Bredagh 3-13 An Riocht 1-10
Bredagh senior footballers created history by winning their first ever intermediate championship since the club’s formation in 1971, beating hot favourites (according to Paddy Power) An Riocht on Sunday in Pairc Esler. The deadly duo of Alan Davidson and Donal Hughes tore the Kingdom to shreds and accounted for 2-12, Alan with 2-4 and Donal with 0-8
As soon as refeee Paul Faloon tossed the ball up into the air Bredagh were on the front foot. Donal Hughes got the first score of the game in the 1st minute with a 13 metre free, a minute later Joe Shields raised the white flag with an effort from 25 metres. An Riocht’s Conor Daly reduced arrears with a point from play in the 3rd minute.
Bredagh were now making hay, Donal Hughes put the Belfast men 2 points up in the 4th minute - Alan Davidson pointed in the 7th and 8th minute and scored his third point of the game with a fisted score in the 10th minute. Donal Hughes extended Bredagh’s lead to 6 points when he tapped over a free from 20 metres in the 11th minute (0-7 to 0-1).
An Riocht staged a fight back with a goal from Kory Colgan who ran 20 metres unchallenged to unleash a net buster past Bredagh keeper Jack Duffin. Breadgh were not to be perturbed and went straight up the field and a slick pass from Hughes released the evergreen Bryan Rice who gave McVeigh the eyes to the right and buried his shot from 10 metres into the left corner.
The Kingdom began to get a grip in midfield due to an injury that Cormac Hughes had picked up and began creating more chances. Deaglan Morgan, Conor Cole, Ronan McAlinden, Declan Doyle and Noel McArdle all pointed for the Kingdom, Niall Kelly replaced Cormac Hughes on 25 minutes and his brother Donal got Bredagh’s last score of the half, courtesy of a 13 metre free on the 29th minute to give the men from the Ormeau Road a two point advantage 1-8 to 1-6.
Bredagh made a change at the interval - Conall Toland replaced the injured Chris Savage. An Riocht’s Christopher Killen got the first score of the 2nd Half on 35 minutes, Donal Hughes a constant threat to the Kingdom’s defence fisted over a point a few minutes later. Noel McArdle scored his 2nd point of the game on the 41st minute but Hughes kept the gap to two points with a point on 43 minutes.
With the wind at their backs Bredagh were in the ascendancy, with their defence cancelling out the An Riocht’s danger men, midfield starting to win the aerial battles and gather breaking balls and the Bredagh forwards running at pace causing all sorts of problems. Substitute Henry Deazley released the mercurial Alan Davidson on 47 minutes with a slick hand pass, bearing down on goal Davidson thundered his shot to the roof of the net, Donal Hughes scored his seventh and eighth points to stretch Bredagh’s lead to 2-12 to 1-8.
Such was the close attention of Kevin Dornan and Owen Costello, Martin Clarke only kicked his first score of the game on the 59th minute with a 30 metre free. Bredagh responded on the hour though the boot of Davidson, who finished with a low drive past the helpless McVeigh in the An Riocht net.
Davidson took his tally to 2-4 with a pointed score on the 61st minute. The last score of the game went to An Riocht, Clarke doubled his tally with a free on 63 minutes. Donal Hughes received a black card at the death but had already done enough in the previous hour to earn the man of the match award.
Referee Paul Faloon blew the final whistle and so followed scenes of wild celebration as hundreds of maroon and white supporters erupted onto the pitch.
Captain Owen Costello proudly lifted the cup, the Ormeau Road club’s first ever Down Intermediate championship in its 45 year history!
Parador Man of the Match – Donal Hughes
Bredagh Team; J Duffin; O Costello; D O’Hara; C Savage; M Magee; E Costello; K Dornan; C Hughes; J Shields; C Francis; Alan Davidson; M Robinson; D Hughes; B Rice; P McLaughlin; (Subs; N Kelly for C Hughes; C Toland for C savage; D Mckegney for P McLaughlin; H Deazley for B Rice; S Blaney for M Robinson; K Devlin for D Hughes - Black carded.
Bredagh scorer’s A Davidson 2-4; D Hughes 0-8 (0-3 frees); B Rice 1-0; J Shields 0-1
An Riocht scorer’s; C Colgan 1-0; M Clarke 0-2 (0-2 frees) N McArdle 0-2; R mcAlinden 0-1; C Cole 0-1; D Boyle 0-1; C Killen 0-1; C Doyle 0-1; D Morgan 0-1
Referee; Paul Faloon
Photos courtesy of Mike Clarke