Munster Junior Cup
Broadford United entertained Aisling Annacotty in the quarter final of the Munster
Broadford United ended a 26 year Limerick Demond League wait on Sunday and made personal history of their own by defeating Aisling Annacotty.
United became the first Limerick Demond- the league often seen as the poor cousin to the Limerick District League in the Treaty County- side to reach the semi finals of the Munster Junior Cup since the 1990/91 season.
The victory which came courtesy of a Hannigan strike means also means they grace the last four for the first time in their history.
Despite playing into the breeze in the first half it was the visitors who started the better.
The Limerick District top flight outfit were pressing game extremely effective, aided in no small part by the 4-3-3 and the lively duo of Lipper and Mawdsley.
Broadford reacted and changed shape and the move paid instant dividends as the hosts began to take control.
Indeed, Broadford dominated for the remainder of the half with Egan, O’Brien and Micheal Brosnan in particular dictating the pace and direction of the game.
The hard working Lynch was always an outlet up front aided by wingers Ross Egan and Sean Brosnan. The first real chance of the game arrived on nine minutes when the energetic right winger Sean Brosnan forced Barry Hooton into conceding a throw, Brosnan quickly threw to William O’Brien who in turn played through right full Larkin who along with left full Hannigan always looked to overlap, Larkin then played a reverse pass back to Egan who crossed into the box for Lynch to head, however his effort was comfortably saved by former Janesboro custodian Stephen Walsh.
Walsh was called into action again four minutes later when Brosnan who even at this early stage looked like the star of the show carried the ball from the defensive third to the attacking third, he played square to O’Brien with the former FAI Junior Cup winner then finding Sean Brosnan wide on the right, Brosnan was yet again overlapped by Larkin, but on this occasion ignored the young full backs pleas for a ball up the channel and instead crossed sublimely for Lynch who had ghosted in between Collins and Staniszewski, Lynch’s connection wasn’t clean however and gave Walsh the opportunity to parry the goal bound effort with Aisling’s best player on the day Goggin mopping up.
Although against the run of play, Aisling can consider themselves unlucky not to have taken the lead midway through the half. First of all on twenty two minutes a clever ball down the wing by Hooton found Mawdsley wide left. He cleverly won a yard of space from centre back Kelly and whipped a dangerous cross into the Broadford box, Joe McAuliffe’s attempted headed clearance only fell to Jason Lipper but his heavy touch gave Greaney the chance to smother the ball. Aisling’s second chance arrived on twenty four minutes when a long throw by Cleary was flicked on by Collins who proved a thorn in Broadford’s side all day from set pieces, on this occasion he flick on again found Lipper whose goal bound effort was somehow saved low to the corner by Greaney.
The hosts upped the ante at this stage with both Larkin and Hannigan attacking on every opportunity from the full back berths forcing Aisling to retreat back into their box. Broadford should have opened the scoring on twenty eight minutes but Lynch failed to direct his header downwards from an O’Brien corner when Walsh was caught out of position. Then on thirty one minutes Broadford thought that they had opened the scoring when from again down the right flank, Sean Brosnan found Larkin whose first time cross found Micheal Brosnan’s surging run into the box to head home in what would have been his nineteenth goal in nineteen games. However he was denied by the assistant’s flag much to the annoyance of the home line.
Broadford were not to be denied however when on thirty five minutes Micheal Brosnan disposed Enda O’Connor in the middle of the park, he found William O’Brien who in turn found Lynch with a first time ball twenty five yards from goal, Lynch stretched Aisling with a ball out to winger Sean Brosnan who played the ball back to the centre into Egan, Egan’s attempted cross to the back post was partially cleared by Staniszewski, however the clearance was intercepted by Egan who played a pass to his midfield partner O’Brien. His composure along with the clever untracked run by left back Hannigan allowed Hannigan to receive the true ball, and he made no mistake finishing from close range.
Aisling rallied after this setback and their midfield, with Goggin in particular started to impose themselves on Broadford for the remainder of the half, however even with the increase in possession Lipper and Mawdsley found it tough to break free from the shackles of Kelly and McAuliffe and so the teams entered the break with Broadford having the narrowest of margins.
There was a noticeable change in both teams tactics in the second half. Broadford seeming to settle for what they had and Aisling becoming far more attack minded. As a result of this the second half never really lived up to the first with chances few and far between.
Aisling persisted in putting all free kicks into the Broadford box with Collins the obvious target with goal keeper Walsh pumping all free kicks long from well inside the Aisling half. Broadford did seem pretty comfortable with this however aided in no small way with the introduction of tough tacking central midfielder King as well as a third Brosnan in the form of centre back Seamus and the rock solid McAuliffe.
Aisling’s best chance of an equaliser arrived on seventy seven minutes when a Butler through ball found Mawdsley in space in the box, the former Limerick striker forced his chipped effort however as Greaney narrowed the angle and the shot went narrowly wide.
Broadford could have sealed the game on eighty two minutes when after good build up play again involving Egan, Micheal Brosnan and Willie O’Brien saw John Paul King break through. However, after cleverly deceiving both centre halves his effort forced a fantastic save by Walsh. Broadford shut up shop for the remainder of the game forcing Aisling to retrieve long balls into their corners and so it proved that time finally ran out in their quest for an equaliser with Broadford advancing to the semi-finals of the Munster Junior Cup for the first time in their history