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Errigal Ciaran 0-13 Dromore 0-08

By Declan Bogue

For the first time in the post-Peter Canavan era, Errigal Ciaran are county champions with a remarkably controlled performance that manager Ronan McGuckian claimed ‘flattered them', but did nothing of the sort.

Kudos goes to McGuckian, who triumphed in the tactical duel against his Ballinderry clubmate and friend, Dromore manager Paul McIver.

Errigal had correctly identified the main attacking threats of Dromore's Eoin McCusker and Colm McCullagh, detailing Ciaran Quinn and Aidan McCrory on marking duties, who kept that pair scoreless throughout the opening half.

Dromore had done their homework also, leaving the energetic Ronan McNabb to tail Peter Harte and prevent him from generating attacks from deep.

Overall though, the midfield strength of Errigal's McGinley brothers in midfield was decisive.

Add in Davy Harte's eagerness to get stuck into breaking ball and Caolan Tierney's workrate and the challengers were well-stocked with primary and secondary phase possession.

Although they started the brighter, a measure of Dromore's frustration as the first half progressed was wrapped up in an interesting sequence where McCrory managed to bottle up McCusker underneath the Main Stand on 26 minutes, who then held onto it too long.

By this stage Errigal were three points clear and Dromore were lucky that the next possession resulted in a wide from Ronan McRory.

Niall Sludden, starved of ball by close attention from Stefan Tierney, eventually found himself in some space on 30 minutes and impressively managed to split the posts from a difficult enough angle to leave two points in it at half-time.

A flourish of Dromore points took them into the lead with the highlight being a lovely effort from Colm McCullagh.

For the last 20 minutes however, Errigal outscored their opponents eight points to one.

Considerable credit must go to Davy Harte who stroked a shot over with the outside of his boot, and then won two break balls straight after that led to points from Horisk and Ronan McRory.

It could have been more, with some typically flamboyant goalkeeping from the wandering Peter Ward almost getting found out when Damien McDermott latched onto a loose ball, before being taken down by Fabian O'Neill.

In the end it was comfortable for Errigal, who now go on to face Cavan's Mullahoran in the Ulster Club Championship on October 21st in Breffni Park.

Errigal Ciaran: J. Devine; A. McCrory, M. McRory (0-1), C. Quinn; S. Tierney, P. Harte (0-1), D. Harte (0-1); Cormac McGinley (0-1), E. McGinley; Ciaran McGinley, T. Canavan (0-3, 2f), C. Tierney (0-1); Damien McDermott (0-1), B. Horisk (0-2), R. McRory (0-2). Subs: D. Canavan for C. Tierney (41m), P. Quinn for S. Tierney (56m)

Dromore: P. Ward; F. O'Neill, S. O'Neill, K. Donnelly; N. Sludden (0-1), C. O'Hara, C. McCarron (0-1); H. McNulty, S. McDonnell (0-1); R. McNabb, C. McCullagh (0-1), P. Montague; E. O'Neill, E. McCusker (0-3, 3f), R. McMenamin (0-1). Subs: C. O'Neill for Montague (36m), T. McCarron for E. O'Neill (49m)

Referee: Cathal O'Hagan (Brackaville)

Belfast Telegraph


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