O’Neill’s All County Hurling League – Division 4
Con Magees 1:11 Bredagh 0:17
By Fergus Miskelly
Division 4 table toppers Bredagh all but wrapped up promotion to Division 3 of the All County Hurling Leagues when they travelled to Glenravel on Wednesday evening and beat second placed Con Magees by 0-17 to 1-11to move five points clear of the pack. Na Magha, who have three games in hand, can still catch them but the rest of the teams are too far back to close the gap at this late stage.
The Down men all but sealed the win in a dominant first half. After two early points by free taker Ian Galway and corner forward Niall McFarland Con Magees got one back through a fine strike from Padge O’Neill. However the visitors then took control as they hit eight points without reply, three of them from Ian Galway, two apiece from Ronan Costello and Emmet Trainor and one from Donal Hughes.A good run from centre forward Neill McCann set up Niall Donnelly for what was Glenravel’s only other score of the half but Bredagh finished with another point from Costello to lead by 010 to 0-2 at half time.
Once again Glenravel proved they are a second half team as their second half display in no way resembled that of the first.
Whatever was said by the management team at half time seemed to work, as the Glenravel team put in a determined and classy second half performance.
With seven minutes of this game remaining Kieran McIntyre’s dogged determination for possession was rewarded with a free which Niall Donnelly converted to leave it a one point game, and the greatest comeback of the season looked on the cards. However the home team had left themselves with too much to do against league leaders Bredagh, and fell short by 3 points in the end.two 2 minutes with a neat point, followed up with a pointed free from Niall Donnelly.
Brian ‘Twig’ O’Neill was playing like a demon possessed, blocking down his opponent, winning the break and firing a diagonal ball into the corner which Dean Kerr won at full stretch, before unleashing a great strike that was well saved by the keeper to knock it over for a point.
Next up Decky Traynor won the ball in the corner, beat his man before laying off to Niall Donnelly who slotted over. Shortly after Donnelly again won the ball wide on the wing and sent over a fine point from 50 yards.
Conleth O’Loan who scored a goal for Con Magees seconds after being introduced. Pic by Dylan McIlwaine
Bredagh struggled with the intensity of the opening ten minutes of the second half but eventually settled and scored 3 unanswered points.
At this point Conleth O’Loan was brought on for Dean Kerr, and within 30 seconds had the ball in the back of the Bredagh net, winning the ball 50 yards out and going on a solo run before hitting an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area.
The goal reduced the deficit to 4 points, and the intensity rose again. With the game flowing end to end, the tackles were flying in, and our full back line in particular put their bodies on the line several times when goals looked certain.
Glenravel fired over 3 unanswered points via the hurl of Niall Donnelly from frees to reduce the arrears to the minimum and suddenly it was anybody’s game. However Bredagh again upped their game again, hitting three unanswered points before Brian O’Neill got the games’ final score to leave a 3 point margin.
Despite defeat Glenravel put in a good performance against the South Belfast side who have strolled through this league at a canter.
Bredagh – Aaron Maguire, Mark Patterson, Chris Ferry, Danny Robinson, Ryan Curran, Eoin McAllister, Tom McGuckin, Ian Galway, Michael Woods, Cormac Hughes, Emmett Trainor, Joe Hanrahan, Ronan Costello, Donal Hughes, Niall McFarland.
Con Magees: R Donnelly, S Burns, S Kerr, C Mullan, S Atcheson, M Scullion, D O’Hagan, P O’Neill, M McDonnell, B O’Neill, N McCann, D Traynor, K McIntyre, N Donnelly, D Kerr.
Referee – John Carson (Ruairi Og)
Pics by Dylan McIlwaine