Still work to do despite defeating Down says Bradley

Gareth McCullough

DERRY forward Eoin Bradley admitted that his side have a lot to work on before the Ulster Semi-Final following the Oak Leafers narrow win over Down at Celtic Park yesterday.

It was the Glenullin mans first championship match in two years in the red and white shirt of Derry after opting to play Irish League soccer with Coleraine and Glenavon and he showed his class throughout this encounter.

Bradley hit four points in total, with the most important one of all coming deep into stoppage time, when he converted a close range free to send Brian McIvers men through to the last four and a meeting with the winners of next Sundays Armagh and Donegal clash.

He was a constant thorn in the Down defence for the entire 70 minutes but he was quick to point out that improvement will be needed for the sem-final.

The way football is played nowadays, theres always a lot of men back. You just have to bide your time and keep on moving, he said.

I came out the field in the second half to try and get on the ball a bit more. It was a good first half team performance but in the second half we were poor. Luckily enough we won and thats a man thing.''

The second half saw the huge presence of six foot four forward Caolan OBoyle in the Derry forward line and Bradley feels that the break before the next match should, in theory, strengthen the panel personnel-wise at least.

Terence [OBrien] and Caolan came on and I suppose, in the next few weeks before the next match, Patsy and a few of the other fellas will be fit so there will be a push for places and that is always good for the side, he said.

Bradley rates their next opponents, whoever they may be, as two of the best sides in the province, and he feels that Derry showed their mettle when it mattered to get the result they wanted by the skin of their teeth.

Next Saturday night, Donegal will play Armagh and it will be a good game. Itll be tough for both teams,'' he stressed.

Theyre two of the best teams in Ulster but, for us, were in the next round and thats what we came to do.

In the second half, in the last 10 minutes, when Down scored three on the bounce, we showed a good bit of character to come back. It was a good team performance.

There is plenty to work on from the second half but were happy enough to be through to the next round, said the 31-year-old.

It will maybe stand us in good stead going into the next match. Every game Down played in the league they finished very strongly and we knew they would come strong in the last 10 minutes.

But we got over the line line, luckily enough, and as I say, thats the main thing.


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