Portaferry will look to Braniff to fire them to hurling glory
Portaferry will once again place their faith in ace marksman Paul Braniff when they meet Ballygalget in tomorrow’s Down senior hurling championship final at Ballycran (2.30pm).
Braniff may have had more than his fair share of injuries in the past couple of years but there are few more potent forwards in the province than this deceptively quick striker who is lethal from open play and frees.
Tomorrow he will have plenty of support around him as Portaferry bid to reclaim the county crown.
Stephen Murray will underpin the defence, Andy Savage, Rory McGrattan and Ciaran Coulter will bring their diverse talents to the table and both Barry Mulligan and Barry Coleman have already acquired the kind of experience that can prove invaluable in a final.
Ballygalget still have concerns about Gareth Johnson who was injured while helping Loughinisland in their abortive bid to terminate Mayobridge’s dominance of the Down senior football championship last Sunday.
If he is unable to make any contribution tomorrow, Ballygalget could be handicapped up front.
Ballygalget had an easy win over South Down in their semi-final while Portaferry had a much more hazardous outing against Ballycran before coming out on top by 1-12 to 0-13.
Gary Flynn has been making an impact in attack and could pose problems for the Portaferry rearguard.
Yet if Braniff is his usual reliable self and their defence retains its solidity, Portaferry could come out on top in what should be a close battle between two teams anxious to earn bragging rights within their own county but keen to make a bid for the Ulster Club Hurling Championship title.