A magnificent unyielding defence and a tally of 1-4 from Ross McNamara were the key factors in Blarney's comprehensive 10-point win over Clare champions Broadford in the Munster intermediate final played in testing conditions at Bruff yesterday.
Little signs of this comfortable victory were evident after nine minutes as Broadford led three points to no score following a brace of successfully converted '65s by fullback Kieran Corcoran and a close range free by Aonghus O'Brien as exchanges were even.
This was as good as it got for the Clare side as they failed to score for the remainder of the game. Broadford were fouling too regularly and the far physically stronger Cork side began to take control. Top scorer McNamara opened the winners' account after 11 minutes as Broadford hit seven first-half wides.
The all-important first goal that lifted the siege for Blarney came when Mark Cremin doubled to the net in the 25th minute after Ross McNamara's initial effort was stopped by Kevin Ryan in the Broadford goal.
Two excellent scores from McNamara left the Cork side a goal clear, (1-3 to 0-3) at the interval with the wind on their backs for the second half.
Their strength in defence -- especially Darragh McSweeney, the excellent Stephen O'Donoghue and Joe Jordan -- denied Broadford any hope of a resurgence.
Up front Ross McNamara, Johnny Hurley, Mark Cremin and the hard working Mark McCarthy led the way for the winners.
Ross McNamara (1-1) and Mark Cremin (0-3) were the second-half scorers, with the title clinching second net buster from McNamara coming in the 53rd minute to send Blarney eight points clear. Late scores from Cremin ended Broadford's misery as Blarney were crowned Munster champions.
Scorers -- Blarney: M Cremin 1-3 (3f); R McNamara 1-4 Broadford: K Corcoran 0-2 (2 '65s); Aonghus O Brien 0-1(f)
BLARNEY -- R Byrne; D Cronin (capt), D McSweeney, P O'Leary; J Jordan, J Hughes, S O'Donoghue; B Hurley, Mark McCarthy; E Hallahan, B Deasy, J Hurley; M Cremin, R McNamara, C Murphy. Subs: G O'Donovan for Cronin (inj), E McCarthy for Deasy, J O'Sullivan for McNamara, D McCarthy for Hallahan, P Aherne for Murphy
BROADFORD -- K Ryan; J Corcoran, K Corcoran, S Gunning; J Gunning, A O'Brien, Cathal Chaplin; P O'Brien, Craig Chaplin; J Clogan, Aonghus O'Brien, D Corcoran; D Teefy, N Moloney, P Hickey (capt). Subs: B McMahon for D Corcoran, D Hickey for N Moloney, K O'Connell for Teefy.
REF -- Michael Wadding (Waterford).