Newry Shamrocks 1-12 v Bredagh 1-12
Unlike the previous drawn game, Bredagh seniors certainly were happy to leave Pairc Esler with a share of the spoils having lost key forwards Bryan Rice in the warm up, Niall Mulholland to injury after 15 minutes and a red card issued at the end of the first half to Alan Davidson – so often the fulcrum of the Ormeau Road side last season.
The home team went into a three point lead inside the first 6 minutes through Niall Cunningham (free), John McAteer and the lively Jody McGovern. Bredagh responded a minute later when Donal Hughes rippled the back of the net after a great take and offload from Kealan Devlin. Hughes tapped over a free in the 8th minute and for the next 20 minutes the Belfast team dominated the score board as the Shamrocks wasted numerous scoring opportunities. Alan Davidson scored from play in the 10th minute, Hughes scored another free in the 14th minute, Sean Blaney pointed on 20 minutes, Deckie O’Hara went on a trademark marauding run setting up Davidson, Hughes converted his third free on the 35th minute to leave Bredagh six points to the good (0-03 to 1-06). Niall Cunningham responded for Newry Shamrocks in the 28th Minute and a minute later Kevin Hegarty pointed.
Referee, David Loughran, gave Alan Davidson his marching orders on the half hour mark for allegedly swinging an arm back at the Newry defender. O’Hara eased the blow by caressing the ball over the bar two minutes later, thus ending the half with Bredagh five points up – (0-05 to 1-07).
Bredagh started the second half on the attack, Conor Francis fisting over after a great run and in the 34th minute later Donal Hughes scoring again to increase the lead to seven points (0-05 to 1-09). For the next 15 minutes Shamrocks pressed home their one man advantage and rattled off 4 points (2 frees).
Midfielder Terry Morgan punched to the Bredagh net in the 47th minute to level matters (1-09 to 1-09), the impressive Donal Hughes bisected the posts with a sublime long range effort in the 50th minute and followed this up 2 minutes later with point this time from his left boot. McGovern scored his second point of the game in the 53rd minute and another Shamrock free on the hour mark levelled matters (1-11 to 1-11).
On the 61st minute, Conor Francis made one last gallant effort for the Bredagh men to nudge ahead by a point, Cormac Hughes got red carded on 64th minutes and with a final push by the home team, the industrious centre half back James Dickson thumped over the equalizing score (1-12 to 1-12).
Parador Man of the Match: Donal Hughes
Bredagh: Odhran Devlin, Michael Magee, Declan O’Hara (0-01), Chris Savage, Niall Kelly, Emmett Costello, Donal McKegney, Cormac Hughes, B Hasson, Sean Blaney (0-01), Niall Mulholland, Alan Davidson (0-02), Kealan Devlin, Donal Hughes (1-06, 0- 3 frees), Conor Francis (0-02).
Subs: Joe Shields for N. Mulholland (15); Michael Woods for K. Devlin (57th min); Kevin Doran for S Blaney
Red Card: Alan Davidson (30) Cormac Hughes (64)
Newry Shamrocks scorers: (No 19) 0-3, 0-3 frees; Niall Cunningham (No 13) 0-02, 0-01 free; John McAteer (No 11) 0-01; Kevin Hegarty (No 15) 0-02; Jody McGovern (No 12) 0-03; Terry Morgan (no 8) 1-0; James Dickson (No 6) 0-01.
Yellow cards: N Murphy (41); John McAteer (51); Luke Bryne (62)
Referee: David Loughran