Millstreet don't get the breaks
THE Game in 60 seconds
For Millstreet Mark Ellis and wing back Danny O'Riordan impressed, but it has to be Brosna's midfield maestro Shane Curtin who was the leader of a dominant middle third display by the hosts.
The Munster final with Glin is fixed for Mallow, which would be a little out of the way for both clubs. Would it make more sense to play the final in, say, Abbeyfeale precisely halfway between both parishes?
On Cork radio John Fintan Daly made a case for the black carding of Patrick Coleman as the game's key moment. Maybe it was, but for us it has to have been Mike Finnegan's instinctive finish and goal that gave Brosna the confidence they needed.
Munster Club JFC semi-final
THOUGH they may not realise it now, this was a special day in the history of Millstreet GAA.
Defeat will soul the memory in the short term, but as time goes by the men in green and gold will be rightly proud of the part they played in a day that will linger long in the memory for all who had the pleasure of being there.
The air was crisp, the sky blue, the pitch in immaculate condition. Alongside the players and management teams of both clubs a magnificent crowd of 2,211 people turned up to cheer on their heroes.
This was a day to celebrate the small parish and the small club. There was and is nothing small about either club's ambitions. These guys think big, they aim high. Millstreet's ambition was clear even in those opening exchanges.
They took the game to their hosts impressively. Mark Ellis and Patrick Coleman held their own against Dave and Shane Curtin and shot three points on the bounce - one for Michael Vaughan, one for Brian Sheehan and one for Denis Kiely (who dropped deep and won more breaking and primary possession than any other Millstreet player).
Brosna looked a little nervous in those opening exchanges. Passes didn't quite come off, the forward movement wasn't quite as slick or as purposeful as it needed to be. You couldn't say Millstreet were comfortable, but given the way Brosna were playing that three point lead was hardly unmerited.
After ten minutes the north Kerry men had nothing to show for their efforts, save for a handful of balls dropped short into Millstreet keeper Denny Twomey's hands. It'd be unfair to suggest the game was at risk of getting away from them, it was to early for that, but they needed a foothold in the game and fast.
As luck would have it at a stroke, or rather a stab, they were right back in the game and in double quick time. Tom McGoldrick stepped up to take a free, again it dropped short, this time, however, Mike Finnegan got there first, stabbing it home and tying the game.
When McGoldrick fired over just a minute later, after playing a lovely one-two with Finnegan, Brosna had the lead. Out of eleven minutes they'd played to their best for no more than one or two of them and yet they led. A bitter pill for Millstreet to swallow.
Millstreet battled back and were again level by the sixteenth minute after their driving force, Mark Ellis, fired a beauty over the bar from distance, slicking the ball off the outside of his right boot.
Still they were finding it hard to break down this Brosna defence. The Cork kingpins played a two man inside line, a ploy that Brosna with three men back, dealt with comfortably. Tadgh Collins who has been one of Millstreet's star turns this year didn't get a look in, failing to score in the game.
Brosna, by contrast, were increasingly assertive and in the lead up to half-time stretched their lead to three points with two frees from McGoldrick's boot and beautiful point from distance by Don McAuliffe.
Another point from McAuliffe just after half-time gave us an indication which way this game was going to go. Millstreet responded with a little bit of a purple patch of their own - Ellis set up Cathal Crowley for a nice point, Vaughan fired over a free - to make it a two point game again.
That was as good as it got for Millstreet. Brosna soon after reasserted control. Adam Barry and McGoldrick restored their lead to four before Ellis pegged them back again.
It was a case of one step forward two steps back for the Cork side. Just when it looked as though they were about to close the gap that little bit more they'd turn the ball over carelessly, misplaced passes, little mistakes in handling. Nothing majorly egregious, but enough to give Brosna the initiative and once they had it Brosna were happy to run with it.
It the last fifteen minutes of the game Brosna went on to outscore their Cork rivals three points to one to give them a five point victory. It was no less than they deserved in one sense, but in another it could have been a whole pile closer.
Millstreet pushed for goals in those closing minutes, they had efforts for points come off the upright (cleaned up efficiently by the excellent Aaron Cahill), they had a shout for a penalty (the referee awarded a free just outside the box), they just couldn't get the breakthrough they so desperately needed.
Yes Brosna were the better team and deserved their victory, but remember this: when they needed a break to come their way, Finnegan's first half goal, it came. Millstreet had no such luck.
Then again, remember what they say, you make your own luck.
Brosna: Conor Kiely, Shane Fitzmaurice, Micheál Murphy, Aaron Cahill, Thomas Fitzgerald, Eamon Kiely, Daniel Fitzgerald, Dave Curtin, Shane Curtin, Don McAuliffe (0-2), Tom McGoldrick (0-5, 3f), Peter Curtin, Timmy Finnegan, Mike Finnegan (1-0), Adam Barry (0-2) Subs: Kieran Cahill for D Fitzgerald, Jonathan O'Donnell for D McAuliffe, Paddy O'Keeffe (0-1) for P Curtin, Maurice O'Keeffe for T Fitzgerald
Millstreet: Denny Twomey, Len Murphy, Alan Murphy, Beireacht O'Connor, Danny O'Riordan, Paul Sheehan, David McCaul, Mark Ellis (0-2), Patrick Coleman, Denis Kiely (0-1), Oisín Murphy, Michael Vaughan (0-3, 1f), James Broxton, Tadhg Collins, Brian Sheehan (0-1) Subs: Patrick Randles for D McCaul Black cards: Cathal Crowley (0-1) for P Coleman, Colin Feeney for M Ellis
Referee: David Grogan (Tipperary)