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Dromore round off a great year with title

Dromore 0-9 Carrickmore 0-7

By John Campbell

Dromore brought the curtain down on what has been a truly memorable year by clinching the Tyrone Division 1A League title for the fourth time in five years by overcoming great rivals Carrickmore in a dour encounter.

Yet although the St Dympna's side now boast the Championship and League double for the first time in their history, manager Noel McGinn still insists that his players wanted more.

"It is a measure of the way in which the bar has been raised that this team badly wanted to win the Ulster Club Championship. The way in which they beat Mayobridge after a replay sent us in against Crossmaglen Rangers in great heart in the semi-finals but we felt that we could have won this game instead of losing it by a point. We have gained invaluable experience and I have no doubt that the team will be the better for this," said former Tyrone defender McGinn.

Even though they have faced a gruelling schedule spanning recent weeks, Dromore still looked sharp and organised in the league decider in which Carrickmore failed to score once from play - a fact that disappointed their manager Dominic Corrigan.

"I suppose you could say that this really proved our downfall," observed the former Fermanagh and Sligo boss.

Dromore's arrival in the Tyrone seat of power has also provided county team manager Mickey Harte with food for thought.

Harte has already indicated that new blood will be introduced in 2008 and he could certainly do worse that offer a baptism to some of the players who have contributed handsomely to Dromore's lucrative campaign.

Ryan McMenamin and Conor McCullagh are established members of Harte's set-up, of course, but Fabian O'Neill, Mickey Garry and Shaun O'Neill have not done their personal credentials any harm of late.

Carrickmore, eased out of the Tyrone championship at an embarrassingly early stage by Kildress, lacked the necessary punch up front to penetrate a Dromore defence that was once again well marshalled by the alert O'Neill and the combative McMenamin.

DROMORE: P Ward; F O'Neill, C McCarron, Sean O'Neill; S McDonnell, R McMenamin (0-1), R McNabb; B Collins, M Garry; K O'Brien, C McCullagh, (0-2, 0-1 free), S McMahon (0-1); E McCusker (0-2), Shaun O'Neill, C O'Neill (0-3, all frees). Substitutes: S Fitzpatrick for O'Brien, H McNulty for McNabb, P Montague for McMahon, R Gallagher for C O'Neill.

CARRICKMORE: P McCallan; C McGurk, C McCartan, K Gormley; N Loughran, Ciaran McAleer, Conor McAleer; P Daly, C Gormley; R McNally, K McNally (0-7 all frees); G McCallan, B Daly, C Fox, B Martin. Substitutes: J Nugent for B Daly, B McCartan for Martin, K McCartan for K Gormley, C Daly for R McNally.

Referee: Michael Hughes (Donaghmore).

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