Dunloy, Ballymena

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Deadly Dromore End Éireann's Advance


St Dympna's bring the ball forward in the light snow of the Loughshore.

St Dympna's Dromore (Tír Eoghain) 2-11 Clann Éireann (Ard Mhacha) 0-05


Emmett McNabb hit a superb 0-05 from play as his St Dympna's side saw off the challenge of Armagh's Clann Éireann to set up a keenly-awaited tie with O'Donovan Rossa Magherafelt in the last four of the Ulster U21 Football Tournament at Kickham's Creggan on Sunday afternoon.


An opening-minute goal from centre-forward Andrew McGrath set the tone for the afternoon and Dromore looked comfortable throughout, controlling possession well and cutting their opponents' defence open with incisive passing.


McGrath's second goal in the seventeenth minute effectively killed the contest, but it was the trickery of McNabb and the industry of Declan McNulty and Tiernan Sludden that copper-fastened the victory in the second half.


That McGrath brace made up the only two scores of the opening seventeen minutes, but the skirmish just moments before the goal appeared to have opened the game up, with the Lurgan men registering their first score immediately afterwards, captain Conor McConville sweeping over wide on the right hand side after good build up play from Ruairí McDonald.



The St Dympna's backlash was immediate and clinical with Tiernan Sludden at its centre. The full-forward was proving a handful for Oscar McKeagney and was out in front again, winning the ball and feeding McNabb, who steadied himself wide on the left and curled over his first of the day.


The lively corner forward added another soon afterwards, before Declan McNulty then bustled his way through the middle and popped over the score his work-rate deserved. With the Tyrone men well in control, half back Caolan Slevin, wearing seven, slipped over the last score of the first half to leave his side ten points to the good.


Clann Éireann were dealt a further blow when Aodhan McConville limped off the pitch at half time, but began the second half well with scores from Daniel Magee and a well-taken Ruairí McDonald effort wide on the left flank.


Two-goal hero Andrew McGrath then raised his first white flag of the day in response, before a short Barry McCambridge free fell in the Dromore penalty area, causing a scramble, with the ball eventually forced over the St Dympna's crossbar by Cónán O'Carroll to leave eight points between them.


McNulty again led the charge for Dromore as they set about replying to O'Carroll's score, the half forward carrying the ball forward and allowing centre-back Ryan McCusker to finish from close range to restore the nine-point gap.


With twenty minutes remaining, Tiernan Kelly tapped over what was to be Clann Éireann's last score of the game, and the first not to arrive from open play. Three minutes later Caolan McCarron repeated the trick for Dromore before Emmett McNabb fired over the score of the game.


Collecting the ball wide on the right flank, the corner forward's neat shuffle saw him lose his marker, before playing a swift one-two with Tiernan Sludden and swinging over a left-footed effort. McNabb then followed up with yet another neat sidestep before firing over from 25 yards to increase the deficit to eleven.


Our Man of the Match Declan McNulty of St Dympna's Dromore.

McNulty then turned provider again, flicking the ball from the ground into the path of John MacRory who raced in to fist over the game's final point and set up what is sure to be a thriller of a match with O'Donovan Rossa of Derry in the Semi-Final.


The Magherafelt side also fired home their first goal in the opening minute of their Quarter-Final and will be relishing the opportunity to take on the Tyrone men next Sunday.



St Dympna's Dromore: Mark McGale, Cathal Colton, Peter Teague (c), Ruairí Teague, Nathan McCarron, Ryan McCusker (0-01), Caolan Slevin, Oisín Gallogly, Cahir Goodwin, Declan McNulty (0-01), Andrew McGrath (2-01), Caolan McCarron (0-01f), John MacRory (0-01), Tiernan Sludden, Emmett McNabb (0-05).


Subs: Pearse McNabb for Caolan McCarron 53', Gavin Teague for Oisín Gallogly 55', Ciaran McDermott for Declan McNulty 57', Tiernan McDermott for Andrew McGrath 58', Eoghan McShane for Cahir Goodwin 61'.


Clann Éireann: Eoghan Mulholland, Conor McDonald, Oscar McKeagney, Jack Haddock, Cónán O'Carroll (0-01), Barry McCambridge, Tiernan Harbinson, Conor McConville (c) (0-01), Sean McCarthy, Daniel Magee (0-01), Tiernan Kelly (0-01f), Jack Conlon, Ruairí McDonald (0-01), Ríoghan Meehan, Aodhan McConville.


Subs: Micheál O'Shea for Conor McDonald 16' (Black Card), Callum Magee for Aodhan McConville 30', Mark Cooper for Tiernan Kelly 59'.


Referee: Eamonn McAuley (Erin's Own Cargin, Aontroim)


Unit Updates' Man of the Match: Declan McNulty (St Dympna's Dromore)


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