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Dromore have final chance of cup glory

Crosshaven 14 Dromore 24

By Ronnie Ingram

Dromore succeeded where Instonians and Ballyclare, with home advantage, had failed and defeated Crosshaven to reach the final of the All-Ireland Junior Cup.

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The competition has not been a successful one for Ulster teams with only two victories in 14 seasons and Dromore, after their successful visit to Cork, become the first to reach the final in four years.

Leinster, who have won the trophy on 11 occasions, will have no representation in the final as their champions for the past three years, Ashbourne, were defeated by last season's beaten finalists Kilfeacle and District, 27-22 iin the other semi-final.

Following a number of phases, Dromore took the lead after 10 minutes when flanker and captain Adam McGregor scored and Lee Steenson converted and then added a penalty.

Continuous pressure led to the home team spilling the ball and Josh Pentland raced in for a second converted try before Crosshaven came back with Cian McGovern converting Killian O'Keefe's try to make it 17-7 at the interval.

On a muddy pitch, Dromore went 24-7 ahead when a charged down kick led to Ben Heath crashing over for the third score.

There was still time for Graham Smith to cross for the home team's second try but that was as close as they got.

Dromore director of rugby Jeremy Ogle thought it was a very controlled effort, saying: "In the past few games we have just managed wins but this time we always had the upper hand. We kicked well, the defence was amazing and we took our chances."

The final is on Saturday, January 25 with the venue to be decided, most likely in Dublin.

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