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Bradley a step closer to inspiring treble glory for Newbridge

 

By John Campbell

Former Derry star Paddy Bradley has just taken a step nearer what could yet prove a significant hat-trick of trophies in his first year in charge of Newbridge.

Having already steered the team to the league and Championship titles in the Oak Leaf County, Bradley immediately turned his attention to the provincial intermediate crown and now after back-to-back wins over Shercock and Belcoo, his side have taken a decisive step towards a treble coup.

Certainly the manner in which they demolished Fermanagh champions Belcoo at the weekend would suggest that the odds on Newbridge capturing further silverware have now shortened.

Two goals from Eamon Burke and another from Kevin Sweeney underpinned Newbridge's handsome 3-16 to 1-9 victory, although at half-time such a margin of success had looked improbable as Belcoo led at that juncture by 1-8 to 1-7 thanks mainly to the superb finishing of Jonathan Feeley.

But when Newbridge turned up the heat after the break, Belcoo simply could not live with them. Burke's second goal and Sweeney's strike saw Newbridge disappear over the horizon and afforded manager Bradley the opportunity to contemplate even better days ahead.

There was disappointment for Antrim champions St Brigid's and Armagh representatives Killeavy, both of whom had been expected to make an impact in the intermediate competition.

Despite having headed Donegal outfit Milford by 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time in their match at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh, Killeavy appeared to lose their way after the break and were beaten by the narrowest of margins in the end (1-13 to 1-12).

It was a particularly disappointing outing for Killeavy, who had hoped to impress their supporters on home soil.

St Brigid's also tasted defeat when they fell to Down side Rostrevor by 1-13 to 0-10. The Down champions always looked to have the edge against their south Belfast opponents, who tended to rely rather too heavily on full-forward Ronan McGrady to secure their scores.

Meanwhile, former Republic of Ireland soccer international Niall Quinn and jockeys Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty were just some of the sports stars who attended Colm Cooper's controversial testimonial dinner in Dublin on Saturday.

Cooper's former Kerry team-mates Kieran Donaghy and Paul Galvin as well as Dublin's Bernard Brogan also turned out for the event, which took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge.

'Gooch' became the first GAA player to be honoured with a testimonial dinner, which has greatly divided opinion in the GAA.

It is expected that half of the proceeds from the occasion will be divided between two charities as well as the Dr Crokes club and Kerry GAA.

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