Conor shines in final

Conor shines in final

6 October 2021

DROMARA travelled to Ballykinlar to take on a fancied Drumaness side in the county U-15 Football Shield final last Sunday evening. 

The game started well for Drumaness with two quick points on the board from Niall Flanagan and Ben Cassidy in the first few minutes, but soon Dromara were awarded a penalty after Thomas McKey was fouled in the box. 

Thomas took the penalty himself, but it was well saved by ‘keeper Reece Rogan.

Dromara did get on the scoresheet after a foul on Odhrán McCann was converted by Jon Rodgers. 

Both defences dictated play over the next period with Dromara’s Elliot Harris, Sam Warwick and James Furphy keeping the mobile Drumaness forwards at bay.  

Dromara’s fortunes took a hit when forward Odhrán McCann suffered a nasty shoulder injury and had to be replaced. 

Just before the water-break, Drumaness rattled off two excellent long range scores from Conor Armstrong with Dromara replying with an equally great score from Joe McAllister.

Dromara were finding the physicality of the Drumaness full back line of Leo Madine, Ben Miskelly and Philip Gladysz difficult to penetrate. 

Drumaness finished the quarter with a point from Conor Murphy leaving them ahead by three points.

The second quarter started off with another cracking point from Conor Armstrong and within minutes Drumaness took control of the game. 

Shea Quinn got on the end of a long ball and bagged a goal and a minute later Conor Armstrong hit a second goal. 

Dromara rallied with good points from Thomas McKey and Jon Rodgers but once again Drumaness replied with a point from a free from Conor Murphy and two further points from the unstoppable Conor Armstrong.

Drumaness half backs Jaiden Murdock and Conn O’Hagan were delivering quality balls to their forwards and Dromara’s half backs Aidan O’Hare and Ryan Gates had to work very hard to stem the relentless attacks. 

Young Lorcan McNeill scored a great individual goal to offer Dromara some hope, but, as ever, the Blues hit straight back with scores from Jake Madine and another from Conor Armstrong. 

The half ended with a fine point for Dromara from the energetic Joe McAllister to leave Drumaness leading by nine points. Half-time: Dromara 1-5 Drumaness 2-11.

At the start of the second half Quinn Armstrong scored a deserved point before the brave Conall O’Hare in the Dromara goal pulled off a crucial interception to deny Drumaness a certain goal. 

Try as they would, Dromara could not curb their rampant opponents. Niall Flanagan added to his tally with a couple more points and Ben Cassidy struck a good score. 

Conor Armstrong added a free and minutes later Jake Madine wriggled his way through a number of defenders and smashed the ball to the net. 

Before the water break Joe McAllister and Conor Armstrong exchanged great long range points but the destiny of the Shield was now beyond doubt with Drumaness leading by 15 points. 

In the final quarter, Dromara half forwards Sean McEvoy and Rory Gilmore continued to work hard, as did front men James Gould, Eddie Maguire and Rhys Ewing but try as they did Dromara couldn’t break down the tight Drumaness rearguard. 

At the other end of the pitch no one could stop the outstanding Conor Armstrong. He sailed through the Dromara defence once again to net another fine goal and assisted in a further goal scored by Joe O’Hagan. 

It was fitting that Armstrong completed the Drumaness scoring by adding a further three points to his unbelievable tally before the final whistle sounded.

Dromara played well in patches in this game and will rue some of the early chances they missed.

They will look back on a great campaign this season with most of their team available next year. 

They also won the U-15 County Feile in the summer and the management team deserve great credit for everything this team has achieved.

Drumaness were excellent throughout the match and their physicality and fast movement proved too much for this young Dromara side. 

Drumaness’s Conor Armstrong produced a man of the match performance that was absolutely exceptional and would grace any final. He had a personal tally of 2-11, all of which were scores of the highest quality. 

Drumaness and Down have a real star of the future in their ranks. Congratulations to the Drumaness team and their mentors on a great display and a deserved victory.

Dromara 1-8

Drumaness 5-19

U-15 Shield Final