Bredagh hold their nerve to defeat Gorts

ACHL Division Three

Bredagh 2-22-4-12 Gort Na Mona

By Kevin Herron from Cherryvale

Gort Na Mona suffered their first league defeat this evening after Bredagh edged a breathtaking contest 2-22-4-12 at Cherryvale.

Despite the County Down side starting the better; the opening goal of the game gave league leaders Gort Na Mona the lead through Dessie McClean.

McClean would claim a second goal before the break – but the Turf Lodge men’s free count was to prove their undoing as Niall McFarland converted 0-05 from the placed ball to ensure Bredagh held a 0-13-2-06 lead at the interval.

A point separated the sides with a quarter of an hour remaining but Bredagh were dealt a blow – losing defender Danny Robinson to a straight red card after a high challenge.

With the game level the 14-men struck a hammer blow to the Gorts as Colin Lordon rifled to the corner of the net.

It started a rut of late goals as Patrick McCaffrey found space and buried it to the net to make it a two-point game with three minutes left.

Only for Malachy Scullion to instantly reply – Bredagh held a healthy seven point and despite Dessie McClean securing his hat-trick in injury-time it was little more than scant consolation for the league leaders – who despite their blip still sit top of the pile.

It was Bredagh who made the fast start on a wet and windy evening – Sean McGourty popped the ball between the posts within the first two minutes with Niall McFarland adding a second.

The first goal opportunity fell to Gort Na Mona as Sean Doyle picked out the run of Darren Boyd whose low shot was parried by Eoghan Donnelly in the Bredagh goal.

Patrick McCaffrey’s angled point got the visitors off the mark – but three successive points courtesy of Ryan Curran, Sean McGourty and Mark Patterson had the hosts 0-05-0-01 ahead with ten minutes on the clock.

Points from Declan Hughes and Darren Boyd gave Gort Na Mona a lift – though Niall McFarland hit back at the other end to make it 0-06-0-03.

Darren Boyd’s link-up play was beginning to pay dividends as Brendan Quinn shot over from a tight angle and Dessie McClean confidently struck over the bar.

By the midway point in proceedings Bredagh held a two-point advantage thanks to Niall McFarland’s confidently converted free from range.

However the opening goal of the game saw the lead switch hands for the first time; Niall Healy laid the ball off to Declan Hughes whose forward pass fell to Dessie McClean and the corner-forward powerfully rifled to the net to give the Turf Lodge men a 1-05-0-07 lead.

Niall McFarland’s second free of the half levelled proceedings and despite the corner-forward missing the opportunity to edge his side back in front from a 65’ – he atoned for his miss, converting a free to make it 0-09-1-05.

Gort Na Mona missed the opportunity to regain the lead as Darren Boyd was somehow denied by Eoghan Donnelly – but on 23 minutes the visitors did hit the front for the second time.

Dessie McClean found a yard of space and confidently picked his spot – giving Donnelly no chance to make it 2-05-0-09.

Bredagh showed their powers of recovery and pegged Gort back for a second time in the aftermath. Niall McFarland converting his fourth free of the half and midfielder Joe Hanrahan squeezing the ball over after a nice combination with Colin Lordon.

Gort Na Mona immediately edged ahead once more through Neil Henry – but two late frees from the clinical free-taking of Niall McFarland ensured the County Down men held a 0-13-2-06 lead at the interval.

McFarland increased his sides lead upon the resumption from the placed ball – but the Gort’s replied as Declan Hughes popped the ball to Brendan Quinn whose shot from range dropped over the bar.

The sides traded the next four scores – Bredagh twice took a two-point lead through Niall McFarland (free) and Malachy Scullion, though on both occasions Darren Boyd replied to leave the score 0-16-2-09 with a quarter of an hour remaining.

The hosts chances of victory were dealt a set-back on 46 minutes as Danny Robinson caught Brendan Quinn with a challenge and referee Brendan Toland had little choice but to give issue a straight red-card to the Bredagh number four.

Darren Boyd converted the resulting free to level the score at 0-16-2-10 and with the numerical advantage Boyd and his team mates would hope to press on for victory.

However it was the 14-men of Bredagh who hit the front with little over ten minutes remaining – Sean McGourty’s shot dropped short of the target and Colin Lordon angled the ball past Connor McCann to make it 1-16-2-10.

Niall McFarland converted two further frees with Lordon pointing in between as the hosts were back on the front foot.

Darren Boyd fizzed a free over the bar in response and a grandstand finish appeared to be on the cards of a breathtaking encounter as Dessie McClean popped the ball to Patrick McCaffrey – McCaffrey made space for a shot and rifled to the net to reduce the deficit to two-points (1-19-3-11).

Though any chance of a Gort fight back was ended almost instantly as Malachy Scullion poked the ball home from Joe Hanrahan’s high ball forward.

McFarland added his final two scores of the evening; courtesy of a converted 65’ and free – with Sean McGourty conjuring up his sides final score in the aftermath.

There was still enough time for Dessie McClean to complete his hat-trick of goals two minutes into injury-time; it proved to be a mere consolation though as Bredagh claimed a massive scalp and inflicted a first defeat on table toppers Gort.

Bredagh: E Donnelly, O McFlynn, C Ferry, D Robinson, K Power, C Hughes, D McCartney, J Hanrahan (0-01), M Patterson (0-01), M Scullion (1-00), E Trainor, C Lordon (1-01), R Curran (0-01), S McGourty (0-03), N McFarland (0-15, 0-01 65’; 0-10f). Subs: J McKee for R Curran (40 mins).

