IF the old sporting adage is true that you learn more about yourself in defeat than victory then Dromore Amateur U15s can reflect on some of the positives to emerge from a heavy defeat at league leaders Dungannon Youth on Saturday.
Dromore started the game well – organised and competitive; Dungannon perhaps under-estimating their opponents in the opening exchanges. An injury to Daniel Abraham forced an early reorganisation but the central defence of Jordan Brush, Louis Simpson and Matthew Doyle coped well with the Dungannon attack, ably supported by full backs Simon Percy and Jack Lennon.
Outfield players can make a mistake and maybe get away with it, goalkeepers usually pay a heavier price and the deadlock was broken midway through the first half when an unfortunate error by Jack Daly in the Dromore goal allowed Dungannon an opener.
To his credit Jack responded with a string of excellent saves as he and the defence battled bravely to keep the score at 1-0. Jordan Green and David Maze worked tirelessly in midfield, ably supported by Aaron Ball and Morgan Gallagher but striker Nathan McCaughey was often isolated and outnumbered as Dromore struggled to put pressure on the home defence.
Ten minutes before the break Dungannon went two ahead and minutes later Dromore suffered another injury set back when Simon Percy took a nasty blow to the knee in an accidental challenge. This meant Daniel Abraham had to retake the field after having been withdrawn earlier with a back injury.
Starting the second half only 2-0 down Dromore were looking to repeat the solid performance of the first 10mins of the first half. However it wasn’t to be and Dungannon got a third goal early in the half, quickly followed by a fourth.
It would have been easy at that point for Dromore to fold, for heads to drop and give up on the game – but that was far from the case and the entire team continued to compete for every ball and make life difficult for their opponents. As in the first half Dromore attacks were sporadic but on a few occasions when some neat passing and good support play created opportunities, the final ball was lacking.
Dungannon’s superiority continued to tell as they notched up four more goals with some excellent passing play and clinical finishes running out 8-0 winners at the final whistle.
The Dromore coaches were delighted with the attitude shown by the team and this was echoed by the experienced Dungannon coaching staff who complimented the boys on their performance and commented that the effort and commitment was superior to that of most teams they had faced this season and that it would stand Dromore well for the rest of the campaign.
Dromore match squad: Jack Daly, Daniel Abraham, Louis Simpson, Matthew Doyle, Jordan Brush, Simon Percy, Aaron Ball, David Maze, Jack Lennon, Jordan Green, Morgan Gallagher, Nathan McCaughey.
Dromore Coaches’ Man of the Match – Jordan Brush