Sunday 25th September, 2pm at Pairc Esler Newry
After the great successes of the senior hurling team last weekend and the ladies senior football team the previous weekend all attention now focuses on the senior footballers for their mouth-watering clash with An Riocht on Sunday in the Intermediate football championship final.
An Riocht, like Bredagh, are a relatively new club, formed in 1981 by the amalgamation of Greencastle and Lisnacree GAA clubs and Kilkeel hurling club, setting up in Dunavil Road a few miles outside the fishing town of Kilkeel. They flirted with the possibility of a senior title in 1984 only to be denied by Burren who were in the midst of their finest period of dominance winning six senior county titles in a row between 1983 and 1988. However, the pedigree is long established at An Riocht with Lisnacree winning the senior county title in 1954.
Bredagh, formed in 1971, participated in their one and only intermediate final in 1973. Their opposition that day was Greencastle who went on to win the title in a gripping game of football. Roll forward to the present day, both An Riocht and Bredagh senior football teams are on a relatively equal footing, competing in the intermediate championship and also Division 2 of the county league. It could also be said that both clubs are showing signs of pushing into senior level in the near future. Indeed, whoever is the winner on Sunday will play at that level in next season’s championship.
The teams have already met twice this season in the league with An Riocht winning on both occasions, 0-13 to 0-10 and 0-11 to 0-09, so there’s not a lot between the teams based on those results. However, as we all know, championship football is a different animal to league football and it would be hard for anyone to call a winner until around 3.20pm on Sunday afternoon. An Riocht will be looking to make up for the defeat by Loughinisland in last year’s final, Bredagh have been progressing steadily over the past three years, a QF in 2014, SF in 2015 and this year they have gone one better.
Bredagh’s Road to the Final:
30/07/16 Bredagh 3-20 v 1-17 Carryduff (AET) @ Downpatrick
04/08/16 Bredagh 1-13 v 0-11 Saul @ Newcastle
27/08/16 Bredagh 4-12 v 0-13 Tullylish @ Castlewellan
09/09/16 Bredagh 0-16 v 1-06 Carryduff @ Newry
Bredagh have shown good form in their championship games to date bar an early scare by Carryduff in the second half of their first round encounter in Downpatrick. An Riocht have been equally ruthless in their championship campaign to date defeating Darragh Cross twice, Drumaness and Glassdrumman.
An Riocht, with players of the calibre of Martin Clarke, Brendan McVeigh and Deaglan Morgan, along with their league and championship form are carrying the favourites tag and will be a tough nut to crack. This current squad of Bredagh footballers have demonstrated capability, resolve and determination in their championship campaign to date. If Bredagh bring their ‘A’ game to Pairc Esler on Sunday, An Riocht will find the going tough and there very well could be a name engraved on the trophy for the first time in the club’s history.
Good luck to all players and management involved, the club will be behind you all way.