U15s return to action and are held to a draw by Rathfriland

DROMORE Amateurs U15s returned to MUYL action on Saturday with an away fixture at Rahtfriland.

On a very difficult playing surface the Amateurs started brightly with David Maze stealing possession from the Rathriland kick off and almost fashioning an opening goal. His industry and pace would be a constant threat to the home side for the rest of the match.

Dromore looked solid and organised in the opening 15 minutes with David Ringland playing an anchor role in midfield and allowing Daris Benallal and David Maze to push further upfield and support wide men Joel Jess and Jack Lennon in attack.

Despite their early dominance, and not for the first time this season, Dromore failed to turn their superiority into goals and were made to pay the price in the 16th minute. A loose ball in midfield was played neatly through the Dromore defence and the home striker finished well past the on-rushing Dromore keeper, Jack Daly.

Dromore responded immediately and were unlucky not to equalise when Christian Kennedy chased a long through ball from Louis Simpson and beat the keeper to the touch at the edge of the box only to see his header go narrowly wide.

Minutes later Daris Benallal’s well struck shot was unfortunately straight at the keeper and Jordan Brush’s back post header from a corner on the left went agonisingly wide.

Dromore’s equaliser finally came in the 29th min and it was a goal to savour. A cross field from Joel Jess found Christian Kennedy wide on the left.

There looked to be little danger but the striker drifted past two covering defenders and cut in to the edge of the box before unleashing a superb strike that flew into the far top corner of the net.

The second half again saw Dromore start well, but the home side seemed to have ironed out some of their midfield problems at the break and it looked like a hard fought 35 minutes lay ahead for both teams.

Dromore went 2-1 up in the 5th minute when Joel Jess demonstrated his ability to pick out a pass and slid a perfect ball through to Christian Kennedy who finished calmly in the bottom corner.

Dromore now sensed the opportunity to seal a victory. Jack Lennon was a constant threat on the right with his pace and trickery, and David Maze and Joel Jess were posing questions of the home defence.

Despite their good work Dromore conceded an equaliser from a break away following a Dromore corner. A lapse of concentration from the Dromore cover allowed the lone Rathfriland striker to run unopposed onto a long pass and nick the ball past Jack Daly at the edge of the box, before slotting home.

Back came Dromore. Benallal’s free kick from the edge of the box well was saved by the keeper and Kennedy’s sharp, close range follow up went narrowly over. Lennon through on a pass from Maze but his fierce shot was too close to the keeper who made a fine save and then another Jordan Brush header just off target.

The Dromore rear guard was looking secure with full backs Daniel Abraham and Simon Percy disciplined and combative whilst the centre back pairing of Louis Simpson and Jordan Brush were proving well capable of marshalling the home attack.

The home side were probably happier with result as DAYFC could, and should, have won the game. However Rathfriland, with a much improved second half performance, had a couple of late opportunities that could well have earned them the points. Overall, a very entertaining and well contested match for which both sets of players deserve credit.

Dromore squad: Jack Daly, Daniel Abraham, Louis Simpson, Jordan Brush, Simon Percy, Daris Benallal, David Ringland, Joel Jess, David Maze, Christian Kennedy Jack Lennon, Aaron Ball, Matthew Doyle

Dromore Coaches’ Man of the Match – Joel Jess