Bredagh aiming high insists Durkan as they take on Glenn in Down SFC

Bredagh wore Down intermediate champions in 2018 and have been playing at senior championship level ever since. They begin their 2022 campaign against Glenn on Thursday night
Bredagh wore Down intermediate champions in 2018 and have been playing at senior championship level ever since. They begin their 2022 campaign against Glenn on Thursday night

Down Senior Football Championship round one: Bredagh v Glenn (tonight, Liatroim, 7pm)

BREDAGH have big ambitions in this year’s Down SFC after the south Belfast club won promotion to Division One for the first time in almost 50 years. 

Martin Durkan co-manages the team with Brendan Mason, and he explained the spring in their step Bredagh have entering tonight’s championship opener against Glenn. 

“We were absolutely delighted to get promotion,” he said. 

“It will be our first time in Division One in 46 years, and that was our number one goal at the start of the year. 

“It’s a huge boost for the club – there has been a massive amount of work put in at underage level for 15 to 20 years, and there are some lads there who put in a lot of hard yards, and it’ll be great for them.” 

While the club will be satisfied with what they have accomplished to date, they won’t be resting on their laurels, and Durkan laid out the next target for his side to reach. 

“We’ve been a senior championship team over these last few years, and we’ve had some good wins, but we need to push on a wee bit. 

“I think our minimum ambition this year has to be a quarter-final place.” 

Tonight’s opponents Glenn, went into the final Division One match needing a win to be sure of safety from relegation, but they will be anything but pushovers. 

The south Down club, who were Down intermediate champions in 2019, reached the quarter-final stage in last year’s championship, and shared a win apiece with Bredagh from two hotly contested league matches between the sides earlier in the year.

“Glenn will be very tough – they have some excellent footballers,” Durkan said. 

“They have boys there who have been in and around the county squad: Shay Millar, Niall McParland and Jack McCartan. 

“They’re strong up the middle and have plenty of pace, plus they have a young lad Joe Sands who is scoring plenty.

“The first game against Glenn was a very tight game, and they will probably feel as though they shot themselves out of it that night; they had a number of bad wides, and we got the win. 

“In the corresponding fixture, we were beating them comfortably by four points, but went to sleep, and ended up losing by four.” 

For Bredagh to have success, they will be looking to their key man in midfield Joe Shields, who has been their stand-out performer this year, and will look to limit the opposition’s attack with a stout defence led by Benny Hasson and Conor Hannigan. 

However, despite their promotion, Bredagh’s success was owed in large parts to their results at the beginning of the league, and their recent form has been inconsistent. 

They lost 1-10 to 2-3 in the league decider against Longstone, and if they are to get the win tonight, they will need to recover their early-season form. 

“We had a very good start to the season, winning our first six games on the bounce,” said Durkan. 

“But An Riocht came down here and beat us in our own back yard, and that knocked our confidence a wee bit. But we’ve got some good wins, but also dropped some silly points; our form in the second half of the season was a wee bit patchy, to be honest. 

“We started very well, then became a bit mediocre, lifted ourselves to seal promotion. We stumbled over the line I suppose, but we got there.”