Drumragh U13 boys battled hard to earn a draw in their opening league game against Strabane at Clanabogan Park on Wednesday.
It was an exciting game with the lead changing hands several times, and the result in doubt right up until the end.
It was Drumragh who made the stronger start and they went ahead with a terrific goal from centre-forward Connor McLaughlin. Shay Donnell and Ben McCullagh put the pressure on the Strabane defence and the ball came to Connor who lobbed the goalkeeper from long distance.
They soon doubled their lead with midfielder Connor Fyffe finding the back of the net. Connor McLaughlin kicked a good point from play as Drumragh continued their good start.
Strabane had their moments early on too and Tiernan O’Donnell and James Fyffe stood up well to stop Strabane scoring.
The away side did eventually get on the scoreboard with a good point from play.
Drumragh responded well, however, getting their third goal, Dara Cox punching a long ball in.
They had other chances too. The three half-backs were pushing forward to good effect and a brilliant team move involving Ryan Coogan, Connor McLaughlin and Dara Cox saw the Strabane goalkeeper produce a fantastic save to deny Dara. Ben McCullagh and Connor were also unlucky not to score having done well to create a chance for themselves.
Strabane finished the half strongly, scoring 1-2 to only trail by two points at half-time.
At the start of the second half, Shay Donnell set Matt Gallagher up for a good point before Connor Fyffe did likewise for Connor McLaughlin having won the ball at midfield.
But back came Strabane. Drumragh goalkeeper Matthew O’Doherty made an excellent double save to deny them but they did get in for a goal a couple of minutes later. They then grabbed a point to bring the teams level.
Matt Gallagher answered for Drumragh with a nice score from play after he caught a good ball in from Ronan Baxter.
Strabane went up the field and kicked a free to equalise and soon went ahead for the first time in the game.
But Drumragh were in a determined mood. James and Connor Fyffe were getting on plenty of ball around midfield and that led to Eoin Kerlin kicking the ball over the bar.
Strabane went in front again but good play from Dara Cox, Shay Donnell and Matt Gallagher gave Connor McLaughlin the chance to bring the teams level again and he made no mistake.
It was still anyone’s game. Drumragh’s subs were having a big impact while the full-back line of Tiernan O’Donnell, Shea Mullin and Sean O’Donnell were performing well.
Strabane had possession with time almost up, and they looked like kicking a winner, but Matthew Barrett came up with a brilliant dispossession and cleared the ball before the referee blew the full-time whistle.
A good game and a fair result.
Scorers: Connor McLaughlin 1-3, Connor Fyffe 1-0, Dara Cox 1-0, Matt Gallagher 0-2, Eoin Kerlin 0-1
Team: Matthew O’Doherty, Tiernan O’Donnell, Shea Mullin, Sean O’Donnell, Matthew Barrett, Ronan Baxter, James Fyffe, Connor Fyffe, Ryan Coogan, Connor McLaughlin, Shay Donnell, Ben McCullagh, Dara Cox, Matt Gallagher
Subs: Oisin Walsh, Eoin Kerlin, Sean Sloan, Paudraig Gormley, Sean Boyle, Luke Hagan