Drumaness Mills Pipped At Post By Crumlin Star

Drumaness Mills Lose Out In Border Cup To Crumlin Star

Drumaness Mills Lose Out In Border Cup To Crumlin Star

Border Regiment Cup Final.

Seaview, Belfast.

Tuesday 27th December

Final Score: Drumaness Mills 0   1 Crumlin Star.

Crumlin Star won the Border Regiment Cup by an only goal, but despite this Drumaness Mills can take consolation that they almost managed to contain the winners in a fast-paced, physical game writes Jim Masson.

From the whistle, Crumlin went to work attacking the Drumaness goal looking for an early score, but they were disappointed by the quality of the Drumaness defending.

The Drumaness Mills eam who faced Crumlin Star in the Border Regiment Cup Final at Seaview in Belfast. (Photos by Jim Masson / Down News.)

Keegan Domican playing in right back was straight into the melting pot with the Crumlin challenges coming through their left wing.

Domican faced the experienced Barry McKervey, the Crumlin captain, and made an excellent clearance early on showing he was up to the mark and held his ground bravely through the match.

On 8 minutes, Crumlin were pressing and James Doyle went down in the Drumaness goal area with Cilian Burns and Jack Sharvin covering him but referee Paul Costello ignored pleas for a penalty.

Then Crumlin won a free lick just outside the Drumaness box and McKervey curled a dipping ball over the wall of defenders and the ball was inches on the wrong side of the top bar.

Some of the Drumaness Mills supporters shouting on their team.

For the first 15 minutes Crumlin keeper Ciaran O’Neill was not tested.

Drumaness were well tested as the Ardoyne men put them under constant pressure but they held their ground well.

Then in a quick break from a deep pass Calum Dougan and Jack Sharvin shook off the Crumlin defenders and charged the goal but keeper McNeill just managed to rush out and clear the ball.

On 21 minutes, Eoin Rooney started off a spell of a few attacks against Crumlin and his first shot at goal was just held by McNeill.

Then minutes later he took another shot at the Crumlin goal under pressure from the close marking by Pierce McConnell.

Callum Dougan has a final attack at the Drumlin Star goal.

There were signs that Drumaness had weathered the storm of Crumlin attacks and were now a threat to be reckoned with.

But Crumlin came to Seaview to win the silver and dug deep and kept up the pressure on Drumaness. At one point they won two corners and eventually the ball was cleared by Gary Murdock (captain) who set up a quick break for Dougan positioned out on the left.

Then Drumaness made another strong attack on 28 minutes with Calum Dougan, Jack Sharvin and Stefan Mason with a couple of shots at the Crumlin nets.

This spell restored confidence in the Drumaness side after the Crumlin pummelling.

Eoin Rooney, right, played his part for Drumaness Mills.

Drumaness started to put Crumlin under pressure in spells and won a free kick a couple of yards outside the Crumlin box.

Sharvin’s fierce volley caught one of the defenders and in the battle for possession, Rooney got control and made an effort to shoot at the Crumlin goal but was smothered by defenders.

Drumaness were definitely fighting their way back into the match against the relentless Crumlin attacks hoping to make this the fifth time the club had won the Border Cup.

There were opportunities for Drumaness as the game unfolded such as a cross from Eoin Lundy through to Eoin Rooney which was a mite to strong to nudge onto the Crumlin goal.

Jack Sharvin in attacking mode for Drumaness against Crumlin Star.

At 34 minutes, Ben Campbell came on for Drumaness for Keegan Domican who had received several physical challenges and was worst for wear but had played an excellent role in defence.

Approaching half-time, Rooney made another great run into the Crumlin box but before be could compose for a shot midfielder Stephen Smyth cleared the ball to safety.

On the countdown for the first half, Joe Boyle found space to shoot a low volley at the Drumaness goal but it was wide of the post.

Then finally seconds before the whistle for half-time, literally, a cross from the left saw the ball bounce towards Boyle who tapped it into the middle of the Drumaness net past keeper McCann.

Stefan Mason attacks the Crumlin Star goal area.

This was a bitter blow to Drumaness who had weathered the Crumlin storm and were starting to create real opportunities.

Just as the second half was starting, Drumaness’ Jack Sharvin received a yellow card. And several minutes later Oisin Savage replaced midfielder Joe Healy.

A few minutes into the second period saw Rooney and Dougan break quickly but Dougan’s shot sailed over the bar.

The game started to get a lot more physical as Drumaness tried to claw back the equaliser, as as the pressure on Crumlin increased, team captain Barry McKervey received a yellow card, and was promptly replaced by Kevin McLaughlin, and Francis Nolan replaced Stephen Smyth in a move to freshen up the Crumlin side as Drumaness stepped up to the plate.

Dougan came into his own more in the second half and made a fine run through the centre within shooting range and unleashed a volley but that too was high over the target area.

Sharvin too was itching to score but was quite heavily marked restricting his usual fluency in attacks, but he managed to get a shot at the Crumlin nets but again the ball rose over the top bar.

Crumlin were sticking to their plan to wear down Drumaness but the latter were fighting back to secure and equaliser and stay in the match.

In the closing stafes of the match, the scoreline was in the balance. Pictured are Crumlin’s Joseph McNeill in action with Drumaness’ Oisin Savage.

A long ball into the Crumlin box saw Kyle McCleery get a decent header on target but keeper McNeill managed to hold the ball well.

The on-form McNeiil minutes later saved another header from Dougan.

Crumlin were ever the constant danger but Drumaness had an increased urgency in their play as the many fans urged them on to get on the score sheet.

On 70 minutes, McCleery passed to Eoin Lundy and made an excellent cross to Sharvin moving in in the face of the Crumlin goal but the ball missed his header by a hair’s breath for what could have been a significant turnaround in the match as Drumaness were pushing back.

On a late break Crumlin’s James Doyle made a great cross which again ended over the bar. The match was electric at this point and could have gone either way.

Hopes were high for Drumaness Mills as the game got underway but the battle against Crumlin was not underestimated by manager Mark Kerr and his team.

As the seconds ticked away, McCleery managed to squeeze in a shot on target but again keeper McNeill held the wet ball well.

The match ended with Drumaness pressing forward and fighting to the last. The fierce work-rate by Crumlin Star had paid off.

Overall, Drumaness were unlucky not to have forced the game into extra-time when they could have had the advantage over a Crumlin side who were beginning to feel the pressure from a fast-paced, physical game they largely controlled.

Drumaness did have their spells in attacking moves but were unfortunate not to have netted one of their several real opportunities.

Drumaness Mills: Conor McCann, Keegan Domican, Eoin Lundy, Cillian Burns, Gary Murdock (C), Joe Healy, Eoin Rooney, Kyle McCleery, Calum Dougan, Jack Sharvin, Stefan Mason. Subs: Ben Campbell, Oisin Savage. Adam Kearney.

Crumlin Star:  Ciaran McNeill, Breandan O’Neill, Adrian McNeill, Niall Hawkins, Pierce McConnell, Joe O’Neill, Stephen Smyth, Kevin Trainor, Kevin Lynch, James Doyle, Barry McKervey. Subs: Kevin McLaughlin, Sam McBurney, Francis Nolan.