SFC Round One – Sat 8th Aug – Abbey Park – 3.30pm
When the draw for the championship was made, this game appeared like a challenging one for Maghery, but one they would get through without having to reach top gear.
Well how things have changed.
Maghery now face the in-form team in the Senior division, and Dromintee are carrying serious momentum into Saturday’s clash.
John Kennedy’s men are currently ahead of the pack on league standings, as they are the only team competing at senior level to play three and win three games.
They made an impressive start by seeing off top contenders Ballymacnab and Armagh Harps, while more recently defeated Killeavy to open their 2020 campaign.
Their defence has been well on top during those three games, conceding a combined total of 1-23 across their trio of outings.
Ballymacnab could only rack up nine points while the Harps went one better with 0-10. Killeavy may have hit the Dromintee net but could only accompany it with four points.
Aaron McKay is the rock of the Dromintee rear-guard, and he calls the shots from his centre half back position.
His experience is key in this sides defence and we could witness a man-marking job from McKay should he match-up with his Armagh teammate Aidan Forker.
Peter Campbell is a reliable fullback and he will have the likes of Paul Martin and Ryan Gaskin for assistance.
Shane McCoy commands the edge of the square as he is placed between the sticks, and also races forward to score from 45s.
The midfield battle is going to be crucial.
Darren McKenna and Peadar O’Hare are the centre-field pairing for Dromintee while Gareth Kilgallon and Cathal McKenna can help out if required.
James Lavery is the go-to man for Maghery in this area and he has been the best midfield in the county at club level for a number of years now.
Both teams will be physical around the middle third and whoever comes out on top of the breaking ball could go away to deciding this game.
The Forker brothers are proven match winners while Brian Fox and Brian McIlmurray are big scoring threats for Maghery.
If there’s one thing that the Dromintee management will fear this weekend, it’s if their side can do enough up front to win the game.
Yes they have won their first three encounters, but they have failed to register more than ten scores in a single game.
2-6 was their return in round one while they recorded 1-8 against Armagh Harps, prior to hitting 0-10 the last day out against Killeavy.
Cathal McKenna is the vocal point for Dromintee’s attack and will have the likes of Aaron Boyle, Conor Martin and Ryan Hughes playing off him.
Dromintee have been able to grind out results so far this season and if they can keep this game close, they have a chance of causing an upset.
Finnian Moriarty’s men will know that they will have to be at 100% to get through this one and if they can reach that level, they should have enough to edge a result.