The End of our Journey

Lovely November sunshine on Sunday in Brosna saw the end of the wonderful journey our footballers have taken us on this year. A poor enough league campaign, had us wondering if we had a chance at Duhallow this year, and those first tentative steps against Cullen in April/May it was hard to see how the team would improve through the year, but they did, the expectation grew, and suddenly we were Duhallow Champions, then amid amazing scenes we were County Champions, and we had our sights on a Munster title … if only we could get past these Kerry lads. But it wasn’t to be as we were pushed aside by a strong, well organised Brosna team. We’ve all been on a high for the last few months. It’s been fantastic to follow the team. Thanks to all the players, team management, and everyone else that helped along the road, for an experience that some of us never thought we’d witness, and that the town hasn’t seen in fifty one years.

2014-11-23 The Millstreet team in the Munster Semi final (missing a few players)
The Millstreet team that played against Brosna in the Munster semi final on Sunday November 23rd 2014 (minus a few who were late out of the dressing room)

Match Reports:

Brosna hold a firm grip – Not for the first time this year Brosna’s defensive strategy proved the match for a talented attacking outfit …  Irish Examiner

Munster Junior Semi Final Report Brosna v Millstreet – Brosna continue to make their own history with a thoroughly deserved victory over a strong Millstreet outfit in the Munster Junior Club semi – final at a picturesque Páirc na Feile. After a shaky opening period, where Millstreet made the stronger opening with 3 quick … – from the North Kerry Football Board

As I start to drive to brosna this morning, i stop at Fealesbridge i look at the beauiful magastic River feale as it makes its way through the parish of brosna .and i say to myself the sun is out the boys in tangerie will win. i jump in to my car and before i know it i reach the famous hilltop village is awash with bunttin and flags blowing gently in the cool frosty air from every house and i c beauiful posters and signs of best wishes to the team and managment from the local public houses and local ceolthas . as i drive to the top of village i duly arrive at pairc na feile and i see … – an interesting perspective from a Duagh man at the match.

Gallant footballers go down with pride and reputation intact – Millstreet’s epic voyage in the Munster Junior A Football Championship came to an end at the penultimate stage following a five point defeat to hosts Brosna last Sunday. Close on 2,500 patrons convened at a picturesque setting, with plaudits to the Brosna club on their superb arrangements. On the field, Millstreet’s hopes had been dealt a series of blows on the unavailability and injuries to key players. Still, Millstreet gave it their best shot, and got off to a dream start be… (the Corkman)

Still positives despite defeat for O’Leary – It’s never easy having to face the press after a defeat, especially not a defeat in the Munster semi-final. A semi-final, they say, is the worst time of all to lose a game. So close to the final, so much work having gone into getting to this point and for Millstreet and their manager William O’Leary it was no different. They came to the Kingdom and Brosna last Sunday morning … (the Corkman)

Millstreet don’t get the breaks – 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 … (the Corkman)

“It was the biggest day in the history of Brosna GAA” – As months go, you couldn’t get much better than the one Jimmy Keane has just had. In the space of three weekends he’s led his men to three famous victories. The semi-final victory over Glenbeigh / Glencar, the county final victory over Dromid Pearses and this Munster semi-final victory over Millstreet. Even though no silverware attached itself to this victory, it’s easy to imagine that this was the sweetest of the lot for the Brosna manager. The buzz, the crowd, the colour, the noise and the victory itself. Yes indeed, this will live long in … (the Corkman)

 

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A few thoughts on the game:

Before the game:

  • We were missing Kevin Crowley (centre back – injured), Michael Murphy (midfield – in China) and Mark Ellis (Midfield) played despite injured despite pulling a hamstring on Tuesday so he couldn’t run properly, Brosna had a wing back missing after a concussion last week. To be down two and a half players that are capable of running through the middle of the field was really limiting our attacking options.
  • We expected a big team, but they were very big and strong. It was a worry that if it became a battle we’d be in trouble.
  • The sidelines of the pitch were marked away in to make the pitch narrow, probably to make space tight so the Millstreet lads wouldn’t get their moving and passing game going (a narrow pitch suits bigger lads). But that’s one of the advantages of being at home.

