Darren ‘Kenny’ Doran came off the bench to bag an inspired second-half hat-trick as Kildrum Tigers returned to winning ways with a derby triumph at The Moss.
Drumoghill FC 1 Kildrum Tigers 5
Doran returned to Kildrum’s colours in January having had a spell out of the game, but it was he who proved Kildrum’s match-winner.
Doran came in for Shane McIntyre in the 53rd minute and by the hour had a brace on the board for Kildrum, who came from behind to lead 2-1 at the break, with Doran wrapping things up six minutes from the end.
Drumoghill, who looked doomed for the drop to Division 1, took a shock lead after just six minutes when Nick Nelis’s struck, but the hosts battled for the duration and Kildrum certainly knew they were in a game until Doran’s goals took them clear.
Kildrum net-minder Shaun Friel seemed content that Nelis’ shot was drifting wide, but it crept into the bottom corner and the Tigers were stunned.
Kevin McHugh rattled the crossbar as Kildrum shook the sleep from their eyes, although Nelis attempted to catch Friel out with an ambitious long-range effort that almost had the desired effect.
Kildrum drew level just after the half-hour mark, as a sweeping counter ended with Gareth Colhoun threading through for McHugh. From a position just inside the box on the right-hand side, McHugh showed all his experience and penalty box prowess to lash beyond Paddy Gildea, making his first appearance for Drumoghill after being coaxed back in mid-week.
Liam O’Donnell called Friel into action with a free and the Drumoghill striker was just too deep as he connected with a free kick and nodded into the side-netting.
Kildrum took the lead on the stroke of half time – and in some style. Oran Higgins’ quick thinking saw him off-load a free kick to Colhoun. From 30 yards, Colhoun strike was glorious as it glided past Gildea.
Doran bagged his first when he fired home after a goalmouth scramble and, three minutes later, he was wheeling away again. Colhoun tried his luck with an acrobatic effort that Gildea did well to save. McHugh’s follow-up was blocked, but Doran seized the moment and fired home.
Colhoun whipped a free kick from the right edge of the area just over the top and William Lynch’s powerful free cleared the crossbar.
Kildrum drew blanks in each of their last three outings and McHugh’s goal here was their first in 315 minutes.
But the St Johnston men got in for a fifth goal late in the day, Higgins feeding Doran, who completed his hat-trick with a neat finish as Kildrum showed they aim to make the most of their nine-point advantage at the summit.
Drumoghill FC: Paddy Gildea; Dylan McElhinney, Richard Tinney, Lee Smith, Simon McLaughlin; John O’Kane, Kyle Devine, Gary Houston (Gareth Hamilton 70), Nick Nelis (Jack Smith 85); Karlos Rogers, Liam O’Donnell.
Kildrum Tigers: Shaun Friel; Jamie McKinney, Jonny McGinty, Michael Lynch, Daniel Clarke (Brian Coll 65); Oran Higgins, Damian Crossan (Conor Crossan 67), Gareth Colhoun, Shane McIntyre (Darren Doran 53); Kevin McHugh, William Lynch (Conor Matthewson 71).
Referee: Andrew Mullin.Tags: