ACHL Division Two
St Pauls 0-20-1-16 Bredagh
Kevin Herron reports from Shaws Road
Declan Chapman ensured that St Pauls will carry their long unbeaten run into the Championship in a few weeks time- despite playing over half the game with 14-men- as his point with the last action of an exciting encounter saw the hosts run out 0-20-1-16 winners over Bredagh at the Shaws Road on Sunday afternoon.
Mark Munce’s deflected shot had St Pauls off the mark first, but Mel Lavery clipped an angled shot off the large post and over to restore parity.
A brace of Daire Stevenson frees moved his side ahead again and he then popped over from play after Declan Chapman’s cut-back.
Sean Hughes replied with a free for Bredagh, though Aaron Carey dropped a shot over to restore his sides three-point lead.
That advantage would be wiped out at Bredagh levelled midway though the half, Joseph Hanrahan floated a shot over from range, Tiarnan Sheehan converted a 65′ and a second free from Hughes ensured the sides were tied for the second time at 0-05 apiece.
Bredagh moved ahead for the first time through a second placed ball from Tiarnan Sheehan- though Daire Stevenson levelled and then edged his side ahead again- both scores coming from the placed ball.
Two minutes before the break the hosts were reduced to 14-men when referee Niall Clifford dismissed Liam Walsh for a second bookable offence.
Sean Hughes would level from the resulting free, but Conall Finnegan took a pass from Caoimhin Killyleagh and shot between the posts to give his side a 0-08-0-07 lead at the interval.
Daire Stevenson doubled his sides lead with his fifth converted free of the afternoon upon the games resumption.
Rory McCamphill did enough to squeeze his angled shot between the posts and Ben Christie then dropped a shot over to ensure that it was level pegging for the fifth time.
The next four scores were equally traded, St Pauls twice regained the lead through a point from Mark Munce after the half-forward steadied himself and shot over, Daire Stevenson then conjured up his sixth free.
In-between times Mark Patterson took a lay-off from Sean Hughes and popped over with Hughes then powering through and scoring his first from play.
Declan Chapman squeezed a shot over from an acute angle to edge his side in front again and Daire Stevenson converted two further frees to move his side 0-14-0-11 ahead and give them some slight breathing space for the first time in the half.
Rory McCamphill and Stevenson (free) traded scores before Aaron Carey landed a magnificent score from range to open up a four-point advantage for the 14-men.
Sean Hughes landed his fourth free of the contest to keep his side in touch and the visitors pulled level again with little under five minutes remaining.
Tiarnan Sheehan dropped an angled free into the square and Liam Hogan’s flick on found the net via the underside of the bar to ensure parity for the eighth time over the course of the fascinating contest.
The sides would cancel each-other out on three further occasions before the games conclusion. Daire Stevenson completed his afternoons scoring with two further frees, but Joseph Hanrahan and Sean Hughes (free) came up with the reply each time.
Bredagh hit the front for just the second time when goal-scorer Hogan dropped an effort over Chris Murray’s crossbar to edge his side 1-16-0-18 ahead with time elapsing quickly.
St Pauls didn’t panic though and Stephen Rooney’s long range free dropped for substitute Paul Donnelly and he flicked over to tie things up as a share of the spoils were on the cards.
The duo shared the spoils in their first encounter this season, there wouldn’t be a repeat though as the hosts clinched victory with the final action of the afternoon.
Stephen Rooney again played his part, sending a high pass deep into Bredagh territory and Declan Chapman was there to gather, compose himself and steer over the winning score that was immediately followed by Niall Clifford’s full-time whistle as St Pauls ensured they would finish at the top of Division 2b.
The Shaws Road outfit haven’t tasted defeat since Clooney Gaels visited on May 14th and can take that momentum into their Intermediate Championship opener against Con Magee’s on August 6th.
Bredagh meanwhile will refocus and turn their attention to the Down Senior Hurling Championship and their opener against last seasons Ulster Intermediate winners Liatroim Fontenoys in a few weeks time.
St Paul’s: C Murray, C O’Carroll, T Auld, B Burns, L Walsh, S Rooney, T Duff, A Carey (0-02), C Finnegan (0-01), D Stevenson (0-12, 0-11f), M Munce (0-02), D Chapman (0-02), D McGreevy, L Philips, C Killyleagh. Subs: D Quinn for D McGreevy (36), Paul Donnelly jnr (0-01) for C Killyleagh (44), C Murray for C O’Carroll (45).
Bredagh: A Maguire, E Maguire, L Smyth, L Hogan (1-01), N McFarland, O McFlynn, T Sheehan (0-02, 0-01f, 0-01 65′), M Patterson (0-01), N Smyth, J Hanrahan (0-02), M Lavery (0-01), S Hughes (0-06, 0-05f), B Christie (0-01), R Curran, R McCamphill (0-02). Subs: M Doran for R Curran (52).
Referee: Niall Clifford (Cú Chulainn)