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Dromore v St. Eunan's
Sat, 14 Nov 2015
Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Club Champions Tournament

Dromore 0-13 St.Eunan’s 1-7

Dromore are into the semi-finals of the prestigious Paul McGirr Ulster U16 Club Champions Tournament after they had three points to spare over a battling St.Eunan’s of Letterkenny side at Gardrum Park on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides deserve immense credit for the football that they produced in trying weather conditions with the St.Dympnas full value for their victory. After leading 0-7 to 0-5 at the break they hit a purple patch in the second half which yielded them five unanswered scores to build up a matching winning lead. To their credit the Donegal champions battled back to set up a tense finish when Louis Hasson scored a goal but Dromore didn’t panic as they held out for a narrow victory.

Dromore centre half back Mark McGrade was awarded the man of the match award but special mention must also go to fellow defenders Ruairi Teague and Paudie Quinn, the latter holding dangerman Oisin Purdy scoreless. Caolan McCarron, Odhran Rafferty and team captain Oran Sludden were other players to the fore in what was in essence a good team performance from Dromore on a day when eight different players featured on the scoresheet for them. Aaron Deeney, Louis Hasson, Niall Hannigan and Michael McGroary all played well for St.Eunan’s. Dromore joint manager Joe Rafferty was delighted with the win.

“Both sides deserve great credit for the football that they produced in difficult weather conditions,” said Joe.

“It was our best display of the season to date and I was particularly pleased with the way that the lads dealt with the defensive system which St.Eunans deployed.”

It was Dromore who looked the livelier side early on but they missed a few chances and it was centre half forward Hannigan who opened the scoring for St.Eunan’s with a well taken sixth minute point. John MacRory and McGroary then exchanged points before a forty metre free from the boot of Caolan McCarron levelled matters at the end of the opening quarter. A Hannigan free was followed by a fine point from play from the impressive Hasson but St.Eunan’s were to score just once more in the first half as Dromore assumed control.

Pearse McNabb, McGrade, Sludden, MacRory and Rafferty were all on target for the winners with the latter’s the score of the game after going past three challenges to score with his weaker left foot. McNabb was then denied a goal after Ronan McGeehin made a good save before Eoin McGeehin had the final say of the half to leave it 0-7 to 0-5.

Dromore picked up where they had left off on the restart with Caolan McCarron knocking over another placed ball before a superb move the length of the field resulted in Nathan McCarron splitting the posts. In the 38th minute Hannigan charged through on goal before being fouled by Cahir Goodwin who was black carded, Hannigan converting the resulting free himself.

It was at this stage that Dromore really came of age as they lifted their game after losing the influential Goodwin. Sludden fired over a brace of points with McCarron on target from another free to leave them ahead by double scores going into the final ten minutes, 0-12 to 0-6. Any thoughts that they had the game won though were quickly dispelled when first of all Hasson pointed before the same player pulled on a loose ball to send to the net to cut the gap to two. Dromore though retained possession well as they waited for an opening and it came in the form of a superb point from Ruairi Gallagher. St.Eunan’s now needed a goal to force extra time but Dromore held on to reach the last four.

Match stats….

The scorers….

Dromore –Caolan McCarron 0-3, Oran Sludden 0-3, John MacRory 0-2, Pearse McNabb 0-1, Mark McGrade 0-1, Odhran Rafferty 0-1, Nathan McCarron 0-1, Ruairi Gallagher 0-1

St.Eunans – Louis Hasson 1-2, Niall Hannigan 0-3, Michael McGroary 0-1, Eoin McGeehin 0-1

The teams….

Dromore - Ross Hunter, Caolan Slevin, Ruairi Teague, Padraig Quinn, Jamie Louis Law, Mark McGrade, Cathal Colton, Cahir Goodwin, Nathan McCarron, Odhran Rafferty, Caolan McCarron, Pearse McNabb, Ruairi Gallagher, Oran Sludden, John MacRory. Sub – Ross Slevin for Goodwin (black card), Oisin Gallogly for Colton

St.Eunans – Ronan McGeehin, Ciaran McCloskey, Conor McWalters, Ryan Hillferty, Aaron Deeney, Jerome Angel Atuahgne, Donal Farren, Patrick McColgan, Michael McGroary, Shane Maguire, Niall Hannigan, Eoin McGeehin, Louis Hasson, Matthew McGovern, Oisin Purdy. Sub – James Kelly for Maguire

Referee – Martin Higgins, Fermanagh