‘T-Met’ Armagh Football Championships 2015
Sarsfields v Forkhill
Forkhill have had a very successful season with their place in Senior guaranteed for next year following their mid-table showing in the League. That terrific League campaign got off to a winning start with victory over Sunday’s championship opposition Sarsfields. Forkhill lost their first round to Maghery 1-14 to 0-9 with Sarsfields going down to Pearse Og 4-04 to 0-21. Since then Maghery were 2-13 to 0-8 second round winners over Pearse Og.
The Highmoss boys have regrouped since that opening League game meeting between the two and with a more potent attack can gain revenge for that defeat with victory over a Jemar Hall less Forkhill.
Crossmaglen Rangers v Killeavy
The second championship outing for the champions Crossmaglen, following their 4-15 to 1-7 defeat of Granemore in the opening round. Killeavy’s first round defeat of Carrickcruppen 2-13 to 0-8 has been the only bright spot in a year that could end up with relegation. Injuries have allowed the champions give a lot of game time to some upcoming players in the League and are still in with a shout of winning that trophy. In past Championship meetings between the two, Killeavy have given a very good account of themselves but their recent League form suggests that they will have to find something special to trouble them this time round. There can only be one prediction, a comfortable win for the champions as they advance to the last eight and add to Killeavy’s woes.
Annaghmore v Ballymacnab
Annaghmore have surprised many by being able to survive at senior level since their arrival at the top table. In truth Annaghmore, a small club, devoid of their county panellists have been comfortable in the League and hard to beat in the Championship. Their opening round 2-8 to 0-11 win over Tir na nOg has set up this clash with the ‘Nab who overcame Dromintee 1-16 to 1-11 in the first round. The Grugan brothers from the ‘Nab to triumph over the MacIomhar brothers simply because they have better all- round help and a more potent forward division headed by Gavin McParland.
St Paul’s v Dromintee
A youthful in-experienced Dromintee were defeated by Ballymacnab 1-16 to 1-11 in the opening round whilst relegated St Paul’s lost out 0-8 to 2-12 to a strong St Pat’s outfit. Even with talisman Andy Murnin back in full flight Paul’s will be hard pressed to keep their season alive by winning this one. Rebuilding Dromintee have a lot of good talent at their disposal and will be hoping to have an injury free Kevin Dyas on board to add that bit more experience to bolster their youthfulness which has benefited from the League games played to date. A second round qualifier berth can be secured, at the end of the month for the south Armagh side following victory.
Tir na nOg v Wolfe Tone
Both can be considered unlucky first round losers to Annaghmore and Armagh Harps respectively having put in good performances. This time round it is last chance saloon following erratic League performances? The loss of players to County duty impacts the smaller clubs in the League where they often struggle as was the case with these two teams. The championship gives them a respite from their relegation worries. Very little between the two teams, expect this to be a tight contest with the Tones given the nod to advance to round two of the qualifiers.
Pearse Og II v St Michaels
Two sides wishing for the season to end meet to go through to the second round qualifiers. St Michael’s were beaten by Derrynoose 3-10 to 0-6 and the Og’s lost 3-12 to 0-10 to Killeavy 11. Both would welcome the win especially St Michael’s who have only experienced that feeling once this year. Double delight for the Newtown boys which gives them a glimmer of hope in what has been a dismal season to date.
