McCullagh holds nerve to clinch title for Dromore
Published 19/10/2009 | 05:00
Dromore's second county title was won in the most dramatic of circumstances when Colm McCullagh netted a penalty deep into stoppage time.
It was a cruel blow to an Ardboe side which had made a massive contribution to a memorable decider, and looked set to lift the O'Neill Cup for the eighth time.
Ardboe's two points from play in the first-half came from half-backs Ciaran Campbell and Gavin Teague, while Dromore's attacking unit always looked dangerous.
Sean O'Neill and Colm McCullagh, from a free, notched up points for Dromore, and midfielder Barry Collins thumped over two long-range scores, one off each foot.
Dromore dominated the second quarter, easing ahead through Eoin McCusker, McCullagh and the busy Ronan McNabb, while Ardboe went 20 minutes without scoring before teenage centre-back Teague punched a point.
Dromore led by 0-7 to 0-4 at the break, but it was Ardboe, with the McGuigan brothers and Kyle Coney rising to the challenge, who dominated the third quarter.
Teenager Shea McGuigan crashed home a goal but Dromore, with Collins, Sean O'Neill, McNabb and in particular McCullagh displaying immense courage, dragged themselves back into contention. Skipper McCullagh steered over four points, and kept his cool to slot home the dramatic late penalty.
SCORERS -- Dromore: C McCullagh 1-6 (1-0 pen, 5f), Sean O'Neill, B Collins 0-2 each, Shaun O'Neill, R McNabb, E McCusker, C O'Neill (f) 0-1 each Ardboe : S McGuigan 1-1, K Coney (1f), B McGuigan 0-2 each, F McGuigan (f), T McGuigan, P Coney, C Campbell, M Coleman, G Wylie, G Teague, N O'Neill 0-1 each.
Dromore -- P Ward; F O'Neill, C McCarron, C Donnelly; K Donnelly, R McMenamin, P Montague; M Garry, B Collins; S McMahon, Sean O'Neill, C McCullagh; Shaun O'Neill, E McCusker, R McNabb. Subs: C O'Neill for Montague.
Ardboe -- R Coleman; P Coney, M McKeown, E Devlin; C Campbell, G Teague, S Forbes; M Coleman, T McGuigan; K Coney, B McGuigan, S McGuigan; G Wylie, J McConville, F McGuigan. Subs: N O'Neill for Campbell, K Devlin for S McGuigan, S Devlin for T McGuigan.
Ref -- S Quinn (Brackaville).