Historically when Ardboe and Dromore meet they have produced some of the closest and most compelling games of club football in the county. Their ten points apiece draw in Omagh a fortnight ago was nowhere near as good a game at their county final battle in 2009 but as the score line suggests it was a close and intriguing battle between two sides intent on not losing.
It would be fair to say that both these teams possess some of the most gifted ball players and best finishers in the county. Unfortunately in the drawn fixture with the prize of a semi final place at stake creativity and flair were replaced by graft and dour hard work. Only occasionally did we see flashes of sublime brilliance from the likes of Colm Mc Cullagh and Kyle Coney which managed to illuminate what was otherwise a game lacking real quality.
This weekend both sides will get the chance to put that one behind them as they go in search of a place in the last four of the championship and the right to face the winners of Omagh and Coalisland. This has all the hallmarks of being the game of the championship with two sides laced with skill, talent and quality. Ardboe have the Mc Guigans, Kyle Coney, Gavin Teague and Nishy O’Neill to call on while Dromore are backboned by their four county men, Sean Mc Donnell, Colm Mc Cullagh and Eoin Mc Cusker. Ten points in seventy minutes football from forward lines with so many good finishers was a poor return and expect Sunday’s game to produce a higher scoring total. Eoin Mc Cusker and Frank Mc Guigan were relatively quiet on the scoring front for their respective sides in the drawn game and we can be sure to expect more from both of these fine players.
However this game could well be decided by the quality of the defensive work and should Ardboe manage to reduce the number of free kicks they conceded in Omagh they could be on their way to a semi final place, but Dromore will be sure to battle them all the way.