Junior Championship 2013

July 29, 2013


High flying Intermediate league side Annaghmore,  the overwhelming Junior championship favourites, are first into action as they take on Junior B newcomers Pearse Og 11. With Senior league beckoning it is easy to see why Annaghmore, one of 4 Intermediate league teams contesting the Junior championship, are the bookies hot pots for glory. The city side, in their first season of action are going right to the wire in the promotion race as they battle with Killeavy 11 to see who will join champions Corrinshego in Junior A next year. Annaghmore will ease themselves into a first round meeting with Lissummon as they look all round too powerful for the championship debutants.


A very disappointing Junior A league campaign from St Michael’s will have to be brushed aside as they go on the championship trail against Junior B opponents Killean who themselves have failed to ignite in the league. With promotion missed out on these south Armagh clubs can concentrate all on getting a good championship run. Operating at a much higher championship level for the past few years St Michael’s will be able to call on the defensive exploits of Pete Carragher and Kevin O’Brien to keep Killean at bay while leading marksman Kevin Murray along with fellow forwards Benny Davidson and Shane Rock should be able to put the scores on the board to set up a first round meeting with promoted and to date unbeaten Forkhill.

PHELIM BRADY’S v ST PATRICK’S 11 No league wins in 11outings, failing to field in a few of those games is hardly ideal preparation for championship fray for Phelim Brady’s who take on St Patrick’s 11 at Newtownhamilton in this Preliminary round match. With the goalscoring Mones John and Mickey, Shane McKeever, Brendan and Ciaran Nugent in scoring form at present Brady’s could be in for a rough ride. But this is championship and the rank outsiders will be at full strength determined to give a good account of themselves so defenders Gene & Anton McCooey, goalkeeper Fergal Murphy may not have it all their own way in the Pat’s defence. An appealing clash with near neighbours Crossmaglen Rangers 11 awaits Pat’s when they clear this first hurdle.


Junior B League champions Corrinshego will go into this clash with Junior A opponents Collegeland with loads of confidence having shipped just one defeat in a dozen outings to date. Collegeland have been a big let down in a league where they were fancied for promotion and will be trying to prolong their season with a championship run. Corrinshego, including goalkeeper Karl Kimmins have scorers throughout the field, Phelim Finnegan, Danny Cinnamond, James Dinsmore and full-forwards Ryan O’Reilly and Liam Quinn. Solid defenders John McIlroy and the Bradshaw brothers, Mark and John, get able assistance from midfielders David Leneghan and Ryan McWilliams as Corrinshego are an all -round better balanced, more committed and focused outfit than in previous years. Collegeland are seasoned championship campaigners and will be very hard to beat but I will go with the team with momentum, Corrinshego, to cause an upset and set up a match with Intermediate side Clonmore.


Clady have had a very poor league campaign and face a stiff championship hurdle in Derrynoose from Junior A. Derrynoose should have a full complement of players to call upon for this one, without any hurling distractions so Clady will have to produce a seasons best to date to advance to the next round. Gerard, Peter and Barry McGeown will have to bring their shooting boots and Clady will also need to extract the best from Padraig Leonard, Michael Savage and Malachy McGeown if they are to upset the hot favourites. Derrynoose’s promotion prospects were hit by defeat by St Michael’s last week but carry their scoring threat through the McNally’s Conall and Barry with Brian Mullen and Michael Lennon showing an eye for goals. Sean Lennon, Paddy Brenna, Michael McNeary and Fintan Corvan will be on hand to stop the Clady flow towards goal. A better return from their forwards will see Derrynoose into the next round against Killeavy 11 but they will not have it all their own way against doughty championship campaigners Clady.



South Armagh Scramble

The bottom two places in the Senior League may currently be occupied by Lurgan teams but the third relegation place entails a real south Armagh Scramble involving 7 teams. Culloville are actually now joint second from bottom on 7 points as they suffered defeats against Granemore and Harps while St Paul’s earned their third League win 3-10 to 3-9 against Carrickcruppen. Killeavy, losers away to leaders Maghery 2-12 to 0-8, are one point above the bottom two and are 2 points less off than St Pat’s, fine 1-14 to 1-8 winners at Granemore, Dromintee 0-13 to 0-11 losers at Pearse Og, Carrickcruppen and Whitecross who lost to the bottom side St Peter’s 0-13 to 0-9. Shanes, who lost midweek to neighbours ‘Cruppen, picked up a very valuable brace of points 1-16 to 3-9 at home to Ballymacnab to put themselves on the 11 point mark with a game less played than most of their rivals.


Mullaghbawn picked up a point at home 1-9 to 0-12 against table toppers Tir Na nOg that yet may prove invaluable in their fight against relegation. Fellow relegation contenders An Port Mor and Keady shared the spoils when they met thus keeping the status quo in place, Middletown won and lost to stay 3 points clear of Mullaghbawn. One win and 14 losses sees Dorsey Emmet’s relegated to Junior A with Ballyhegan facing a similar fate. The third relegation place is very compact and interesting. Mullaghbawn have 2 games in hand and face a real 4 pointer at home to Keady next Friday night. Clan Na Gael have slipped into the third promotion spot with games in hand as they saw off local rivals Clann Eireann 1-15 to 0-9. Annaghmore beat Middletown 2-9 to 1-8 to stay second in the table.


Forkhill are the Champions

Forkhill are the Junior A League Champions after they put local teams St Michael’s and St Patrick’s to the sword to preserve their unbeaten run to 11 wins and 3 draws and are with Tir Na Nog the only 2 unbeaten teams in the 4 Division thus far. The race to see who will bask in Intermediate league glory along with Forkhill for next year is really heating up. The Champions will have a big say as they entertain Crossmaglen 2nds in final matches on Friday with the visitors needing to spoil the trophy presentation celebration party by winning to stay in the promotion hunt. Both will be watching Derrynoose closely for an inside run along the rails as they have 3 games yet to play but they made a costly blunder when losing 0-17 to 0-13 at St Michael’s. Belleek and Tullysarran have been relegated to Junior B for next year unless they win the Junior Championship.


Corrinshego are Champions

Corrinshigo are on their way to Junior A for next year as League Champions following their 1-12 to 1-4 defeat of Dromintee 2nds. One loss 2 draws and 10 wins took Corrinshego to top spot. Killeavy have edged a point clear of long time leaders Pearse Og 2nds into the second promotion place but have a game more played than their city rivals.