Draperstown kicked off their league campaign with a home match to their Mid Ulster counterparts, Cookstown, missing 5 key players. It was evident from the start, with Draperstown looking sluggish. Brilliant defending and great goalkeeper was all that kept them level at different stages of the game.
However, as the game went on, Draperstown slowly gained more and more control of the game. Murray proved dangerous down the left on his first start for the club, with McKillion imposing himself in the middle of the park, whilst Kennedy and Bradley caused all sorts of hassle upfront, but were unable to convert the few chances they got.
In defence McSorley and Shaw were very assured and handled all that came their way brilliantly, whilst Warnock, playing in an unfamiliar left back role, excelled, breaking down numerous attacks.
However, Cookstown very nearly took the lead before the interval, when a Cookstown striker latched onto a poor back-pass from McCullagh. However, McConnell came dashing out of his box and expertly stopped the shot and then cleared the ball.
Draperstown came out the second half very much the brighter of the two teams, with Higgins in particular playing tremendously, running the Cookstown midfield ragged with his long, fruitful runs. It was form on of these that Draperstown very nearly took the lead. A good ball through to Bradley left him one-on-one with the Cookstown keeper. Unfortunately, the ball took a wicked bounce and Bradley could only shoot agonisingly wide.
Draperstown continued to push for a winner, with much of their play coming from the right, with Taggart and McCullagh crossing in ball after ball. Kelly then came on for Kennedy. Draperstown then nearly snatched the lead, when a good, fluid attack ending with the ball at Murrays feet, 10 yards out. Not realising how much time he had, Murray turned and shot and seen it spin millimetres past the left-hand upright.
In the last five minutes Cookstown created a few chances which the spurned wastefully. The referee blew his whistle minutes after, to the disappointment of Draperstown and Cookstown, both of whom felt that the three points were attainable.
Draperstown continue their league campaign with an away tie to Tobermore, who this week suffered a humiliating 8-1 defeat and will be looking to regain some pride against their South Derry rivals.