Granemore 4-14 Carrickcruppen 4-7
It was a goalfest at a scarcely attended Crossmaglen for this qualifier game. Inside the opening 10 minutes Granemore led 1-2 to nil with the goal coming from Ryan Gaffney a minute after teammate Chrissy O’Connor’s top corner penalty attempt was well wide of the mark. Willie Joe Padden directed the ball into the direction of Stephen Loughran for a Cruppen goal on 14 minutes and a minute later James Loughran levelled the game. Running straight through the middle of the Cruppen defence was paying dividends for Granemore with midfielder Brendan Boylan netting followed by a second penalty, this time converted by Shane Rafferty, and a fourth first half goal from O’Connor 4-2 to 1-2. Cruppen finished the half in style with 1-1 from the games top scorer Declan Carville. The winners dominated the second half and were 4-14 to 2-7 in front as we entered added on time, in which Cruppen scored goals through substitute Cathal OGrady and a last gasp penalty by Carville to a Granemore point from substitute Declan Doyle. Scorers Granemore- Chris O’Connor 1-3, Shane Rafferty 1-2, Brendan Boylan 1-2, Jason O’Neill 0-4, Ryan Rafferty 1-0, Caolan Rafferty 0-2, Colm Brown 0-1, Declan Doyle 0-1. Cruppen- Declan Carville 2-3, Stephen Loughran 1-1, Thomas Hughes 0-2, Cathal O’Grady 1-0.
Mullaghbawn 2-4 Middletown2-14
By the time Mullaghbawn’s first score arrived on 21 minutes through a fisted Barry McKinley goal opponents Middletown had already established a 1-5 lead with the captain Martin Maguire giving the lead with a tenth minute goal. When man of the match Martin Moan grabbed their second goal two minutes from the short whistle the game was over as a contest. The winners led 2-7 to 1-3 at the break. Middletown tagged on only 7 second half points but were afforded the luxury of being able to replace some of their key dual stars ahead of next week county hurling final. Mullaghbawn had 2 second half scores a Kieran Grant point
Scorers-Middletown; Martin Moan 1-6,Johnny Trainor 0-4, Martin Maguire 1-0, Cahal Carvill 0-2, Niall Geoghegan 0-2 Mullaghbawn- Kieran Grant 0-3, Barry McKinley 1-0, Gareth Smyth 1-0, Sean Harte 0-1
Culloville 2-13 Shane O Neill’s 1-8
Shanes started brightly with the opening 2 points but once the Blues got to 3-3 they pushed on for an 8 point interval lead 0-11 to 0-3. Second half goals from Niall Rowland and Gerard Callan with one from sub Ozzie Gaughran for Shanes sandwiched in between left Culloville comfortable 2-13 to 1-8 winner and still very much in the championship mix.
Clan Na Gael 1-12 Silverbridge 0-11
The decisive score in this match came midway through the second half with Caolan Campbell gaoling to give Clans a 1-8 to 0-7 lead. Silverbridge who went in level at the break were suddenly 4 adrift in what had been a tight affair and could not claw their way back and so surprisingly have to take the qualifier route to championship glory
Crosmaglen Seconds 0-9 Lissummon 1-6
Cross paid the price of wastefulness that included a last minute 13 metre free as Lissummon battled gamely to force a replay. It was the heroics of Darren Noonan that saved the day for Lissummon as he scored 1-5 with the other point coming from Mike McCaffery. Rangers led 4-3 at half –time with Patrick McEneaney 0-3, Liam O’Neill 0-2, Ronan Finnegan 0-3 and Cailum Kierans 0-1 on the scoresheet for Cross.
Dromintee Seconds 1-10 Thomas Davis 1-9
Big upset at Killeavy as Dromintee 2nds shocked fancied Corrinshigo 1-10 to 1-9. Attitude in terms of taking victory for granted coupled with some awful shooting (over 20 wides) saw Corrinshigo make their exit at the hands of a gutsy Dromintee who threw caution to the wind and decided to have a go at their more vaunted opponents from the opening whistle and were rewarded for their display in the end.
The victors did all the damage in the opening half as they established a 1-6 to 0-1 lead with the goal coming from Aidan Morgan. Corrinshigo got a tonic goal from O’Reilly straight from the re-start but could not claw their way back despite winning the second half 1-8 to 0-4
Scorers- Dromintee :Aidan Morgan 1-3, Peter Martin 0-2, Scott Winters 0-2, Shane Carroll 0-2, Gareth McCoy 0-1.