Tuesday April 16th
U/14 Boys Div 2 – Ballingarry 2 Rathkeale 4
Saturday April 20th
Youth Div. 1 League Cup Final – Broadford United (0)1 (J. Pierce 83) Ballingarry (1)1 (G. Sparling 40) (aet Broadford won 5-3 pens)
Broadford United emulated last season’s achievement of winning the Youths Division 1 League and League Cup double when they came from behind to beat Ballingarry 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the League Cup Final in Mick Hanley Park on Saturday evening. Ballingarry had the better chances in an evenly-contested opening quarter but Broadford began to gain a slight edge from around the midway point of the first-half. Therefore, it came somewhat against the run of play when Ballingarry opened the scoring in the 40th minute. From five yards inside the opposition half, Adam Long floated a free-kick into the box. It wasn’t defended well and dropped to Garret Sparling, who met it on the bounce and drilled past goalkeeper Mark Kelly from close range.
Ballingarry would have doubled their lead six minutes into the second-half but for Kelly making a great double save from Kian Kirwan and Dylan Singh. As time wore on, it looked as if one goal would be enough but then, in the 83rd minute, Broadford equalised. From the centre of midfield, Conor Stack delivered a diagonal ball to the left, where it was met by the inrushing Jack Pierce, whose strike from eight yards gave goalkeeper Keith Kelly no chance.
Ballingarry had a chance to regain the lead in the 88th minute but Kelly saved from Sparling, who fired over from the rebound. Kelly came to Broadford’s rescue again in the first minute of extra-time, making another fine save from Sparling.
In the shoot-out, the first pair of kicks were to prove decisive. Stack scored for Broadford but Sparling fired over. Both sides were successful with their next two kicks, substitute Colm Ryan and skipper James Molyneaux for Broadford, Luke Ryan and Michael Molloy for Ballingarry. Pierce then put Broadford 4-2 ahead, which meant that Ballingarry had to score their fourth to stay in the contest. It was taken by goalkeeper Kelly and he showed his previous experience as a top-class striker by converting confidently. The pressure of securing victory was now on Jamie Keane’s shoulders as he made his way to the spot but he had confidence in his technique and he drilled unstoppably into the bottom left-hand corner.
Broadford’s exuberant celebrations at the end of the shoot-out were probably down to relief as much as anything else, knowing that they had got out of jail in this one. They lacked their usual cutting edge throughout the game, with striker Keane basically living on scraps. Their passing was often not to their usual high standard and it was for bucking the trend in this regard, as well as yet again showing the positional sense that marks him as a midfielder to watch, that Kieran O’Flynn was selected as Man of the Match.
For his afore-mentioned saves, Mark Kelly also came into the Man of the Match reckoning, which indicates that Ballingarry created more chances throughout the game. In the 17th minute, Michael Molloy was whistled back for a free in as he bore down on goal when Ballingarry would have preferred the application of the advantage rule. Five minutes later, Sparling fired wide at the far post from a curling delivery by Singh but he had no problem in finding the target when he opened the scoring in the 40th minute.
Broadford’s only shot on target in the first-half came in the 37th minute when Pierce’s free-kick was turned around the post by Kelly. The League Champions showed greater penetration in the second-half and had three chances before Pierce’s late equaliser. TJ Kelly fired over on the turn from a pass by Stack and headed wide from a cross by Ciaran O’Sullivan, while Jack Mullane’s header from Pierce’s free-kick was deflected for a corner.
The Broadford management team of Patrick Stack, Ray Keane and Micheal Brosnan were proactive in Broadford’s comeback. In the 80th minute, they went with three at the back, getting left-back Darragh Ryan, who had a fine game throughout, to push forward. This formation lasted the three minutes it took to score the equaliser and then they reverted to 4-4-1-1 again.
The Broadford management have done a great job this season and that can also be said of Ballingarry manager Dean Clancy and his father, John, who is his assistant. It is their misfortune that they have come up against a winning machine in this Broadford side. The Clancys can be proud of the performances of their charges last Saturday, especially the hard-working displays of midfielders Josh Mulcaire and Sparling and the attacking contributions of Singh, Molloy and Kirwan.
Having lost out to Broadford in the League and League Cup, Ballingarry still have one more chance of a trophy this season. They are away to Abbeyfeale United in the Desmond Cup semi-final on Saturday and if they win that they will meet Broadford in the final.
So Broadford are now just one game away from the treble that they just missed out on last season. All Broadford supporters would love to see yet another trophy being presented to skipper James Molyneaux, who was a commanding figure in the heart of defence last Saturday despite just returning from an injury lay-off, but the players and management will realise that they can’t keep relying on prevailing in shoot-outs and that they will have to return to the levels seen earlier in the season.
Broadford United: Mark Kelly, Jack Brennan, Darragh Ryan, Jack Mullane, James Molyneaux, Ciaran O’Sullivan, Kieran O’Flynn, Conor Stack, Jack Pierce, TJ Kelly, Jamie Keane. Subs: Colm Ryan for TJ Kelly (80 mins), Kenny Lynch for O’Sullivan (107 mins), Cian Ryan, Graham Roche, Conor Davey.
Ballingarry: Keith Kelly, Kieran Storan, Kieran Tagney, Adam Long, Luke Flynn, Kian Kirwan, Josh Mulcaire, Garret Sparling, Andrew Meade, Michael Molloy, Dylan Singh. Subs: Darragh Casey for Singh (70 mins), Reece Kelly for Meade (82 mins), Michael Southgate, Nessan Leahy, Brian Mulqueen, Darren Bridgeman.
Man of the Match: Kieran O’Flynn (Broadford United).
Referee: Donie Wallace.
Assistant Referees: Sean Behan and Tony Fitzmaurice.
Under 14 Girls Division 1 – Ballingarry 6 Broadford 1
On a beautiful Easter Saturday morning our under 14 girls were at home against Broadford. Ballingarry started very brightly and were one up inside the first minute with a strike from Katie Lawlee. With the girls playing great possession football they were rewarded with a second coming from Abbie Clancy. While they were in control for large parts, great credit to Broadford who never gave up. A break down the left wing resulted in a free for Broadford. From the free kick and a great save, Broadford were quickest to react and brought the score to 2-1. Half time 2-1. From the half time kick off Broadford went straight on the attack. With the home defence called into action on a few occasions keeping the opposition threat at bay. With the score still at 2-1 a Lucy Fitzgibbon free kick outside the box was latched onto by Nessa Markham who scored with a volley. A second from Abbie Clancy midway through the second half made it 4-1. Further goals from Donna Kenny and a second from Nessa Markham before the final whistle. A great team display from start to finish.