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Bradley moved by injured McFadden's appearance in title win

By Declan Bogue

Published 25/10/2016

On the rise: Mark Bradley has staked a claim to be a regular Tyrone starter
On the rise: Mark Bradley has staked a claim to be a regular Tyrone starter

Killyclogher star Mark Bradley hailed the special moment in the Tyrone county final replay when Niall McFadden - who had suffered a ruptured cruciate in the drawn encounter just a fortnight before - came on for the last few moments of their crushing victory over Coalisland.

"It's bound to be a special moment," the 22-year-old student marvelled afterwards.

"He came out to training last week and I couldn't believe I saw him out running. Even to get him on for the last few minutes, the same as Dermot (Carlin), to give so much for the club over the years, they deserve it as much as anyone.

"Dermie said he won the All-Ireland in 2003 and then the Club Championship, and it was a long time since he had won anything."

They made amends for that, running up the third biggest winning margin in a Tyrone decider - 0-20 to 0-6.

Bradley produced one of the finest performances in a county final, tormenting his markers in a first half that brought six points from play. He added two more from frees in a game that suggests he could become a regular starter on the county team.

His scoring run even took him to the top of the scoring charts in the Tyrone Championship, overtaking Clonoe's Danny McNulty to earn the Patsy Forbes Cup.

Bradley was eager to play down his own contribution, however. He said: "You have to keep plugging away.

"Thankfully we got off to a good start, because we were very poor in front of the nets in the drawn encounter. We missed relatively easy chances that on another day might have went over.

"We set out to get off to a good start. At the same time, the ball is sent in and I am coming off the loop. It was the boys making the runs that they might not have made the first day. This time they were bombing forward, three or four men running, and it was just a matter of getting out on the loop.

"That's a credit to the boys putting in a serious, serious work rate."

The Tyrone Championship has now been won by seven different clubs in the last seven years, possibly a record across the island. When Killyclogher won their last - and until the weekend their only - county title, Bradley was merely nine years of age and his only recollection was the touring victory bus as it made its way out to Mountfield.

The genesis of this win came from last year's painful defeat to Trillick. Bradley admitted: "There was a lot of hurt after that final. It took a long time and there were a lot of boys hurting after that."

Killyclogher have little time to toast their rare success, as they are in the Ulster Club quarter-final this Sunday against Antrim kingpins Cargin.

The provincial series has almost caught them unawares.

"We haven't looked at Cargin at all," added Bradley. "I honestly did not know who we were playing.

"It was about getting over this and we have a week to get over it."

Belfast Telegraph

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