Causeway Chronicle

Successful end of season from Draperstown as they lift Afternoon League Cup

The players and mascots celebrate another addition to the Draperstown Celtic trophy cabinet.

DC 4-1 Cookstown Youth Res
The C&DL Challenge Cup Final

A large vocal crowd gathered to support DC in search of their first piece of silverware since winning the Jack Glenn City Cup in 2019. DC were favourites with the more experienced line up, in fact 6 of the squad were involved in their last cup win at Intermediate level back in 2010 (Haskins, Caulfield, Conway, J Higgins, E McKillion and Heron) but Cookstown came into the game showing the better form.

Both teams were led out with mascots which really added to the atmosphere and a half time, a 7 aside youth game delighted the crowd. The future is certainly bright for both clubs.

The game itself started slowly with both teams not really having many clear-cut chances in the opening quarter. Cookstown were composed bringing the ball out from the back and were the first team to properly settle. Cookstown had a few dangerous balls into the box, that Irwin and Haskins dealt with really well. Cassidy was put under pressure on the 30minute mark but C McKillion reacted to clear the danger.

The best chance of the half fell to DC. Leading goalscorer McGlade met Farrellys cross on the half volley and his shot shook the cross bar with McElhatton in the Cookstown goals a spectator as the ball flew past him. An enjoyable but nervy half ended 0-0.

The second half started with a bang. McGlade showed his pace as he broke the offside trap to round the keeper and slot home. Celebrations weren’t over when Cookstown hit back. Devlin had time inside the DC half to fire in a great cross that wasn’t cleared and Stefan Donnelly reacted quickly to slot home. 2 minutes into the half and 2 goals brought the game to life.

Hegarty and P McGovern started to dominate in the centre of the park. The game seemed to open up and DC appeared to have more space in the attacking third. MOTM Flanagan was coming more into the game and it was no surprise he got the next goal. A great ball out wide found Flanagan on the left side and he cut inside and curled a perfect shot into the top corner. He wasn’t done there, 5 minutes later he got on the end of a great C McGovern corner to make it 3-1. On the 65th minute Glass made 2 subs. Goalscorer Flanagan asked to be taken off after running himself into the ground, the crowd showed their appreciation for his impact. Also coming off was the fantastic Caulfield. The 41 year old right back who has been the clubs most consistent player for over 20 years was clapped off the pitch after another superb performance. Coming on was E McKillion and Heron who both added fresh legs and composure to help see the game out.

The fourth goal coming from C McGovern on the 74th minute was similar to McGlades earlier, he broke the offside trap and cooly slotted home his first goal of the season for DC.

The remaining minutes Cookstown push forward to try and get back into the game but it was DC who looked more likely on the break. DC introduced Traill, S Higgins and J Higgins for the last few minutes. Traill had a great chance that was expertly saved by McElhatton a few moments before the final whistle.

A great team performance against a gallant youthful Cookstown side. A special mention to Manager Glass who has worked hard to bring silverware back to DC and has assembled a well drilled side. A good end to the season and a well deserved break but the club is already looking forward to preseason where the new 3G facility will be opened and enjoyed by all. The future really is bright.

The club want to acknowledge the coaches, players and parents of the 2017s who played in the half time game, thank you for helping to organise this. We would also like to acknowledge the large travelling crowd, the atmosphere they created was something special.

The Draperstown Celtic team that beat Cookstown Youth Reserves in the Challenge Cup Final.

The Draperstown Celtic 2017s who played a match at half time in the cup final.

Some of th elarge travelling crowd at the Showgrounds.

First team manager John Glass, Chairman Paul McCallion and assistant manager Anton Kelly celebrate with the Challenge Cup.

Draperstown Celtic’s Conor McGovern scored one on the night.

Dean Flanagan celebrates opening the scoring for Draperstown Celtic in the Challenge Cup victory over Cookstown Youth Reserves.

Benny Heron put in an impressive performance off the bench.

Aaron McGlade proved a handful for the Cookstown defence.

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle