Belfast Telegraph

'Dark horses' Loughgall gallop to victory over Knockbreda

By Keith Bailie

Loughgall have been labelled by some as dark horses for this season's Belfast Telegraph Championship One title, and they certainly lived up to that tag on Saturday.

A first half goal from former Donegal Celtic man Stephen O'Neill gave the Villagers a 1-0 win over Raymond Bell's Knockbreda at Breda Park. It's an impressive result for the County Armagh side, who showed great defensive resilience.

After a shaky start to the season, Brian Adair's men have now climbed up the table, claiming three wins from their first five games. A 4-0 opening day defeat to Dundela suggested the Villagers might be in for a tough season, but subsequent wins against Lisburn Distillery, PSNI and now Knockbreda suggest the Mid Ulster club might be a force to be reckoned with.

The Lakeview club now find themselves in fourth position, just behind the highly fancied trio of Harland & Wolff Welders, Carrick Rangers and Bangor. Next week, Brian Adair's men host Armagh City in what is expected to be a hotly-contested derby game. Armagh have struggled to adjust to Championship One, claiming just four points from their opening five games.

Raymond Bell's Knockbreda have experienced mixed fortunes this season. Breda have taken seven points from their opening five games, which is respectabl, considering they lost manager Hugh Sinclair and a number of key players during the summer.

Saturday's defeat will come as a blow to the Belfast club as their next three league games see them travel to Carrick Rangers and Dergview before hosting Armagh City.

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