Strong finish sees Dromcollogher Broadford retain title

Dromcollogher/Broadford who won the intermediate ladies football final at TUS Gaelic Grounds. pic Declan hehir

3Dental Intermediate Football Championship Final
By Matt O’Callaghan
OOLA…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..2- 4
Defending champions Dromcollogher-Broadford had to pull out all the stops in the final quarter to see off a gritty Oola challenge in the Limerick LGFA Intermediate Football final at TUS Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.
Oola who finally broke through the semi-final barrier recently at the fifth consecutive attempt really threw down the gauntlet to the champions who had to summon every bit of their resolve before completing back to back successes in the competition.
Drom-Broadford looked the more likely early on as the final debutants from the east were somewhat slow in settling but once they found their rhythm coming up to half time with the help of a Kathleen Bradshaw goal, it was game on.
Up to that point, the game lacked some intensity but it was a full blooded contest in the second half especially when Gemma O’Dwyer edged Oola in front, the champions looked to be in some trouble.
The sin binning of a player in the second half rather than hindering Drom-Broad ford galvanised them and in the spell when they were numerically disadvantaged, they restricted Oola to a single point and laid the ground work for a final push on the home straight.
In the run in Drom-Broadford exerted a strangle hold on proceedings as they patiently and increm entally overturned Oola’s lead and tacked on the points to clinch victory with three in a row from Laura Stack proving crucial.
Appearing in their maiden final Oola got off to a perfect start with a Lainey Stokes point inside the opening minute.
Laura Stack from a free levelled matters and points from Áine Cunningham and Sarah Sheehan put the holders in front.
A fine individual point from the impressive Emma Kennedy closed the gap to the minimum before Dromcollogher-Broadford took a firm grip on matters courtesy of a Laura Stack goal and Sarah Sheehan landed her second point for a 1-4 to 0-2 lead at the first water break.
Caoimhe Sheehan extended the Drom-Broadford lead fore on the 25th minute, Oola made a statement. Good build up play with Anna O’Dea and Chloe O’Brien combining to set up Kathleen Bradshaw and the Limerick intercounty player blasted to the Drom-Broadford net to bring the east Limerick girls right back into it 1-5 to 1-2 at half time.
It took Oola just five minutes to achieve parity courtesy of a Lainy Stokes goal and that is how it stayed until the second water break.
Gemma O’Dwyer nudged Oola in front soon after the resumption and it called for a response from the prematch favourites. It came in the shape of three unanswered points from Laura Stack, two from frees and further points from Clodgah Reidy and Saoirse McCarthy to go four clear as the game entered injury time.
Credit Oola, they battled to the very end and Gemma O’Dwyer’s second point kept the result on a knife edge but Drom-Broadford saw it through to claim the title and with it promotion to senior ranks for 2022.
There is little rest for the newly crowned champions as they are back in action on Friday evening when they travel to Listowel to take on Kerry champions MKL Gaels at 8pm.
Scorers: Dromcollogher-Broadford: Laura Stack 1-4, 3fs; Sarah Sheehan 0-2; Áine Cunningham, Caoimhe Sheehan, Clodagh Reidy, Saoirse McCarthy 0-1 each.
Oola: Lainey Stokes 1-1; Kathleen Bradshaw 1-0; Gemma O’Dwyer 0-2; Emma Kennedy 0-1.
Dromcollogher- Broadford:
Ciara McCarthy; Niamh Fahy, Meadbh McCarthy,
Subs: Róisín Cunningham for Gemma Barrett (41), Clodagh Reidy for Olive Lenihan (51), Olive Lenihan for Sarah Shanahan (57), Gemma Barrett for Ellanna Mulcahy (60+2).
Oola: Karen O’Dwyer; Laura Hayes, Siobhán Moloney, Máire Moloney; Gemma O’Dwyer, Miriam Hayes. Kathleen Fitz gibbon; Emma Kennedy, Caolfhionn Fahy; Anna O’Dea, Leah Coughlan, Chloe O’Brien; Kathleen Bradshaw, Amy Ryan (Captain), Lainy Stokes.
Subs: Fiona Bradshaw for Laura Hayes (38), Nora Moloney for Chloe O’Brien (48), Kate O’Dea for Caoilfhionn Fahy (57), Chloe O’Connell for Kathleen Bradshaw (59).
Referee: Mark Murphy, Kilteely-Dromkeen.