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Draperstown Under 16's
Match Report #11
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Ballycastle U16 2-2 Draperstown U16

Starting line-up (4-4-2): JP McConnell, K McCullagh, D McKillion, M ONeill, M OKane, C Donnelly, G Conway, J Higgins, A Kelly, M Diamond, G Bradley

Subs: S Dobbs, K ONeill, G Player, S McGuigan 

Ballycastle got the match underway. For the 1st ten minutes, possession was pretty even with the Draperstown defence getting on top. There was few chances for the Ballycastle side while a few balls over the Ballycastle defence created chances for the Draperstown forward line. 

20 minutes in and Draperstown began to get on top of the game. Diamond was sent through on goal only to hit his shot over the bar. More chances came and went when with 35 minutes gone, after a good build up, Conway was taken down in the box. 

The referee pointed to the spot and up stepped Bradley to coolly slot the ball past the diving arms of the Ballycastle goalkeeper. This woke the home side up and they started to attack more. However, the Draperstown defence held out well. 

With 5 minutes to go to half time their was poor communication between McKillion and the Draperstown goalkeeper, allowing a Ballycastle striker to slide the ball past McConnell. 2 yards out and with the net at his mercy a goal seemed certain. That is until out of nowhere came a brilliant saving tackle from McCullagh. 

For the rest of the half Ballycastle attacked to no avail. Draperstown went into the half only 1 goal up when really they should have been two or three. 

Ballycastle started the brighter in the 2nd half created more chances. Soon after McCullagh made way for K ONeill with Donnelly moving to right back. The next ten minutes were the best for Ballycastle in the whole match. The ball was pumped into the Draperstown box and should have been cleared but kick after kick was mis-timed and finally when the ball was kicked out it was crossed back in where a Ballycastle striker managed to score after a rebound. However, the linesman had been clearly flagging offside. 

The referee, who had been poor all day, ignored the call and let the goal stand. 5 minutes later he did the same as Ballycastle grabbed a second and an undeserving lead. A long ball forward was going to be headered away by McKillion until he was pushed over by a Ballycastle forward. Ignoring the obvious free kick the referee let the match be played on. From this the ball was played through and then the referee really showed his bias. 

With the linesman again flagging for offside a Ballycastle striker stroked the ball past McConnell. Once more the goal stood. This was becoming a joke after the referee had given some dubious decisions Ballycastles way and failed to book or send off at least one of their players.

Soon though he was left with no option after an already yellow-carded Ballycastle midfielder fouled and then kneed in the face Conway. He immediately received his marching orders. 

Draperstown got life from this and went from strength to strength. Kelly made way for Player. With 4 minutes remaining a K ONeill run and cross made a goal. With the ball sitting nicely for him, Diamond turned and placed the ball in the far corner. 

Soon after the final whistle went with honours even in an ill-tempered match when a victory for the away side seemed the fairer result.