Season 3 – Week 12 of the Foyle Down Syndrome Trust’s Football Project with the Oxford Bulls and this week we played host to a Ryan McBride Select Team – full of senior current & ex Derry City players. Goalkeeper & captain Gerard Doherty led Josh Daniels, Aaron McEneff, Conor McDermott and Goalscorer supreme, Rory Patterson, into the Bull pit at the CK Centre to do battle with our lads and what a game it turned out to be.
Bulls captain for the day was our very own Goalscorer supreme, Keigan Taylor, but it was midfield dynamo Jack Rogers who wasted no time putting the Bulls one up in the very first minute.
The Bulls then extended their lead against their auspicious opponents by a further two goals- Keigan and Conan with the scores. This spurred the McBride Select into action with Patterson & McEneff netting for the reds to bring it back to 3-2.
But again the Bulls stepped up a gear and Keigan Taylor smashed in his second to put the Bulls 4-2 up. The 2 goal lead was short lived however, as ex-Northern Ireland international Rory Patterson finished off a flowing move to bring the side closer. McEneff & Patterson in particular were proving thorns in the Bulls side as they continually threw themselves into sliding tackles in attempts to win back possession. (And that’s not a joke btw lol !!!)
But the Bulls were not to be outdone and Man of the Match Conan Norris got the crowd on their feet with another super individual goal which left Derry City’s Conor McDermott chasing shadows. And in the last minute, Caoimhin Breslin ghosted in behind Josh Daniels and smashed the ball past his goalkeeping idol, Gerard Doherty to win the match 6-3 for the Bulls.
The session finished with a penalty shoot-out between the Bulls and Derry City keeper Gerard Doherty. Needless to say, Mr Doherty struggled to keep out the penalties and all the lads finished with style !!
After our penalty shoot-out, Rory Patterson presented Conan Norris with the MOTM award. The Bulls were then presented with fully loaded sports kits bags by the players on behalf of the Ryan McBride Foundation.
And finally, Ryan’s father, Lexie, and Gerard Doherty presented the Bulls with a cheque for £500 to help with expenses for our Liverpool trip in 2018.
It is not often, that I am left speechless, but today was one of those days. The Ryan McBride select players were superb from start to finish – even taking part in the Bulls warm-up drills – and they took the Match very seriously and gave our lads a good work out ahead of their trip to Merseyside in March. So a massive thank you to Gerard, Rory, Josh, Conor and Aaron for their patience, enthusiasm and good spirit – our lads had a ball !!!
And finally – a massive thank you to Lexie, Gareth and everyone at the Ryan McBride Foundation. Thank you for a brilliant event, for our fantastic kit bags and for your very, very generous donation to our Liverpool fund. I have no doubt the Big Man would have been very proud of today’s events.
Oh and big thank you to Conka McBride for coming down and covering the game for us. And Karen Pyne for sidling in late !!!
Same time same place next week Bulls and remember to keep an eye out for some video footage of today’s events later today folks – it’s worth the watching !!!! #OxfordBulls #AbilityNotDisability #RyanMcBride #Legend #Captain #No5