Seconds win at home to Lurgan

DROMORE Amateurs Seconds, sponsored by McDonald's Mace, squeaked into the third round of the Mid-Ulster Shield on Saturday with a narrow 2-1 victory over Lurgan Thistle.

First-half goals from Marcel Beattie and Dean Brownlee provided Dromore with enough of a cushion to see out a second-half onslaught from the visitors.

The Amateurs were well worth their two-goal lead at the break, despite their performance being blighted by misplaced passes.

But on the occasions when they did get their game together, their pressure play on the Thistle defence suggested goals were there for the taking.

And so it was on 25 minutes when, after a fine move, Philip Smith drilled a fierce strike across the Thistle six yard box, a defender botched his clearance, and there was Beattie to force the ball into the net from close range.

Ten minutes later and Dromore doubled their lead - Stuart Curran whipped a corner to the front post and Brownlee, back from injury, showed all his devilment to sneak in ahead of his marker and flick the ball home.

The second half was a very different affair as the visitors, who ply their trade in Division Four of the Mid-Ulster League, asserted their dominance and pushed Dromore onto the back foot.

Thistle reduced the deficit with a headed effort on 65 minutes, then laid siege on the Dromore half in search of an equaliser - but poor finishing and some downright stubbornness on the part of the Amateurs defence conspired to deny them any further goals.

This was a very sporting encounter, played in a great football spirit by both sides.

Dromore rode their luck at times but hopefully this victory will provide the confidence to play better next time out.

Special mention goes to Russell Ward who was thrown the keeper's gloves at late notice but never put a foot wrong and saved Dromore on numerous occasions - and in the end scooped manager Ronnie McMurray's 'man-of-the-match' award.

Team: R Ward, R McMurray, G Hill, D Brownlee, D McCauley, C Harper, S Curran, D Gibson, A Noble, M Beattie, P Smith. Subs: N Walsh, C Lockhart, A McCartan.

This weekend, the Seconds return to league action with an away trip to Tullycarnet where the contest will take place on an artificial surface.