Before the match started, silence was kept for Peter O’Brien and Bryan Whelan; both recently deceased members of Broadford Hurling Club. The final result of the match was a fitting tribute to their memory with a win for Broadford 2-20 to 2-14.
Clarecastle scored the first point of the match, from play, in under 60 seconds from the starting whistle but a point from a free taken by Padraig Hickey soon put the scores back level. In a display of the teamwork that would be required to beat their opponents, Aongus O’Brien intercepted the ball from deep in Broadford’s defence and took it on a solo run up the field and, after crossing the Clarecastle 65m line, passed it to Diarmuid Moloney who sent it flying over the bar. Diarmuid then followed up again with s second quick point from play to give Broadford to a two point lead. The Magpies soon clawed back a point from play and another from a free to even the score line. With three wides and a square ball against Broadford they would need to ramp up their game if they were to keep Clarecastle at bay for rest of the match - and ramp up the game they did! Two points from Shane Taylor, two frees from Padraig Hickey, a point shot from out towards the Clarecastle 65m line by Craig Chaplin after a timely backwards hand pass from Diarmuid Moloney and another point of his own for Diarmuid, with just one over the bar in response from Clarecastle, gave Broadford a nine point lead heading towards the 20 minutes mark. As quickly as Broadford had gained control though, Clarecastle turned the tables and made a strong rebuttal. Five points from play with Broadford only able to respond with wides brought Clarecastle level and but for a missed free they would have been one point ahead. (0-09 to 0-09). Like snakes and ladders but with real bite and venom it was back to the start for both teams. Padraig Hickey sent the ball in to the square from 65m and Shane Taylor rushed in to send the ball to the back of the net but the Clarecastle goalie was too quick and made a great save denying Broadford the goal. Broadford came tantalisingly close to two more goal chances but both were denied. With tensions high and severe pressure being applied at the Clarecastle end of the field, Darren Chaplin was tripped for a fall. Shouts of “penalty” and “21” from the team camps and the ref sought to consult the umpires. The penalty was awarded and taken by Cathal Chaplin who whacked the ball to the back of the net. Following on with just seconds to go, Padraig Hickey sent the last ball of the first half of the match over the bar to give Broadford a boost before they headed back to the changing rooms. 1-10 to 0-09
The second half began as the first half had with the first point from play for Clarecastle followed by a free for Broadford and taken by Padraig Hickey after a foul against Shane Taylor. One more free for Broadford and a point from Stiofain McMahon and Broadford had enhanced their lead but they had to keep focussed. Clarecastle had come back from a five point deficit in the first half. Broadford had no reason to think Clarecastle would not pull out all the stops out to come back again. A point from play for Clarecastle followed by another free from Broadford (1-14 to 0-11). A goal from Stiofain McMahon after Diarmuid Moloney intercepted the ball from 45m and span around to puck it down to Stiofain in front of the roaring onlookers. 2-14 to 0-11 and eight minutes in to the second half. A nine point lead with plenty of minutes left on the clock for the game to turn around away from Broadford but the team were not ready to let that happen. A point for Aongus O’Brien after a long run up the field but hotly perused by a Clarecastle player with only just more than the length of an outstretched arm and one hurley trying to prevent the appearance of the white flag. Five more points from play for Broadford from the powerful combination of Diarmuid, Shane and Stiofain with just one point in response from Clarecastle along with a 65 dropped in front of the Broadford goal, intercepted and sent back out by goalie Alan McMahon before damage could be done. 2-20 to 0-13 and 25 minutes down .Surely a win for Broadford was in the bag. If Clarecastle weren’t going to win, they were going to go down fighting to the last. A point for Clarecastle in the 26th minute announced its not over yet. Then a free for Clarecastle after a Broadford yellow card gave them their first goal with the ball dropped in front of the goal from 65m and then sent to the back of the net. This was followed by a second goal from another free just a minute later, jaw dropping stuff leading to intense play in front of the Broadford camp in the last minute of the game with Craig Chaplin down on the ground and followed by an ear-splitting block from the hurley of Mark Moloney just preceding the shrill of the full time whistle. Final score 2-20 to 2-14.
An exciting game against a worthy opponent that showed great skill at intercepting the ball in play. Despite the good score, Broadford did experience number of wides. Some good defensive play from Stephen Gunning and Sean Phelan helped to ensure Clarecastle were kept at bay.
Well done Broadford.