Craig Chaplin. Photograph: Martin Cooper

VICTORIOUS U21B Broadford hurling manager, Craig Chaplin has said their ability to respond when it mattered proved vital to them securing county honours.

A single point separated Broadford and Kilmaley when they clashed in the U21B decider in Clarecastle on Saturday, points Conor O’Donnell, Oisin Kavanagh and Niall O’Farrell followed a thirty fourth minute goal from joint captain James Vaughan to give them the lead for the first time and one they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Broadford manager Craig Chaplin stated, “We are a small club but a proud one. We have had a lot of difficulties over the last couple of years. Performances have always been there but we came out at the wrong side of a few results. I am so proud of those boys, they played massive in the second half when our backs were against the wall and I couldn’t ask anymore from them.

“We have been saying all year to them, when we concede we have to reply. Everyone of them, they manned up, they won the puckout and got the score, the ball broke inside and we were first to pounce, that’s the way it goes, we had missed a few,” he added.

Chaplin a senior hurler with the club was hopeful the win would lift their flagship side. “We were trying to make a sub for ten minutes but we couldn’t pick a man to come off as everyone of them really drove it on in the second half. Hopefully we can drive on at senior level now”.

Ironically his younger brother Cathal was involved in the management when Broadford last won the U21B title in 2019.

Kilmaley manager, Stephen McNamara pinpointed their opponents response to Colm Killeen’s goal early in the second half as pivotal. “It’s very disappointing. We gave it our all, we went out to win the game and it went down to the wire. We will rue a few chances in the first half where we were on top but couldn’t capitalise. We lost our way a bit in the second half. Credit to Broadford. There was a super response from Broadford to our goal. No complaints, we gave it our all”.

Gearoid O’Grady’s absence was a huge blow to their cause, he acknowledged. “The hope is that we will get these players to play as some adult level next year. It’s all about the future of the club. We are trying to win the Canon and these lads are capable of going on and achieving great things. Gearoid O’Grady was a huge loss but credit to the lads they stepped up to the mark”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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