Starting line-up (4-3-3): JP McConnell, G Kelly, D McSorley, G OKane, M OKane, D McKillion, G Conway, J Higgins, K ONeill, K Laughry, M Diamond
Subs: J McLarnon, C Donnelly, K McCullagh, S McGrogan, C Diamond
The match kicked off under adverse conditions, with a strong wind and light rain. Right from the start it was obvious the encounter was going to be played mainly in the midfield area, with many counter attacks.
Both sides began brightly, creating a few chances a-piece. However, none threatened to turn into goal scoring opportunities. However, after 15 minutes, a poor backpass by McSorley allowed a Ballycastle striker to pick up the ball on the edge of the box. With a goal looking the likely ending, Kelly came to the rescue with a brilliant tackle in the box.
Ten minutes later Draperstown broke the deadlock. A long cross by McKillion from 25 yards out was met by Diamond, who could only direct his shot at the keeper. However, the ball slipped loose and rolled across the net. A quick Laughry was then able to direct a pass back across to Diamond who blasted the ball into the top of the net.
After this Draperstown were in control of the game, making some great, fluid attacks and some sublime passing. Soon after they nearly doubled their lead. A great cross from the left was met by a brilliant, hanging header by ONeill at the back post. Unfortunately for the speedy striker, the post denied him a great goal.
From then on to half time, possession was largely even with no goalscoring chances for either outfit.
Ballycastle came out in the 2nd half and seized control of the game, but were still unable to penetrate the Draperstown defence. The home side also looked very dangerous on the counter attack but could never quite get that elusive second goal.
With half an hour remaining, Ballycastle levelled things up after a long ball over the defence was met by a good shot by a Ballycastle centre forward. However, McConnell in the Draperstown goals was equal to it, parrying it out again. Unluckily for the young keeper, it came straight to an opposition player who had the easiest of finishes to tie the game.
Ballycastle continued to dominate after this but very nearly paid for playing so far up the pitch. First, a defensive error allowed McKillion to get past the defence. However, his shot from the edge of the penalty area went well over the bar. After this, Draperstown had at least two other decent chances to regain the lead. However, bad luck and poor finishing didnt allow this to happen.
Soon after M Diamond and K ONeill made way for two debutants, C Diamond and J McLarnon.
Then with ten minutes remaining on the clock, the sucker punch came. Poor defending allowed a Ballycastle striker through on goal. The striker then squared the ball to a totally unmarked player who coolly slotted the ball home. For all their efforts, Draperstown found themselves trailing for the first time in the match.
The rest of the match was played at a slow pace and ended with the scoreline still standing as 2-1. However, the whole affair was marred by poor officiating and some very dirty play.