Ballycran stung by Bredagh

Ballycran stung by Bredagh

10 October 2018

BREDAGH lifted their first ever Minor Hurling Championship title at a cold and blustery Carryduff on Sunday afternoon when they completely overwhelmed Ballycran with a sizzling display.

Ballycran, who were hoping to complete a league and championship double, started brightly and a point in the first minute from Conor Caldwell seemed to settle them quickly. Bredagh had other ideas and points from the towering Niall McFarland and Joe Hanrahan suddenly had their side in front.

Gerard Quinn fired over the equalising score in the fifth minute, but it was all down hill after this for Ballycran as they were put under the cosh by a blistering Bredagh attack.

Unanswered points from Hanrahan, Sean Hughes and the fleet-footed Ronan Costello had Bredagh 0-5 to 0-2 in front after 12 minutes. It got an awful lot worse for a wasteful Ballycran when Hughes drilled the sliotar to the back of the net after a defence-splitting run from Matt McAreavey.  

Costello (0-3) and Hughes rubbed salt into Ballycran’s wounds as gave Bredagh a commanding 1-9 to 0-2 lead by the 22nd minute.

Ballycran were then thrown a lifeline when Stuart Martin ended a piercing run with a clinical finish to leave seven points in it with seven minutes of the half remaining.

Alas, Ballycran were unable to push on from here and Bredagh punished them on the break with points from Costello (0-2) and Hughes to take a 1-12 to 1-2 lead as the break approached.

Martin and McFarland swapped points before Ballycran’s task got even harder when star midfielder Phelim Savage, who was part of the club’s senior team who lifted the SHC title in Ballygalet last Sunday, was harshly red-carded leaving his side to play the entire second half with only 14 men.

It all could have been so different for Ballycran at the end of the first half. They shot seven wides, had a strong penalty appeal turned down and a 

rasping shot from Gerard Quinn rattled against the crossbar and flew to safety. 

An early point at the start of the second half from Ballycran’s Francis Caldwell was cancelled out by Hughes before Martin and P J Lavery did likewise. Costello edged Bredagh into a 1-16 to 1-5 lead after 49 minutes, but a battling Ballycran took the next three points from Francis Caldwell (0-2) and Liam McCarthy. 

Bredagh halted Ballycran’s momentum with a point from Hughes before McCarthy cancelled his score out with another free.

Costello and Joe Blaney extended Bredagh’s lead to 10 points before Caldwell kept Ballycran ticking over with a point from play as his team-mates went for goal.

Three Costello points in quick succession had Bredagh in wonderland before Caldwell converted a free in the 58th minute to make it a 2-21 to 1-11 game. Naturally, Ballycran continued to go for goals, but Bredagh were not for conceding anything and late points from Costello and Jacob McDonnell gave then a resounding win.

Bredagh: Odhran Davies, Aaron Patterson, Tiarnan Sheehan, Evin Maguire, Aodhan O’Keefe, Niall McFarland (0-2, 1f), Liam Hogan, Matt McAreavey, Joe Hanrahan (0-2), Dara Curran, Sean Hughes (1-6), Joe Blaney (0-1), Ciaran McMullan, Ronan Costello (1-10), Enda Gargan. Subs: Jacob McDonnell (0-1), P J Lavery (0-1), Conor McFarland, Mel Lavery, Fintan McCollum, Timmy Cunnane, Pat O’Keefe, Jamie Curran, Dylan Kerrigan, P Daniel Mulholland, Cormac O’Rawe.

Ballycran: Cathal Lavery, Ethan Bell, Darren Dorrian, Kirk Eccles, Lucas Boyd, Liam McCarthy (0-2f), Dara Kelly, Rory Brown, Phelim Savage, Francis Caldwell (0-5, 4f), Conor Caldwell (0-1), Greg McCullough, Stuart Martin (1-2), Dillon Rogan, Gerard Quinn (0-1). Subs: Fergal Breen, James Clarke, Ciaran Branniff, Eamon Bell, Niall Breen.  

Bredagh 2-23

Ballycran 1-12