Six minutes in to the match and Broadford looked to be facing an uphill struggle with the ‘Bridge taking an early lead with 4 points on the board. A point from play for Padraig Hickey announced Broadford were now in the game! Points from play followed from Diarmuid Moloney and Cathal Chaplin and a free from Cathal soon after and the scores were level at 4 points apiece 15 minutes in to the first half. The game ebbed and flowed and neither side seemed in ultimate control but with the help of some fine midfield interceptions from Aonghus O’Brien and his sending of the ball down to the likes of Shane Taylor and Craig Chaplin, who was on form for the high catches, and a number of successful frees from Padraig Hickey’ Broadford managed to maintain a lead until the 27th minute (0-10 to 0-08). The ‘Bridge piled on the pressure though in the last few minutes and levelled the scores with the help of two frees. Before the halftime whistle the ‘Bridge looked like they might deal a severe blow to Broadford as they came close to a goal scoring chance from intense play in front of the Broadford goal but Broadford defended well and a save from goalie Alan McMahon who then sent the ball in the direction of Aonghus O’Brien, who in turn cleared it up the field to give Broadford the last play in the first half ensuring the Bridge did not leave the field with an all-important advantage. Half-time score 0-10 to 0-10.
All to play for in the second half and two wides for Broadford in the first minute of play showed the Broadford lads were going to take every chance afforded them. Anonghus O’Brien intercepts the ball from the puck out and sends it straight back over the bar – the first points of the second half to Broadford! Further points from play and frees for both sides over the next few minutes and the ‘Bridge were ahead by a point (0-12 to 0-13). Just seven minutes in and Broadford were on the attack outside the Bridge square and Stiofan McMahon was pulled down to the ground leading to a penalty taken by Cathal Chaplin. Chaplin went for the goal but a fine save from the Bridge goalie denied Broadford the three points they craved. The ball found its way back in to play and was soon up to Broadford’s midfield. Intercepted by Sean Phelan he walloped the ball down the centre of the field to inside the box, Craig Chaplin reached high with his hurley and flicked the ball on the remains of its journey to the back of the net. 1-12 to 0-13. Just two points ahead but a boost of hope for the Broadford players and supporters. Donnie Whelan comes on from the bench and soon extends Broadford’s lead by another two points from play after commanding near the side lines, taking the ball to the 20m line and crossing it diagonally over the bar. This is followed by a long strike over the bar from Shane Taylor after a fine pass from Diarmuid Moloney. (1-15 to 0-13) The Bridge not despondent soon launched their own attacks in front of the Broadford goal. Firstly after a run up the far side of the pitch but the ball was retrieved and send back down the field by Steven Gunning from the back line. Their second attempt soon after from a free from the 65m line dropped in front of the goal but was stopped by Alan McMahon who ran across the back line and again sent it down the field. The Bridge lads were desperately seeking goals and were heaping on the pressure in spades but could not find the elusive goal having to settle for three over the bar with Padraig Hickey finding just one point to help keep the Bridge at bay. 1-16 to 0-16 and 22 minutes down. So close but yet so far for Broadford. With the watery sun dropping behind the baying spectators and casting long shadows, Diarmuid Moloney scored a point for Broadford that would hopefully mark the beginning of the end at the 25 minute mark. A point from Hickey with just one in response from the Bridge took the score line to 1-18 to 0-17. With the ‘Bridge’s continued attempts to land one in the back of the net a win for Broadford was still not guaranteed at this point. Cathal takes a free for Broadford from the far side and over 65m out and drops it in front of the goal but the ball is sent wide. Disputed but Broadford gets the 65 and Hickey sends it over bar as it just clips the post. (1-18 to 0-16). 27 minutes down and Broadford just need to keep their heads; the Bridge has possession again and seems to have the option to press on for the goal but thankfully take the point. Alan takes the puck out and the ball finds its way down to Hickey who storms a short distance down the field and scores Broadford’s last point. The Bridge scores its final point from a free and the last two minutes of the game seem to last an eternity with calls for the ref to blow it up. The Bridge continues to look for that goal in the last minute but another fine save from Broadford ensures it is not to be. A final free for the Bridge going wide finally ended the game. Final score 1-19 to 0-18.
An exciting game and Sixmilebridge a very worthy opponent that just need a break to take the game in a different direction. Broadford now look forward to the Final!