Dromintee braced for historic Paul McGirr appearance

THIS Dromintee team, who take on Carryduff in Sunday’s semi-final of the Paul McGirr tournament, has already created some history for the south Armagh club.

In July 2022 they won the club’s first All-Ireland Féile title and in reaching the Paul McGirr tournament, they have become the first St Patrick’s male side to reach a provincial competition with the club’s senior ladies twice competing in Ulster, once as Dromintee and more recently in their amalgamated Dromahill outfit with neighbours Forkhill.

Dominant throughout the underage ranks, they were given a real scare in this year’s u-16 final when St Peter’s scored two goals at the death to force a replay.

Another few minutes of additional time and it’s likely the cup would have been heading to Lurgan as Dromintee produced an unusually off-colour display.

The management team of 2002 All-Ireland winner Aidan O’Rourke, Kevin Toale and Dromintee u-21 goalkeeper Stephen Dyas fixed the faults for the replay though and they eased to victory under the lights in Clady. Interestingly, watching on was a contingent from Errigal Ciaran who have already booked their place in the final.

They had six members on the Armagh minor squad last year – goalkeeper James McBennett, defenders Fergus Toale, Conor Laverty and Conor Dunne and forwards Fionn Ó Tuathail and Diarmuid O’Rourke – and the sextet are all back with the Orchard county this year under new manager, their club boss Aidan O’Rourke. A few teammates are joining them on the initial extended panel.

It’s been a busy period for the squad with a large portion of the team playing knockout Rannafast Cup football in recent weeks for Abbey CBS, Newry and St Paul’s, Bessbrook.

They will be without key player Charlie Fox who suffered a horror injury in the drawn county final but was brought forward to lift the trophy alongside joint captains Diarmuid O’Rourke and Fergus Toale.

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