On the game:

  • Millstreet dominated for the first 18 minutes. Good ball retention, good overlapping, and good intelligent passing in the middle using the spare man well, and sharp accurate balls to our forwards, while our defence allowed precious little to the opposite forwards. A good recipe to go and win a game.
  • Their defence set up similarly to St. Finbarrs – playing a sweeper and a holding centre back. But we were still able to get most of the ball to our inside forwards for the first 20 minutes … because the passes in were short quick and accurate.
  • In the middle of Millstreet’s period of dominance Brosna scored a goal that was very soft. We had a free which was kicked away over the line, the ball moved across the pitch where they got a soft free on the 45 which was moved forward for dissent, and the high shot which landed under the crossbar broke to the Brosna full forward who poked it into the net from five yards. And they immediately got a  point from the kick out. The ball should have been down at the other end of the pitch, not in our net. But it didn’t perturb us really because for the next 8 minutes the game was played in the Brosna half.
  • But then in the 18th minute the turning point of the game was the black card to Patrick Coleman. It was soft, but probably was the correct decision. Patrick looked to be on top of their two big midfielders in the air, he was handling a lot of ball and always available, but the tackle on our 45 was clumsy as their player looked to break away, and he was gone. Brian Sheehan had been having a fine game and was playing in-between the midfield and their centre back and had been seeing a lot of ball. He was very much the link man for the ball from our midfield going to our inside forwards. He was moved to midfield, but the game didn’t suit him there, and from then on our inside forwards got little good ball, because it was coming from too far out the field and their sweeping full back was well able to mop up most things easily enough. When the black card came, we knew there was a problem as we were already overstretched in that part of the pitch because of our previous injuries. It was probably the straw that broke the cames back … but you can’t blame Pa because these things  just happen in football, you can only readjust as best as you can.
  • For the rest of the first half, the balance swung to Brosna. Their midfielders dominated, their inside forwards saw more ball, and their dangerous centre forward began to shoot on sight. But we started to loose something and began making sloppy handling errors, and they punished us where other teams failed in the past.
  • We had lots of chances in those first 18 minutes, and a few times we could have been in on goal. At half time, we couldn’t help feeling that we should have made more of our dominance while we had the chance.
  • The second half was similar to the end of the first. Brosna could dominate from the air, and as we pushed forward in search of points to make up the difference, they did a great job of sticking over points on the break. We made a lot of unforced errors some of which were punished. The few times we ran through the middle in the second half with our familiar overlapping runs, we got to their 21 easily enough, but we left ourselves open at the back. We should should have ran more at them, but easier said than done when you’re tired and down on runners.
  • We hit the post a number of times when going for points, but saying that Dinny Twomey saved a few goal efforts too which were fortunately all straight at him.
  • We didn’t finish the game as strongly as we have in the past. Our subs had pushed us on previously. Those impact subs were already on the pitch from early on.
  • In the end Brosna knew how to defend their lead and most Millstreet attacks were smothered. We had a few opportunities near the end, maybe we should have had a penalty, and we missed a few chances when we were trying for a goal. But we never looked like we would catch them in the second half … and it was Brosna’s day.

after the game:

  • On the day, Brosna deserved it. I’d say that they consistently play at a higher standard in Kerry than we’re used to. It would have been interesting however if we had a full team available to us today. I think it would have been a totally different game that we would have won because Brosna were there for the taking. But we’ll have to learn from it because intermediate teams next year next year will be more like Brosna.
  • The very best of luck to Brosna from here on in. Hopefully they’ll be in Croker on Valentines Day.
  • I’d not normally write about referees but it was his decisions that turned the game. The black card fair enough, but if he applied the same rules, they should have had a few black cards too. He lost control near the end and our players were visibly frustrated with his decisions. For much of the game, he did okay, but near the end he and his whistle seemed to become very important (I think a good ref shouldn’t be noticed in a game). It didn’t matter much, but two minutes to go right in front of where we were standing we got a free, Brosna guy comes in after the whistle and throws a punch to the chest, Millstreet lad reacts a few seconds later with a push back, linesman 3m away sees it all. No discussion between officials, yellow card for the Millstreet man. It’s infuriating.
  • What were they feeding the Brosna lads? their keeper could touch the bar with his head if he stood on his tippie toes! big lads. We could do with figuring out how to grow our lads taller and stronger!
  • …. but heh, intermediate football next year for us … onwards and upwards !

