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Eoghan Rua produce blistering start to lay foundations for win

Eoghan Rua 1-18 Bredagh 2-4

By Kevin Mullan

Eoghan Rua Coleraine hit Bredagh with an unanswered 1-7 in the opening quarter of this Ulster Intermediate hurling Championship semi-final in Loughgiel on Saturday afternoon to set the platform for what turned out to be a comfortable 1-18 to 2-4 win.

It was a blistering start by the Coleraine side, they had five points on the board by the seventh minute. Then just three minutes later, following a fine pass in from Michael McQuillan, corner forward Ciaran McGoldrick blasted to the Bredagh net.

It took to the 17th minute for Bredagh to register their first score. A high hopeful ball in was not dealt with by the Eoghan Rua defence, Ian Galway striking to the net from close range. That would be Bredagh's score of the first half while Eoghan Rua went on to hit another six points in a row to take a commanding 1-13 to 1-0 lead into the break.

Eoghan Rua's finishing was top drawer with the prolific Sean Leo McGoldrick hitting nine, four from frees, and finishing with eleven to his name. In contrast Bredagh were very wasteful, shooting eight wides including a number of very scoreable chances from frees.

It was the rampant Eoghan Rua men that began the second half better adding to their big lead with another three point, through a Colm McGoldrick brace and another Sean Leo effort.

Bredagh began to get a bit of possession around the middle with Cillian McSuibhne to the fore and they tacked on three points in a row.

With 10 minutes left midfielder McSuibhne gave his side a small glimmer of hope with a goal but they never kicked on from there.

Eoghan Rua were still dominating the middle third and never looked like allowing Bredagh to mount a serious challenge as the game petered out to its inevitable conclusion, the sides trading a couple of points over the last 10 minutes.

Eoghan Rua will meet the winners of the second semi-final between Cloughmills and Keady in a couple of weeks time.

Elsewhere, Armagh's Ciara Donnelly and Bernie Murray picked up Junior Soaring Stars awards at the 2016 All-Stars night at Dublin's CityWest Hotel on Saturday night.

The Player of the Year Award was handed out on Friday night for Gaelic football, with Mayo's Lee Keegan adding to his four All-Stars, pipping Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny and Brian Fenton.

It has not been without its controversy, with former Dublin star Vinnie Murphy questioning the validity of the award, stating that Keegan indulged in cynical play throughout the championship.

Eoghan Rua: P Mullan; C Lagan, L McGoldrick, P Dallas; N Holly, B McGoldrick 0-1, A Rafferty; D Mullan, R Leonard 0-1; R Mooney 0-1, M McQuillan, T Magee; S.L. McGoldrick 0-11, 8f, Colm McGoldrick 0-3, Ciaran McGoldrick 1-1

Substitutes: D Boyle for B McGoldrick (21), S Papachristopoulos for M McQuillan (49), S McKillop for S L McGoldrick (56).

Bredagh: J Shields; M Patterson, C Brunton, T McGuckin; M Woods, E Donnelly 0-1, P Kelly; S McGourty, C MacSuibhne 1-1, 1f; M Sculpin, E Trainor 0-2, D McCartney; N Donnelly, R Curran, I Galway 1-0

Substitutes: A Victor for M Woods (56).

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