Delight for Dromara as they oust Rangers from Cup

Banbridge Rangers in recent action.  �Paul Byrne Photography INBL1540-293PB
Banbridge Rangers in recent action. �Paul Byrne Photography INBL1540-293PB

Dromara hosted Rathfriland in the Intermediate Cup on Saturday hoping to get over last weeks undeserved loss in the league.

Manager Gerard McMahon brought back in a couple of his younger players with a few suspended and ineligible.

The home side settled quickly and they were on the front foot from the first whistle.

They got off to a great start when a ball broke in the box to Beckett who had an outstanding game to find the net from ten yards.

The plus point for the manager was having the influential McCardle and McCarron available together at centrebacks for the first time this season.

They were keeping a tight rein on the visitors front pair of Costello and Wilson.

Rathfriland’s only chance of note in the first period was a header at the near post from a corner gathered by the Dromara Keeper.

The young home side on the other hand were dangerous every time they went forward with the pace of McDonald, Kerr and the drive from Beckett and the Gregg brothers in Midfield.

From another good move, Johnny Gregg who is getting back to his best played a good ball to Kerr on the left. And he took a good touch and fired in from the edge of the box into the bottom corner.

The away team were rocked by this and the home side were soon in dreamland when five minutes from the break, Lindsay won a good tackle in his own half and played the ball to Johnny Gregg who again played a lovely ball in to Kerr on the left and the young striker with the calmness beyond his years chipped the keeper from twenty yards and the corner of the box for a stunning goal.

This was the score at the break, and the second half was to be as exciting as the first with more goals on the agenda.

Dromara started as they did in the first with pace going forward, and Beckett again drove through the heart of the visiting defence but didn’t get the best connection on his shot but the young keeper still made a fine save to tip his effort round the post.

Rathfriland were to get a bit of good fortune when they were awarded an indirect free kick only six yards out and the ball was touched to Wilson who hammered it through the wall on the line.

The home side replied well though and young Adam Gregg cut in from the right drifted past a few players and curled a shot from twenty yards which was destined for the top corner but the young keeper managed to tip it onto the crossbar for an outstanding save.

Then McDonald who had give the visiting defence a torrid time al day was through but the keeper took him down.

The home support thought it was a penalty but the referee awarded a free kick right on the edge of the box and booked the young net minder.

From Hamilton’s free kick Mccardle put his header just wide.

Then at the other end Rathfriland were awarded a free kick on the left, and when a dangerous ball was played in the home side struggled to clear, and McGrath hammered the ball into the far corner.

Were the missed chances going to come back to haunt the home side again? But seventeen year old Kerr had other ideas.

He picked the ball up thirty yards out, turned his marker then danced past another couple of defenders before slotting past the keeper

.What a hat-trick for the young player, but things weren’t finished there, with only a few minutes left, from a corner Larkin rose at the back post to pull another one back for the visitors.

Another young seventeen year old Josh Gordon was brought on by manager McMahon for his first team bow, and he is another bright prospect for the future.

Dromara held on to progress to the next round.

This was an excellent game for the supporters and Dromara played some super football at times.

Every player put in a real shift but special mention to 17 yr olds Philly Kerr and Adam Gregg who were outstanding and belied their years and also Thomas Beckett for a non-stop performance.