Beaten 2015 Clare IHC finalists Broadford are on course to avenge their defeat to Wolfe Tones as they advanced to the final with a five point win over Tubber.
Páraic McMahon reports from Cusack Park
Venue: Cusack Park
A balanced Broadford side deservingly came out on top to book their place in the Clare Intermediate Hurling Championship Final where they will face St Josephs Doora/Barefield.
With either Newmarket-on-Fergus or Kilmaley destined to be in the Intermediate ranks in 2017, both Tubber and Broadford know how important it is to get out of the grade this year while the task is some bit easier which put extra pressure on the teams heading into this semi-final in what many individuals expected would be the pairing for this year’s final.
It may have took Broadford a while to get going but when they clicked it became difficult for the North Clare men to keep up with them. Points from the Earley brothers Blaine and Clive put Tubber in front with five minutes played. Broadford came out the traps with a fine goal from Stiofan McMahon after Diarmuid Moloney won a throw-in on the 21m line and handpassed to McMahon who made no mistake.
Tubber hit the next three scores to go two points clear but Broadford outscored them 9-3 in the remainder of the half to hold a five point advantage at the half-time break.
A excellent strike from Padraig Taylor left Ronan Taafe with no chance as Broadford collected their second green flag inside the opening two minutes of the half. Points from Ronan Monahan, Blaine Earley and Lorcan O’Grady followed by a Domhnall McMahon goal left only three points between them with forty minutes on the clock.
Sean Phelan and Caoilean Cox added scores for the East Clare men but they were cancelled out by two Blaine Earley frees. Danny Chaplin’s side kicked on when Stiofan McMahon scored his second goal on the fifty second minute. They added another four minutes later when Donie Whelan struck to the net. A late free from Blaine Earley hit the back of the net but it was merely a consolation goal.
This was an impressive display from Broadford who were far more dangerous in attack than their opponents, they always looked like scoring when in possession and scored 4-10 from play.
Five of their forwards got on the scoresheet but it was the one player that didn’t score, Diarmuid Moloney that had the biggest impact. He had an assist with all four of their goals and despite failing to register one for himself caused serious damage. Not alone is this a balanced Broadford team but it is one with plenty of strength to come on from the bench. Diarmuid Moloney, Donie Whelan, Stiofan McMahon, Sean Phelan, Cathal Chaplin and Aonghus O’Brien did best for the winners.
Having been relegated from the senior ranks twelve months ago, Tubber’s goal was to secure promotion at the first attempt. This was their toughest test all year and they were unable to deal with some of the pacy attackers that they came up against today. Eamon Taaffe’s side were unbeaten in the championship heading into this game but the concession of goals proved to be fatal to their cause.
Broadford: Alan McMahon; Danny Reddan, Alan Kilcoyne, Brian Taylor; Shane Taylor, Cathal Chaplin (0-01 1f), Sean Phelan (0-01); Diarmuid O’Brien, Craig Chaplin (0-01); Padraig Taylor (1-01), Aonghus O’Brien (0-02), Stiofan McMahon (2-01); Donie Whelan (1-03 1f), Padraig Hickey (0-02 2f), Diarmuid Moloney. Subs: Caoilean Cox (0-02) for Hickey, Darren Chaplin for Craig Chaplin (47), Stephen Gunning for S Taylor (49), Eoin O’Brien for P Taylor (58), Eoin Donnellan for Gunning (59) (Inj).
Tubber: Ronan Taaffe; John O’Connor, Fergal O’Grady, Declan Ryan; Lorcan O’Grady (0-02 2f), Pat O’Connor, Paddy O’Connor; Ronan Monahan (0-01), Francis McCormack (0-01); Blaine Earley (1-08 1-06 2’65), Domhnall McMahon (1-01), Evan O’Donoghue; Clive Earley (0-01), Kevin Conroy, Darragh O’Connor (0-01). Subs: David O’Donoghue for Conroy (43).
Referee: Jim Hickey (Cratloe)
All pictures by Martin Connolly