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
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
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
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
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).