July 30th 2019 Mick Hanley Park
Broadford United (2)…………………………………………………..2
(C. Ryan 17, 41)
(M. Hayes 7)
Broadford United completed the Youths treble in Mick Hanley Park on Tuesday night of last week when they beat Ballingarry 2-1 in the Desmond Youths Cup Final, thus adding to the Division 1 League and Division 1 League Cup won earlier in the season. It is a fantastic achievement by Broadford but hard luck on Ballingarry who finished runners-up in all three competitions.
Mark Hayes, Ballingarry’s best player, opened the scoring in the 7th minute but Colm Ryan equalised ten minutes later and then scored a brilliant winner from 30 yards in the 41st minute. Not surprisingly, Ryan was chosen as Man of the Match.
Having just pipped Ballingarry to the league title and only beaten them on penalties in the League Cup Final, Broadford knew that they would be in for a tough battle in their bid to complete the treble that just eluded them last season when they were beaten by Newcastle West in the Desmond Youths Cup Final.
The difficulty of the task was confirmed with Ballingarry’s 7th minute opener. Andrew Meade played a diagonal ball to Hayes on the right. Goalkeeper Mark Kelly elected to come off his line to narrow Hayes’s options but one option was all that Hayes needed and that was to guide the ball first-time past the advancing Kelly and into the empty net.
The lead lasted ten minutes. A good passing move finished with Jamie Keane setting up Ryan, who rocketed to the middle of the goals from 20 yards.
It was fitting that the teams were level at the end of an evenly-contested opening quarter but Broadford gained an edge in the last fifteen minutes of the half. Ciaran O’Sullivan came close from a left-wing cross by Jack Brennan before Ryan gave Broadford the lead with one of the best goals seen in Mick Hanley Park. Receiving a pass from Conor Stack with his back to goal, Ryan turned smartly and then sent a 30-yard screamer zooming into the top left-hand corner. It was poetry in motion and drew hearty cheers of appreciation from the Broadford supporters.
Broadford stayed on top for the remaining minutes of the half. Dangerous crosses from Keane and Pierce just failed to reach O’Sullivan and Keane, respectively, while O’Sullivan’s slight connection with Ryan’s clever back-heel in injury-time drew a save from Keith O’Kelly.
The Broadford management team of Patrick Stack and Ray Keane brought on TJ Kelly for O’Sullivan. Kelly slotted into the centre of midfield, where he proved to be influential, with Stack moving to the right. Within a minute of his introduction, Kelly headed over from a cross by Ryan and Broadford threatened to add to their lead again two minutes later when skipper James Molyneaux’s header from stack’s corner was blocked in a crowded goalmouth.
Ballingarry then enjoyed a good 15-minute spell in which they made most of the running. Luke Flynn headed over from a sideline free-kick by fellow centre-half Adam Long; Garrett Sparling’s shot from Meade’s corner was blocked en route to goal; a 25-yard shot from Hayes produced a tremendous save from Kelly, palming it over for a corner by Meade, from which Sparling headed over; and attacking full-back Kieran Storan was denied by the advancing Kelly as he raced onto a through ball from Meade.
Broadford tried to crowd out Hayes as much as possible but, in the 62nd minute, it was the sheer speed of Molyneaux that prevented Hayes from bearing down on goal when he beat the striker in a foot race to a through ball. That was just one snippet in another typically commanding performance in the heart of the defence by Molyneaux.
Having weathered Ballingarry’s spell of pressure, it was Broadford who created the game’s remaining chances. Pierce’s shot from a pass by Kelly drew a super save from O’Kelly; Pierce and Ryan both fired over from passes by Keane; and Ryan almost completed his hat-trick from a tight angle in the 87th minute. To score a hat-trick in a Desmond Youths Cup Final would have been a special achievement for Ryan but he was still a clear winner of the Man of the Match award, for the quality of his link-up play and the brilliance of his second goal.
Broadford’s delight in completing the treble was evident at the final whistle. They really are a special bunch of players, the club having won seven of the eight trophies available in the Limerick Desmond League at Youths and u-17 level over the last two seasons. They are a credit to managers Stack and Keane and it must also be said that Ballingarry did all that could be asked of them over the season for their manager Dean Clancy and his father, John, who was his assistant.
Broadford United: Mark Kelly, Jack Brennan, Darragh Ryan, Jack Mullane, James Molyneaux, Ciaran O’Sullivan, Conor Stack, Kieran O’Flynn, Jack Pierce, Colm Ryan, Jamie Keane. Subs: TJ Kelly for O’Sullivan (h-t), Kenny Lynch for Stack (82 mins), Cian Ryan for D. Ryan (90 mins), Killian Cahill, Graham Roche, Conor Davey.
Ballingarry: Keith O’Kelly, Kieran Storan, Cian Tagney, Adam Long, Luke Flynn, Mark Hayes, Josh Quille, Andrew Meade, Garrett Sparling, Michael Molloy, Dylan Singh. Subs: Nessan Leahy for Singh (h-t), Darragh Casey for Meade (65 mins), Reece Kelly for Storan (75 mins), Mark Sheehan, Brian Mulqueen, Michael Southgate, David Geary.
Man of the Match: Colm Ryan (Broadford United).
Referee: Ger O’Connor.
Assistant Referees: Pat King and Sean Behan.
Fourth Official: Eugene Nunan.