in on the training field paid off with the scores we got when they needed and with the discipline showed by the defence,” a delighted Noonan added.

Towering above every other performance in a fast skillful game that closed off the year’s activities was the extraordinary individual contribution of Brian Ahern who got all but two points of his magnificent tally of 1-13 from open play.

It gave Drom-Broadford an edge that their opponents couldn’t match, particularly after the break when the winners didn’t concede a single score.

Coming up to half-time, Ahane looked like they were getting everything right as their fast, threatening forwards banged home three goals to put them ahead by seven points.

However, three quickfire replies from Ahern took the edge off the deficit and the winners trailed by five points at the interval 1-5 to 3-4.

Despite failing to edge closer with the elements in their favour in the third quarter, once the Dromcollogher-Broadford side rediscovered their range in the final quarter, they blasted themselves into a title-winning lead.

After topscorer Ahern pointed from distance and, Robbie Lynch followed up his next point to bring the gap back to the minimum between the side’s, the relentless pressure on the Ahane kick-out told as the prolific Ahern scored four points in a row, one of them from a free, before he ended a clincial two-minute assault on the posts that turned the deficit into a lead of six by collecting off Micheál Fahy to grab his goal.

SCORERS: DROMCOLLOGHER-BROADFORD: Brian Ahern 1-12 (0-2 frees). Seán Madden 1-0, Robbie Lynch 0-1; AHANE: Mark Donnellan 1-2 (0-2 frees), Andrew O’Leary 1-1, Peter O’Donoghue 1-0, Craig O’Connell 0-1.

DROMCOLLOGHER-BROADFORD: Jason O’Sullivan; Ger O’ Callaghan, Eoin O’Brien, Jack Shanahan; Graham Roche, Robbie Lynch, Danny Mullins; Tommy Ryan, Seán Madden; Conor O’Brien, Brian Ahern, Diarmuid Curtin; Alan Power, Michael Fahy, Brian O’Callaghan. SUBS: Aaron Leahy for Danny Mullane (half-time), Killian Cahill for Ger O’Callaghan (injured, 41 minutes).

AHANE: Mark Murphy; John Clifford, Brian Murphy, James Rennison; Liam Glynn, Aidan Carroll, Kevin Morrissey; Eoin Madigan, Shane O’Grady; Gavin Rowsome, Mark Donnellan, Adam O’Connell; Peter O’Donohue, Craig O’Connell, Andrew O’Leary. SUBS: Tom Marsden for James Rennison (18 minutes), Colm Wright for Andrew O’Leary (50 minutes), John O’Donoghue for Colm Wright (59 minutes).

REFEREE: Séamus Hayes (Mungret-St Paul’s)