Dromore High School U14’s reach the MU Cup final

Ben Cushnie and Daniel Harper.
Ben Cushnie and Daniel Harper.

In another successful season the Dromore HS teams are approaching the ‘business-end’ of the season with all to play for in all age-groups.

The U14s have had a busy season indeed with interest alive in three different competitions – the Mid-Ulster League & Cup and of course the NI Cup (Intermediate).

A victory against an excellent Lismore team in the NI Cup was followed by wins over Ballyclare Sec and St. Patrick’s Acad.

In the 4th Round Boys’ Model (Belfast), one of the ‘heavy-weights’ of schools football, were beaten by a superb performance.

Although it took extra-time and a nerve-jangling penalty shoot-out, few were in doubt that Dromore fully deserved their victory.

In the Quarter-Finals the boys took on another top footballing school – St. Malachy’s College (Belfast).

A high-intensity start saw Dromore take the lead after only a couple of minutes with Daniel Harper following up a deflection to volley home.

Dromore, without Jacob Collins in midfield, continued to apply pressure in all areas of the pitch with Ben Cushnie, Jake Corbett, Daniel Harper and Jamie Gregg all prominent in attacking moves – Jake, in particular, was unfortunate not to score with superb goalkeeping and the thickness of the crossbar denying him.

St. Malachy’s, a team unbeaten in three years, were always going to come back into the match and equalised before half-time.

The second half saw both teams push for the all-important winner, with captain Lee Bailie imperious in defence. St. Malachy’s scored the winner with just four minutes left on the clock.

A truly incredible performance from a talented group of players in which one of NI’s best school teams was tested all the way by a team that could now rightly be mentioned in the same breath as their illustrious Belfast opponents.

In the Mid-Ulster League wins over Killicomaine and Clounagh was followed by a 2-2 draw against Lismore in what was a cracking game of football.

Both teams, equal on points, had the unenviable task of getting a positive result against a very good Lurgan JHS team.

With Lismore winning 3-1, the pressure was on Dromore to ‘follow suit’.

This almost proved a task too much against a talented Lurgan side.

Goalless at half-time, Dromore stepped up the intensity with Jake Corbett scoring after a Cushnie through-ball.

Lurgan equalised with 15 minutes to go and the tension was cranked up even further with a Dromore second ‘chalked-off’ for offside.

In the last minute it took a Jake Corbett piece of persistence to win the game as he rode several tackles, rounded the ‘keeper and slipped the ball into the empty net to win the game.

The League title will now be decided by a play-off against Lismore.

The journey in the MU Cup has been no less dramatic with an easy win over St. Brigid’s followed by a wind-swept victory away to Lurgan.

A hard-fought SF win away to a strong St. Patrick’s Academy (Dungannon) side saw the team make it to the MU Cup final.