IT’S been a long time coming - but finally Dromore Amateurs Seconds, sponsored by McDonald’s Mace, have won their first game of the season.
Goals from Andrew Henderson, Ned Walsh and Roger McCartan helped Dromore make the perfect start to 2013 after a torrid opening 11 league games of the campaign which saw them collect just a single, solitary point.
But clearly the New Year’s resolution was to stop being the soft touch of Division 3E - and, at the twelfth time of asking, the Amateurs were finally the team to leave the field of play victorious.
And this win - on the large pitch at the Community Centre - was no fluke, it was fully deserved as Dromore just edged an absorbing contest between two evenly matched sides.
It was a game that ebbed and flowed, with numerous chances at both ends - indeed, the final score should have been something like 8-7 as both keepers pulled off at least five top-drawer saves apiece.
Dromore took the lead on 20 minutes when Henderson drilled home a fine finish from an acute angle. The Amateurs then should have doubled their lead but the Rooftop keeper made a superb save from a penalty - and the visitors pulled level before half half time with a well worked goal.
The second period started disastrously for Dromore when the Rooftop full-back lashed home a wonder strike from 25 yards.
But the Amateurs sensed there were goals for the taking if they kept pushing forward - and as the rain came down, Walsh popped up at the back post to nod a sweeping cross from Colin Harper into the net.
Then came the winning strike on 75 minutes - McCartan intercepted a pass inside his own half and charged forward, springing the offside trap, shoulder-charging the last defender to the ground, and staying calm to blast the ball under the advancing Rooftop keeper. A great solo effort that saw him run over 70 yards.
Dromore’s long-suffering manager Ronnie McMurray endured an agonising last 15 minutes as Rooftop piled on the pressure, but his defence - with impressive debut boy Thomas Martin at full back - stood firm to see out a welcome 3-2 victory.
A special mention for the official referee whose authority was never in doubt due to his extremely competent handling of the game from first whistle to the last.
Team: K McKinstry, T Martin, G Hill, R Ward, C Harper, R McCartan, M Beattie, A Noble, A Henderson, D Brownlee, N Walsh. Subs: S Smyth, M Mcloughlin, R McMurray.
At the time of going to press, Dromore’s fixture for this weekend is not known - but whoever it is, the hope must be that the Amateurs have turned the corner and it’ll not be long before they’re off the bottom of the table.