Brosna make Gaeltacht sweat
County IFC Group 3 Round 1: An Ghaeltacht 0-18 Brosna 0-11
In a strange sort of a way, despite a seven point defeat, the day belonged to Brosna.
The way they fronted up, the way they challenged and pushed and strained An Ghaeltacht is to their great credit. It won't mean much to them now and it certainly didn't mean much to them as they trooped off the pitch and down the tunnel on Sunday afternoon, but they did themselves really proud.
This was a game An Ghaeltacht were expected to win and win relatively comfortably and in the end they did. That, however, doesn't tell the full story. For long stretches Brosna were right there with them.
The north Kerry men showed a real capacity to roll with the punches and come back swinging themselves. In the first half you could put that down to having the breeze at their backs, but that doesn't explain their resilience in the second half as they played into the breeze at the Horan's end.
Liam Brosnan's men started brightly with a point by Patrick Moriarty before An Ghaeltacht got up and running with a Seán M Ó Conchúir free (following a foul on the energetic and impressive Éanna Ó Conchúir).
The West Kerry men added another three points to extend their lead to three by ten minutes - all from the boot of Dara Ó Sé, two frees and one from play. Brosna struggled initially to come to grips with an impressive An Ghaeltacht midfield before gradually coming more into it through Timmy Finnegan and Shane Curtin.
With something of a platform established at midfield - An Ghaeltacht were still on top - Brosna were able to battle back into contention. A forty five converted expertly by Tom McGoldrick got them back up and running on the scoreboard on thirteen minutes.
Éanna Ó Conchúir soon responded for An Ghaeltacht, but Brosna's grip on the game continued unabated. Starting with a brilliant point by Paul Walsh - impressive in the first half, more subdued in the second - on sixteen minutes they went on to score four unanswered to take the lead up to the half-time break.
It wasn't all one way traffic during this period though. An Ghaeltacht could have and probably should have scored at least one goal. Éanna Ó Conchúir was most unfortunate to strike the butt of the post with a rasping effort, while Seán M Ó Conchúir forced a save from Brosna's Conor Kiely.
An Ghaeltacht had to make do with a point from Séamus Ó Muircheartaigh thirty one minutes in to level the game back up at six apiece at the break. While disappointing for Pól Cuinn's men not to have taken a lead at the break - or to have converted either goal chance - they were still well placed for the second half.
And that's how they started it with points from Óigí Ó Sé and Seán Ó Bambaire. McGoldrick responded for Brosna four minutes in, but further points from Dara Ó Sé, Seán M Ó Conchúir and Éanna Ó Conchúir pushed them four clear and in a strong position to push on.
That's not quite what happened though. Brosna unbowed and uncowed took control of the game in a major way to hit the next four unanswered to level the game back up by the fifty fourth minute following a point by second half sub Adam Barry.
In the end An Ghaeltacht's extra little bit of class came shining through. Taking advantage of a by now fatigued Brosna they hit seven unanswered - all from play - to wrap up the victory everybody expected from them.
An Ghaeltacht showed their class and showed their resolve. They showed they've still got a ways to go. They can thank Brosna for giving them an early gut-check for their championship ambitions. Job done, no more than that.
An Ghaeltacht: Tomás Mac an tSaoir, Colm Ó Muircheartaigh, Cathal Ó Luing, Cian Ó Murchú, Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Pádraig Ó Sé (0-2), Ciarán Ó Coileáin, Éanna Ó Conchúir (0-1), Roibeard Ó Sé, Seán Ó Bambaire (0-2), Séamus Ó Muircheartaigh (0-1), Gearóid Mac an tSaoir, Óigí Ó Sé (0-1), Dara Ó Sé (0-6, 2f), Seán M Ó Conchúir (0-4, 2f) Subs: Ruairí Ó Beaglaoich for S Ó Muircheartaigh, 47, Seán Ó Luing (0-1) for G Mac an tSaoir, 54, Cathal Ó Garbhí for C Ó Coileáin, Shane Ó Grifín for S Ó Bamaire, 61
Brosna: Conor Kiely, Josh Innes, Maurice O'Keeffe, Flor McAuliffe, Cillian Fitzmaurice, Eamon Kiely, Gerard Nash, Timmy Finnegan, Shane Curtin, Kieran O'Donnell, Paul Walsh (0-1), Daniel Fitzgerald, Tom McGoldrick (0-5, 2f, 1 '45), Dave Curtin (0-1), Patrick Moriarty (0-3) Subs: Adam Barry (0-1)for K O'Donnell, 50, Peter Curtin for G Nash, 58
Referee: Tom Moriarty (Legion)