Dromore expected to progress
Tyrone SFC Quarter-Final
Dromore v Ardboe
Sunday, Dungannon, 6.00pm
Champions Dromore make the next step in the defence of their title when they lock horns with Ardboe on Sunday afternoon.
It is fitting that it is the surroundings of O’Neill Park in Dungannon which hosts the contest, the venue having provided the backdrop for so many enthralling and pulsating championship encounters at both club and county level down through the years, and this weekend’s battle looks set to continue that theme.
An Ardboe-Dromore clash has become an annual championship event, the Rossa having been denied the O’Neill Cup due to that dramatic last gasp penalty goal from Colm McCullagh in the dying seconds of the 2009 decider. Ardboe also consider themselves unfortunate to have lost out to the St Dympna’s at the quarter-final stage last season, missing out after a replay.
A severely depleted Ardboe secured victory over Donaghmore in the previous round, a result which seemed extremely unlikely when they trailed by six points midway through the second half.
The switch of John McConville to the edge of the Donaghmore square saw the big Ardboe man grab one goal and tee up another, as the game swung in favour of the Loughshore side with Brian McGuigan pulling the strings.
Although they will still be without the services of the likes of Kyle Coney and Tommy McGuigan, Ardboe’s resources have been boosted by the return of Shay McGuigan and Gavin Teague from their summer of football in the US, and both should feature prominently this weekend.
Dromore found the going tough for long spells against Eglish first day out, and it took a speculative goal from Paddy Montague to finally provide some breathing space as the game headed into the final quarter.
It was a workmanlike rather than a sparkling performance from the Gardrum Park outfit, but that will matter little to a side who are focusing on championship titles rather than individual wins.
They are battle-hardened, and have reinforced their side with a number of emerging talents who have supplemented their hugely experienced side who are once again the favourites for the title, especially with Eoin McCusker back in the fold. Although Ardboe will provide stern opposition, it is Dromore who should take their place in the last four.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday August 30. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here