Dromara Village hosted third place Abbey Villa at the Bridge on Saturday and secured another valuable three points with a 3-1 win.
In very blustery conditions, the first half saw the home side struggle to get their passing game going and it was the visitors in the first 20 minutes who had most of the play but without really troubling O’Hare’s goal.
They gradually worked their way into the game and Beckett nearly got in from a flick on from Rooney but a last ditch tackle cleared the danger. Unfortunately, for him he picked up an knee injury in the challenge and had to leave the field of play to be replaced by Doyle. Also Drake just before the break pulled up with a tight hamstring and he had to be replaced by McNeill at the interval.
Keeping a clean sheet at half time was to prove vital, as in the second half the visitors struggled to cope with the conditions and Dromara stepped up their game. In the centre of the park, Gregg and Lindsay started to dominate and ten minutes in Rooney was upended 20 yards from goal. Up stepped McCardle who always fancies his chances from this range, and he did not disappoint when he hammered an unstoppable shot past the helpless Villa keeper.
A short time later it was two with a route on goal for a change, a kick out from keeper O’Hare saw Rooney out-muscle his marker and he drilled a low shot home from 12 yards to add to his impressive goal-scoring feats this season.
The visitors’ heads were dropping now and with about ten minutes remaining a good move down the right saw Coady do really well and played a great ball across the box for Kyle Hamilton to slot home with his right foot on a very rare occasion.
For the remainder of the proceedings, the home side seemed content to sit back which gave the visitors more possession and they had one header just wide before they eventually got a consolation with a few minutes remaining when a cross from the right was headed home.
On the day, there were some good performances with in particular McCardle and young Nathan Hamilton strong at the back and Gregg in midfield inspirational again with his drive and trickery.