Draperstown ended their league campaign in resounding fashion, clinching second place with a deserved win over fierce rivals Tobermore. The victory completed an excellent run of form for the Draperstown lads, who picked up 16 points out of a possible 18 in their last 6 league games.
It was an easy ride, however, with Tobermore at least matching their counterparts for the most of the first half. With possession pretty much even throughout, it was Draperstown who looked the more dangerous, especially on the counter attack. And it didnt take too long for the first great chance to register, when Conway flighted a beezer ball over the Tobermore defence which McClenaghan scampered onto.
With the keeper on-coming, McClenaghan tried the most delicate of lobs over the head of the keeper. Unfortunately for Draperstown, McClenaghan had slightly misjudged his angles, and the ball tricked agonisingly past the post.
In Draperstown nets the returning McConnell was never really challenged into a save, having only to take kick-outs. This was due mainly to the great defensive work by G Kelly and McSorley, who snuffed out all attacking play. Another less prominent factor was the poor shooting by the Tobermore players when chances did arise, with Service in particular being guilty of wasting opportunities.
With ten minutes remaining Draperstown were again unlucky not to break the deadlock, when G Kellys free kick from twenty five yards out was brilliantly clipped past the post by the Tobermore keeper.
In the second half, Draperstown began to take control of the match and created more and more chances. However, it was beginning to look like one of those days. Draperstowns constant attacking play was leaving them more and more prone at the back, with Tobermore now looking dangerous on the break, especially down their right hand side. And had it not been for some good last-ditch defending and smart saves from McConnell Tobermore could have taken the lead.
At this stage A Kelly made way for K McCullagh. McCullagh was deployed in defence and McKillion moved into midfield, which gave the team fresh impetus . Draperstown continued to push forward, and both McClenaghan and Diamond had a few half-chances. Five minutes later, a sublime ball by McCullagh into the Tobermore defence was latched onto by McKilion, who wriggled past a few challenges, but was unable to square the ball for neither Diamond nor McClenaghan.
Within minutes, Draperstown got the ball into the net through Conway, after he completed a great solo run. Incredibly, however, it was disallowed for an infringement of some sort. Refusing to lie down, Draperstown pushed on and were rewarded with ten minutes to go, when a poor defensive clearance by Tobermore was headed goal wards by McKillion. Seeing it was going wide, McClenaghan diligently turned it back into the box, which Diamond converted into the net from a diving header.
And with only five minutes remaining, Draperstown doubled their lead when an excellently directed free kick by G Conway caused confusion in the Tobermore penalty area, with the ball being kick towards the net. An eagle-eyed McClenaghan was able to get onto the end of it and tap in from no more than 5 yards.
The match ended minutes later with Draperstown ending up deserving winners.