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Scorers for Brosna: T McGoldrick 0-5 (3frees), M Finnegan 1-0, D McAuliffe 0-2, A Barry 0-2, P O’Keeffe 0-1.

Scorers for Millstreet: M Vaughan 0-3 (1f), M Ellis 0-2, D Kiely, B Sheahan, C Crowley 0-1 apiece.

BROSNA: C Kiely, S Fitzmaurice, M Murphy, A Cahill, T Fitzgerald, E Kiely, D Fitzgerald, D Curtin, S Curtin, D McAuliffe (capt), T McGoldrick, P Curtin, T Finnegan, M Finnegan, A Barry.

Subs: C Cahill for D Fitzgerald, P O’Keeffe for P Curtin, J O’Donnell for D. McAuliffe, M O’Keeffe for T Fitzgerald.

MILLSTREET: Dinny Twomey, Len Murphy, Alan Murphy, Bearcheart O’Connor, Danny O’Riordan, Paul Sheehan, David McCaul, Mark Ellis, Patrick Coleman, Oisín Murphy, Michael Vaughan, James Broxton, Tadgh Collins, Denis Kiely, Brian Sheahan.

Subs: Cathal Crowley for P Coleman (black card) (18), Patrick Randles for McCaul (45), Colin Feeley for M Ellis (61).

Referee: D Grogan (Tipperary)

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from the brosna corner back …
https://twitter.com/cahillaaron/status/536649032706588672

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Photos from the Munster GAA by Tom O’Donoghue (26 photos)

2014-11-23 Brosna v Millstreet - match photos from MunsterGAA

2014-11-23 Brosna v Millstreet - the teams

2014-11-23 Brosna v Millstreet - Match Programme

2014-11-23 Brosna v Millstreet - half time 1 -
Some of the crowd of 2,211 paying customers at the game

2014-11-23 Brosna v Millstreet - half time 2

 

3 thoughts on “The End of our Journey”

  1. To lose to Kerry’s best with honour in any grade of gaelic football is never a disgrace
    And though for Millstreet in the Munster junior club final there will not be a place
    Their fans and players will remember the year of twenty fourteen
    For it was a great year for the gold and the green

    A Duhallow and a Cork County Championship in any grade of gaelic football
    One can say in gaelic games for any club a good year over-all
    And though in the Munster semi final to Brosna by five points they went down
    They have brought some sporting honour to old Millstreet Town

    And though a sporting success can be good for a town’s esteem
    Sport can be a diversion from the reality of living it does seem
    But suppose in Ireland with many out of work and the economy not doing well of late
    People do need something in their lives for to celebrate

    And though losing is a thing anyone does not choose
    In sports as in life for one for to win someone else has to lose
    Though Millstreet did not go down without a fight we are told
    Which does bring back memories of the Millstreet of old

    A five point win to Brosna over Millstreet in Brosna did not leave any room for doubt
    That the far better team on the day did win out
    But for the Millstreet Club in gaelic football it was a memorable year
    And one does have a feeling that of more of them we will hear.

    “On Millstreet’s Munster Semi Final Loss To Brosna” is by Francis Duggan
    http://francisrhymer.blogspot.ie/2014/11/on-millstreets-munster-semi-final-loss.html

  2. Michael your analysis of the game last Sunday was “spot on” except I would disagree with your view on the black card offence for Patrick. Not “nit picking” but you regarded it as “clumsy” which I completely agree with and I believe our chance of winning the game past in that instance as it really only deserved yellow. To be without Kevin and Michael from the start, Mark going only at “half pace” and then Patrick was simply a bridge too far even for this fantastic team.
    Congrats by the way to Brosna (they were the better team on the day) and their complex must be the envy of many a GAA Club their size.
    Finally I would like to thank the team, its mentors and selectors for the brilliant journey they all have given us these past few months and especially for those who of us don’t live in the “Sraid” anymore,it brought back great memories, but more importantly a sense of pride that perhaps was a wee bit lost the last number of years.
    The “Sráid” is back.
    Míle Míle Buiochas arís to gach eínne.

  3. Well said Padraig, I am definitely 100% biased but I do not agree that Patrick ‘probably’ deserved the black card. However, it was a great year huge congrats and thanks to Millstreet GAA and everyone involved!

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