Gort Na Mona: C McCann, J Connolly, M Rea, C Devlin, G McKenna, P McHugh, N Henry (0-01), D Hughes (0-01), T McCaffrey (1-01), N Healy, G Doyle, S Doyle, D Boyd (0-06, 0-03f), B Quinn (0-02), D McClean (3-01). Subs: C McErlean for G Doyle (42 mins), B Cousins for S Doyle (52 mins), P Fryers for N Healy (52 mins).

Referee: Brendan Toland (Lamh Dhearg).

Carryduff claim South Belfast bragging rights.

Carryduff 2-12 Bredagh 0-14

Carryduff and Bredagh met in their final game before the Div 3 league split.  Both teams had already secured a spot in the top five, so the prize was for the bragging rights in this South Belfast derby.

With both clubs having players on the Down county panel, the match was rearranged from the week before the Christy Ring final.  The teams were well matched throughout, but the two Carryduff goals in the second half proved to be decisive in separating the teams. 

Carryduff settled in the early stages and took a three point lead before the Bredagh boys found their bearings.  After a few opening wides, Bredagh found their point scoring range and took the lead, which they held until half-time.  When the Carryduff team eventually emerged from their changing room for the second half, they showed much more resolve and took more control over the game.  Their first goal from Ronan Beatty put Carryduff back into the lead, and the second goal from Eoin Rooney gave the cushion that would ensure Carryduff held onto the lead.  The final score was – Carryduff 2-12 Bredagh 0-14.

St Paul’s secure top half finish

Antrim Hurling League Division 3

St Paul’s 2-24 Na Magha 0-10

St Paul’s secured their place in the top half of Division 3 with a convincing win over Na Magha at Shaw’s Road on Sunday. The home team played with the breeze in the first half and totally dominated the play as they raced to a 1-15 to 0-3 interval lead. The Derry city team fared better in the second half when backed by the breeze but St Paul’s still outscored them during this period and by the end were twenty points to the good.

Stephen Rooney opened the scoring with a point in the first minute, Paddy Doyle and Colm McLarnon also added points before top scorer Caolan Crossan fired in his team’s opening goal, a great strike from a narrow angle on the left. Alan Grant got Na Magha off the mark with a point from a free on eleven minutes but by the time the centre forward got their next score the home side had added ten more points without reply, Paddy Doyle, Stephen Rooney and Caolan Crossan getting the bulk of them. Grant pulled a couple more back before the break but Crossan and Doyle answered them to leave their team 1-15 to 0-3 ahead by the time referee Damian Mullan sounded the half time whistle.

With the wind in their favour Na Magha had a lot more of the play in the second half and they added a further eight points to their tally, most of them coming off the stick of Grant. However St Paul’s were always in control and a Declan Chapman goal plus some fines scores by Doyle and Crossan secured two valuable league points for the men in red and white.

ST PAULS; Joe Gillan, Christopher Murray, Ciaran Hetherington, Sean Bradley, Ciaran O’Carroll, Frankie Sewell, Sean Lawell, Fionntan Gamble, Declan Chapman Colm McLarnon, Stephen Rooney, Sean O’Carroll, Caolan Crossan, Gerard Carbery, Paddy Doyle.

St Paul’s chairman Paul Stevenson (right) and treasurer Mark Carey presents a sponsorship cheque to the Saffron Gael at Sunday’s Division 3 Hurling League game with Na Magha at Shaw’s Road. Pic by Dr Paul Donnelly

Cushendun win secures top half finish

All County Hurling League Division 3

Cushendun 4-21 Na Magha 0-12

The Emmet’s cemented their place in the top section of Division 3 on Wednesday evening when they had a big win over Na Magha at the Rigs in Cushendun.  Na Magha made the long journey into the glens and in the opening half they matched their hosts pretty well. A Leo Morgan goal in the seventh minute was the main difference in the teams in the opening half, Morgan having a fine game accounting for 1-3 in that first thirty minutes. Points in the 18th and 19th minutes brought the Derry men level but the home side finished strongly with points from Conaloith McNeill, Mark Scally, Leo Morgan and a real beauty from a McNeill sideline cut to lead 1-8 to 0-7 at the interval.

The long journey and the exertions of the opening half must have taken its toll on the Na Magha men for after the break Cushendun were totally dominant. Sharkey and Morgan got them started and when Conor Bannon got his team’s second goal four minute in there was no stopping the saffron clad Emmet’s. A run of points from Smiley, McMullan, Loaf and Morgan stretched the lead and when Bannon bagged his second goal it was all over bar the shouting. Alex McMullan got the fourth before the end to stretch the winning lead to 22 points and leave them sitting second in the table on 11 points. Bredagh can overtake them on Sunday when the sides meet, and the Down men also have a game in hand, but the Emmet’s place in the top section is secure and they have the added comfort of knowing that three of their last four game will be at home.  

Pics by Micky Morgan

Cushendun beat Rasharkin in high scoring game

All County Hurling League Division 3

Rasharkin 1-18 Cushendun 4-16

Cushendun travelled to Rasharkin on Wednesday evening and came away winners by 4-16 to 1-18 in a high scoring encounter. Early goals from Alex McMullan and Conor McHugh got the Emmet’s off to a flyer but with Eamon McNeill in great form for the home side they battled their way back and with the help of a Conor McFerran goal in the eleventh minute they went in at the break on level terms. 1-10 to 2-7

Cushendun edged back in front with a David Kilgore point soon after the restart but points from McNeill and McKay put Rasharkin ahead for the first time in the match. A great solo goal by Dominic Sharkey gave the visitors the edge again but it was point for point for most of the second half until an Eoin McQuillan goal five minutes from time gave Cushendun an edge they held to the final whistle.