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Draperstown Under 16's
Draperstown Youth U16 5-2 Heights Westbank U16
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Draperstown Youth U16 5-2 Heights Westbank U16

Draperstown hosted Heights in the league in search of their first victory in nearly four months, and started much the brighter of the two teams. Their passing was slick and the movement perfect. At times, however, the final ball just let them down, and thus they were unable to carve any real opportunities. However, Heights couldnt mount any serious attacks, as Draperstown midfield was in superb form, with Kelly especially shining, breaking down all ball that got near him.

When Heights rarely did get the ball into the final third, Draperstown defence was more than capable of dealing with it, with McCullagh and Kelly in particular winning a lot of ball. It therefore came as no surprise when after 15 minutes Draperstown grabbed a deserving lead, when a great attack, ending with Kelly carving a gilt-edged chance for McClenaghan, who smashed home with aplomb.

Heights, however, could not handle that they were being out-played, and began to kick up a storm in an attempt to put Draperstown off their game. This, however, back-fired, as it only spurred Draperstown on, with Murray causing no end of trouble down the left with his marauding, mazy runs being too much for Heights to cope with.

With ten minutes remaining in the half, Draperstown doubled their advantage, when McClenaghan finished smartly after some great build-up. Once again, Heights started a row, shouting abuse at Murray, trying to raise a reaction out of him, but Murray refused to be goaded into a silly argument.

The rest of the half went by with Draperstown still very much on top, and causing real problems for the Heights defence.

The second half started much the same way as the first had gone, and it took only a few minutes for Draperstown to seal the victory. A 40 yard, pin-point pass from McKillion was taken down by Bradley, who laid the ball off for Taggart, who rifled home from the edge of the box.

McKillion then came off for McLaughlin. A few minutes after this, the same took a swing for the worse from Draperstowns point of view, when influential captain G Conway, received his marching orders along with a Heights player when an off the ball incident led to both receiving their second yellow cards.

From here on it was very much downhill for Draperstown, as for the first time they began to look over-run in midfield, and uncoordinated at the back. This was shown ten minutes later, when poor marking at the back post allowed a Heights player to sneak in and cut the deficit. However, their joy was very short-lived, as Draperstown once more extended their advantage, when Bradley hit a wicked shot which struck the side of the post and rocketed into the back of the net.

McAlarry, McGrogan and McNamee then came on for McCullagh, Taggart and Kelly. After this, Heights once again gave themselves a glimmer of hope again, when they again pulled a goal back after bad marking, shooting past the unlucky Conway, who had been having a stormer between the sticks.

Once more Draperstown picked themselves up, and could easily have scored 4 more goals before the end. First Murray when on a 50 yard run, taking the ball past 5 or 6 men, before unluckily having his shot tipped onto the bar. After this, Kelly tried to repeat the feat, but his run ended with his chipped shot flashing just past the post.

After this, Draperstown did score a fifth, when McClenaghan was set free of the defence and beautifully lobbed the keeper to complete his second hat-trick for the club. And it was a carbon copy build-up and shot that very nearly seen Bradley get a brace. However, his attempted lob was just too low, allowing the goalkeeper to pick up the loose ball.

Minutes later the final whistle blew, with Draperstown deservedly winning a match that could easily have run into double figures. Next week the team travel to Coleraine to play East End in the league.

Starting Line-Up (4-4-2): C Conway, K McCullagh, G Kelly, J Warnock, D Murray, D McKillion, G Conway (capt), A Kelly, G Taggart, G Bradley, M McClenaghan
Subs: S McGrogan, C McAllary, K McNamee, D McLaughlin