Dromore aim to build on Junior Cup success

Coach Johnny Cullen was elated as Dromore ended their 80-year wait to lift the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup with a victory over Ballynahinch at Kingspan Stadium.

The winning Dromore Coaches Jeremy Ogle, Jonny Cullen and James Kirk with captain Adam McGregor with the 2019 MMW Ulster Junior Cup after the Final victory over Ballynahinch II

Dromore had to withstand a late Hinch fightback but held on for a 22-19 victory in a thrilling final.

“It definitely has been (a historic night), 80 years and that give the boys a good drive for it and it really worked and they put the effort in, said Cullen.

“The club is very proud of it’s history and they has been a buzz around the club about the 80 years and how long that we have not won a cup.”

Hinch were winning 6-5 in first half stoppage time before Dromore were awarded penalty try which give then a 12-6 interval lead.

“A try like that just before half time to take you into the lead is definitely a game changer and you have to take your chances, in the first half I thought we really knocked at the door very well and luckily we got that try just before half time.”

“We always like the scoreboard ticking over and the boys did well there and it just wish it had continued to make it an easier night for us.”

An Aaron Ferris try with a couple of minutes before the end pulled Hinch within three points.

“You know Hinch are going to come at you, you can control them when it is tight and confined but once the game opens up on a pitch like that they get very good.”

“We knew right to the wire they would keep coming with the attitude Brian has installed in them they keep going for 80 minutes.

“Look what they first did against Malone last Saturday a last gasp try to seal the Premiership title so they know what it takes and you know you’re against one team that will fight to the end.”

“It was a massive relief but I knew the boys had it in them and there have been a couple of games this season when it comes down to pure dog and aggression.

“We have a good team that will fight for each other we call it the ‘blue wall’ and they held tight.”

Cullen is hoping the Junior Cup is only the start of the silverware going to Barban Hill.

“Hopefully that could be the start and knock down the barriers, we’re nine out of nine in the league and looking good there, the confidence is up and when the boys see a night like this they want more of it.”

Captain Adam McGregor became the first Dromore player to lift the Junior Cup for 80 years are a dramatic victory of Ballynahich 2s.

Dromore’s last victory in 1938 was against Coleraine 3-0 and while the margin of victory against Hinch was also three points (22-19) it was a much more action packed game with the Barban Hill side edging the try count 3-2.

“It’s a hard feeling to describe but it sends tingles down your back to lift that cup and see a smile on everyone’s face,” stated McGregor.

“It added spice to it ( playing Hinch) and it gave the boys that extra 10%, we knew it was local rivals and we had already beat them once up there but we knew it would be a difference game and the boys applied themselves well, fair play to Hinch they gave it to us in the last 20 minutes but we held out.”

“There is a lot of belief in the squad and we have a big squad, we have a lot of numbers training which makes it a lot easier to develop boys, there were a lot of boys out there that we young and that will put them in good stead.”

Dromore dominated at the set piece.

“The first scrum is always what we talk about getting the shape and height right and give them a marker for it I think we done that and are set piece was really good, it maybe took us 20 minutes to get into our pattern but once we did we felt comfortable.”

“We have trained hard for the last couple of weeks on the maul and we got our reward for it, at the end of the first half there were a couple of missed lineouts but we have the belief as a squad once we’re in that 22 we come away with points and we proved it before half time which let us kick on in the second half.”

“I thought the first 15 minutes of the second half we had the upper hand and then we let them come at us a bit but our defence held strong at the end and it’s a fantastic win.”

Dromore’s first try game from a driving maul which started outside the Hinch 22.

“Once we get it rolling and get it right there is no better feeling especially if you’re in the middle of it and trampling it on and there is no better feeling.”

Dromore scored either side of half time to take a commanding 19-6 lead which Hinch couldn’t peg back.

“For me as a captain I’d always say to the lads we need a score before the end of the first half put the other team’s head down and get them thinking about what they have to do and we’re going into half time with our heads up.”