Early season win for Comber against Drumaness Mills
Premier Division 1.
League Match at The Parkway, Comber.
Final Score: Comber Rec 2 1 Drumaness Mills.
On paper this looked like a promising game with Comber having performed well to reach near the top of the NAFL Premier League writes Jim Masson.
And Drumaness too had their moments of glory last season playing in the finals of the Border Cup and Clarence Cup, and keeping out of the relegation zone.
Play started off with a blistering attack from Comber but Brett McConville skewed the ball over the top bar shooting close to goal.
Drumaness defender Ben Campbell made a timely intervention as McConville attacked again saving what looked like a very promising goal opportunity for Comber.
Comber made a number of very powerful charges at Drumaness but they were finding it difficult to strike on target.
In one assault, as Comber pinned Drumaness in their own half for around 20 minutes, Dylan Thompson hit a volley which glanced off the Drumaness top bar on 6 minutes.
And Comber defender Matthew Gibson put the ball through the middle to McConville who again struck for goal and fired his shot over the bar.
Despite the pressure from Comber, Drumaness looked in control and contained the attackers well who had a few near goal opportunities.
McConville later hammered a volley at the Drumaness goal but keeper Keegan Dumican held the ball well.
Then on twenty minutes Drumaness finally made a break at the Comber goal and Stefan Mason crossed the ball to Eoin Murray whose shot on target was deflected out for a corner by keeper Corey Pollock.
Gradually Drumaness started to build attacks and show their metal around mid-way in the first half.
Drumaness captain Gary Murdock had done an excellent job keeping his defence in shape during the early stages of the match.
Drumaness forward Mason slid the ball through to Kearney but a Comber defender just got enough leverage to knock the ball out for a corner to defuse the attack.
There was a good sharp bit of defending from Drumaness full back Thomas O’Neill who managed to pin Comber’s wing man Dylan Wilson in the corner.
But Comber just kept coming and Hanna made an excellent volley from outside the box but it just raised up over the top bar.
Drumaness were finding the odd space to make an attack and the game could have gone either way as both teams battled for the elusive first goal in the match.
Eventually, an excellent run by Adam Kearney saw him pop the ball into the Comber net in the 44th minute despite all of Comber’s pressure throughout the first half.
But just one minute later Drumaness had not come back down to earth and Comber launched a fierce charge at the goal.
And after a few tackles McConville squared the match up to 1-1 in the 45th minute by knocking the ball in at close range into the Drumaness net.
The vital advantage Druamness had won just before half-time was lost is a flash.
The first half finished with both sides delivering a number of hard tackles and Drumaness captain Murdock received a painful kick to the ankle which eventually cleared.
The second half started off like the first with Comber attacking Drumaness.
Wilson made a storming run down the right but Ben Campbell managed to intervene sending the ball out for a corner.
The game itself was quite tense as both teams felt they could win it and battled to put their stamp on play.
On 60 minutes Lex Walker struck a blow for Comber nabbing the winning goal with a shot again close the Drumaness nets to go 2-1 into the lead.
Drumaness forward Jack Sharvin almost caught keeper Pollock off guard by a long lob at goal, a creative effort.
At this stage Drumaness were giving as much as they were getting and the match gradually became more physical testing their early season stamina and temperament.
Sharvin was feeding some excellent balls into the back of the Comber box trying to open up scoring opportunities.
Peter Brannigan made a valiant effort to shoot from a quick pass but the left footed shot went wide.
About half way through the second half as both teams began to tire, the physicality of tackles increased.
At the juncture Wilson received a yellow card for holding on to Jack Sharvin.
Bothe sides received 4 yellow cards and it was sub Daniel Bell who was red carded in the 92nd minute in extra time.
Drumaness were trying hard to claw their way back into the game and Thomas O’Neill found space to shoot on target at the Comber goal. He was on target but the shot was held by Corey Pollock.
Comber won a few corners as they pressed forward but Drumaness were resolute in their defence.
The game became very scrappy at this stage and stopped for injuries due to hard tackling by both sides.
When play recommenced Drumaness front player James McGivern tried a run through but hit a wall of defenders.
The match stopped and started due to injuries and eventually the exhausted and bruised player heard the final whistle.
Comber Rec: 1 Corey Pollock 2 Matthew Gibson 3 Brandon Nelson 4 Stuart Moore 5 Lex Walker 7 Dylan Wilson 8 Simon Hanna 9 Brett McConville 10 Matthew Tumlinson 11 Kristopher Gaw. Subs: 12 Ross Whitehead 14 Ciaran Gillan 17 Elliot Wilson.
Drumaness Mills: 1 Keegan Domican 2 Joe Healy 3 Thomas O’Neill 4 Ben Campbell 5 Gary Murdock (C) 6 Peter Brannigan 7 Adam Kearney 8 James McGivern 9 Stefan Mason 10 Jack Sharvin 11 Eoin Murray. Subs: 12 Owen Wright 14 Daniel Bell 15 Oran Bolton.