GAA: Dromore knock Ardboe out of senior championship

Eoin McCusker got the all important Dromore goal
Eoin McCusker got the all important Dromore goal
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Dromore 1-10 Ardboe 0-8-

An Eoin McCusker goal four minutes into the second half proved to be the decisive score as Dromore moved past Ardboe into the senior championship quarter-final.

Played in wet and windy conditions in Dunmoyle, the St Dympna’s saw off the Ardboe challenge on a scoreline of 1-10 to 0-8.

While Ardboe closed the gap to two points again after the goal, Dromore wingback Niall Sludden popped up in the final quarter with three points to kill the game off as a contest.

The St Dympnas made a couple of late changes with Barry Collins and Ruairi Sludden coming into their side.

Dromore got off to the best possible start as they opened the scoring after three minutes. Playing with the aid of a strong wind in the opening half they had Colm McCullagh to thank for the early strike the veteran forward swing ing over a beauty.

Dromore dominated the opening exchanges as Ardboe struggled to work the ball into the wind.

Eoin McCusker extended the lead for Audi Kelly’s side with a point in the eighth minute as they began to show their dominance on the scoreboard.

Ardboe weren’t to lie down that easily though and they registered their first point of the game with Oisin Devlin slotting over after good work from Michael Cassidy.

Sean McDonnell was impressive for the Dromore men throughout the night and he made it 0-3 to 0-1 with a point from a free as Dromore made their lead two once again.

Eoin McCusker was next score raising a white flag after a good run from Niall Sludden.

Sludden’s brother Ruairi then gave his side a four point advantage when he fired over a 45 in the 21st minute of the half.

Ardboe weren’t playing badly but the wind was really blowing at this point and they struggled to craft a scoring chance.

They did finally create one when Kyle Coney found Brian McGuigan who slotted over.

That was the score at the break but it was a goal not long after it that was to prove decisive.

Emmet O’Neill picked out Eoin McCusker in space and the centre half forward ran at the Ardboe defence firing into the top corner of Conor McGrath’s goal.

The Rossa were rocked but they responded well with Kyle Coney pointing a free after a foul on Brian McGuigan

Coney added another before Michael Cassidy fired one over from outside the 45 from a free to make the gap three once again.

Dromore needed a response and it was the veteran McCusker who settled his side with a fine effort.

A Coney free and then a brilliant point by the lively Michael Lynn left just two points between the teams with twelve minutes to play.

Dromore didn’t panic however and they kicked two brilliant points with Niall Sludden converting first off his left foot from the wing and then while stumbling off his right foot to make the gap four once again.

Shay McGuigan kicked a point from distance to get his side back into the contest as the game edged towards his final five minutes but Dromore’s experienced heads were not to be outdone.

Ciaran McCoy popped up at the end of a counter-attack to fire over from the right wing and then Niall Sludden got his third of the second half to seal the Dromore mens passage to the last eight of this year’s championship.