DROMORE High School’s U16 football team will play in the Northern Ireland U16 Senior Plate Final at Ballymena Showgrounds against St. Pius X (Magherafelt) tomorrow.
The U16 team has undoubtedly had a very successful season in 2012-13, with the Banbridge District Council Cup already in the trophy cabinet. In that final the boys played well within themselves to defeat the High School, Ballynahinch 2-0 in what was a repeat of last year’s decider. New-Bridge IC and Banbridge HS had fallen victim to Dromore in the previous two rounds. Kurtis Bain scored a brace in the final.
It has been in the NI competitions that the boys have really shown their true colours. After a very tough draw in the Senior Cup, they were defeated by St. Patrick’s College (Belfast) in what was, nevertheless, a good performance.
Fivemiletown HS decided not to make the long journey to Ferris Park in the 1st round of the Plate – this was to be their one, and only, ‘gift’ for the season as they were awarded the tie.
The second round saw Dromore pitted against a good St. Patrick’s Academy side from Lisburn. This team had already comfortably accounted for Lisnagarvey in a friendly – a team Dromore would have had close matches against. Ironically the match was played at ‘Garvey and what a match it was. The St. Patrick’s side contained a NI International but that was no match for Dromore – after the sides were level, the tie was decided by penalties in a very exciting afternoon.
The quarter-final was played at Mallusk on a day when all NI competition quarter-finals were played. Glengormley HS, a former Cup semi-finalist at U14 level, were the opposition. Again, another tight match ensued with another battle going beyond the 80mins. Christian Kennedy scored in normal time, with Glengormley equalising in the second half.
Although Dromore missed a penalty, out of character for the reliable Kurtis Bain, deep into extra-time pressure by Timothy McCracken resulted in an own goal with the victory Dromore’s.
The semi-final venue was to be the impressive artificial surface home to Cliftonville Football Club – Solitude. Foyle College had previously swept all before them in previous rounds winning 11-0 and 6-2 against ‘Garvey.
With a specific game-plan, the boys stuck to the plan superbly and even shocked Foyle a goal in the first minute – nicely tucked away by Kurtis Bain. Captain, Danny Davison, then produced a stunning free-kick that curled into the top corner.
Dromore led 2-0 at half-time thanks to an incredible team effort. Knowing Foyle would come at them after the break, they re-emphasised our tactics and strategy. In a second half, just as impressive as the first, Dromore continued to contain any threat from Foyle. Although they did concede a goal, Christian Kennedy slid in a third late in the half to remove all doubt.
U16 Squad: Daniel Davison (c), Timothy McCracken, Andrew Rowan, Ross Kerr, Ross Bingham, Andrew Compton, Scott McMullan, Kurtis Bain, Robert Gibson, William McCutcheon, Steven Adair, Keith McGuigan, Colin Frazer, Christian Kennedy, Christopher Treacy, Christopher Harrison, Adam McDonald.