Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Impressive Bradley knows the score

Derry's league victory over Tyrone in Celtic Park on Saturday night was a personal triumph for Paddy Bradley.

The Glenullin stalwart had suffered the ignominy of failing to score in his last league outing when Derry came unstuck against Galway.



But under the lights he proved that was merely a blip, returning to form with a vengeance much to the delight of manager Paddy Crozier, who earlier in the day had watched the county under-21s come off second best against Down in Casement Park.



"It was anybody's match in the first half, but we regrouped on the restart and I believe our greater hunger made all the difference and yet 10 minutes from the end we took our foot off the pedal and made things hard for ourselves," he said.



"We were all delighted to see Paddy Bradley back on song again with seven points, four from play. Good players don't suddenly become bad players overnight and he certainly proved that."



His Tyrone counterpart Mickey Harte made no attempt to hide his disappointment.



"It was disappointing in the sense that had we beaten Derry we would still have been in with a chance of making the play-offs," he said.



"In fairness though Derry deserved their victory. A one-point half-time lead for us was never going to be enough and I suppose that was a tribute to Derry's tenacity in the first-half.



"In the second-half they were able to consolidate that and yet we had a few chances midway through the second which had we converted might have made a difference.



"In the end we can't argue with the result. Derry were the best team on the night and deserved to win.

"The reality is that they showed a great hunger and won more of the 50/50 balls throughout the match especially in the first half which kept them in contention despite playing into the strong breeze.



"It was always going to be an uphill struggle for us.

"It was a case of Derry winning more of the individual battles all over the pitch," added Harte.

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