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Armagh Simplyfruit Football Leagues

August 5, 2013

Critical week ahead

The week ahead is critical for teams involved in both the promotion and relegation issues concerning all 4 divisions. Leaving the complex championship issues that can affect the leagues aside the bottom line for a lot of teams could be on their doorstep by next Sunday evening.

Senior

Pearse Og 4-10 to 1-12 winners, over neighbours Ballymacnab, availed of the surprise defeat of leaders Maghery to join them at the head of affairs on 19 points but with a game in hand. Harps closed the gap on the joint leaders to a single point by beating Crossmaglen Rangers 1-11 to 0-12 having led 1-7 to 0-9 at the short whistle. A man of the match performance from Niall Og Boyle inspired Whitecross to a precious brace of points as they overcame St Patrick’s 1-8 to 0-9. The losers are right in the relegation dogfight and face a real 2 four pointer” at home to Culloville who gave themselves a lifeline by beating Shane O’Neill’s 1-11 to 0-11, to cut the gap between them and Pat’s to a single point. Dromintee banished their relegation fears with a 2-9 to 0-12 win over St Peter’s with a goal from Shane O’Neill and a Cathal McKenna penalty proving decisive.1-4 from Ciaran O’Hanlon and a late leveller from Stevie McDonnell yielded a vital away point at Sarsfields for Killeavy that takes them level with Culloville. A home win for Killeavy next week against Granemore is a must.

Intermediate

Champions Tir Na nOg remain the only undefeated team in league football in Armagh as they secured the title with a 3-6 to 0-10 win over Wolfe Tones to extinguish any lingering promotion hopes. Clan Na Gael 2-17 to 1-7 over Middletown and Annaghmore are in the other two box seats for promotion at present and they are theirs to lose. Silverbridge have kept the promotion pot simmering by beating relegated Ballyhegan 0-11 to 0-9. Mullaghbawn, courtesy of goals from Sean Harte, Kieran Grant, two, and veteran Paul Kelly won the crucial relegation encounter with Keady 4-4 to 2-10 to edge a point above their rivals who also lost to Grange. Keady can climb out of the bottom two by winning their final match at home to Ballyhegan leaving Mullaghbawn needing a point from any of their last two matches to avoid relegation at Keady’s expense.

Junior A

Champions Forkhill were 15 points in arrears at half –time against Crossmaglen Seconds with goals from Rico Kelly, Darren Hughes and Cathal Short doing the major damage. A second half revival still left them shy as they surrendered their unbeaten tag 3-9 to 0-13. Rangers go second in the table and will be hoping that Forkhill can beat Derrynoose on Wednesday night to secure them promotion. On Friday night Lissummon can head for the Intermediate league with a win at Tullysaran.

Junior B

Pearse Og Seconds jumped into the second promotion spot ahead of Killeavy courtesy of their 1-10 to 0-5 win over O’Hanlon’s. The city side hold a one point advantage going into the last round of fixtures with Killeavy playing Phelim Brady’s who look as if they have, sadly folded leaving Og to win at Dromintee Seconds for Junior A football next year.

T-Met Intermediate Football Championship

CLANN EIREANN v CLAN NA GAEL

A mouth-watering derby awaits Clan Na Gael as they make their Intermediate Championship bow following re-grading and face neighbours Clann Eireann in front of what should be a bumper crowd at St Peter’s Park on Friday night. The teams crossed swords over a week ago in the League with the Gael’s winning 1-15 to 0-9 but Clann Eireann will be boosted by the return to action of Ryan Henderson. League form to be franked, as promotion chasing Clans are given the verdict to make it a successful Championship baptism with victory over their fierce rivals.

MULLAGHBAWN v SILVERBRIDGE

Another stand out tie from the minute the draw was made. Contrasting League fortunes with Mullaghbawn battling relegation will count for nothing in this derby game. Silverbridge were 1-13 to 1-9 winners of their League meeting. Of late Mullaghbawn have been producing the better results with Eugene McVerry back along with veterans Karl Quinn and Paul Kelly, returning to bolster the team. Eddie English also expected to feature on Friday night as Mullaghbawn look to cause an upturn in the form book. Will midfielder Carragher be back in the ‘Bridge colours which would certainly boost their prospects as they have lost a few more players over the course of the League to immigration which has left them short in the scoring department. This one is all about who wants it the most and a couple of weeks ago there looked only one outcome but now I will go for the upset with Mullaghbawn shading a low scoring encounter.

AN PORT MOR v MADDEN

Last year’s Junior Champions An Port Mor consolidated their position by retaining their Intermediate League status and have got stronger panel wise as the year progressed. Madden would have hoped for a better League campaign than just winning half of their games and will be looking for a lasting Championship campaign. An Port Mor won the League meeting 1-11 to 0-11 and again this time round there will be but a kick of the ball between them with Madden taken to advance as their opponents seemed to have suffered from last year’s heroics.

GRANGE v MIDDLETOWN

Having secured their League status Middletown will approach this stiff Championship hurdle with confidence and will need every bit of it if they are to beat Grange. Ethan Rafferty will be the key man for Grange who have a goal getter in Brendan Rafferty and are building on the 2012 county final beaten minor team. A very fancied outsider for the title, Grange should prove too strong for  Middletown who are very unpredictable due to their duel allegiance.

SHANE O’NEILL’S v TIR NA NOG

While there have been some great match-ups thrown up in the opening round, this is the stand out fixture of the lot. Already promoted to the Senior League as champions Tir na nOg are unbeaten all year winning 12 and drawing 2 of their 14 games. Opponents Shanes were tipped as relegation fodder from the top flight but have proven the doubters wrong and these teams will meet again next year in the league. Shanes have acquitted themselves well in the League and operating at a higher standard will stand them in good stead next Saturday night. A terrific match in prospect with Shanes experience to count at the end but don’t be surprised at a drawn encounter.

EIRE OG v ST PAUL’S

Relegated from the Senior League St Paul’s will be banking on a good Championship run. Indifferent mid-table Intermediate side Eire Og may be lacking the scoring power to trouble their fancied opponents at the final whistle.

ST PETER’S v WOLFE TONE’S

Relegated Peter’s are tipped by many to retain their status by capturing the Championship. They face a tough test of the credentials in Wolfe Tones who would be putting their eggs in a Championship rather than a League run. Operating at a higher level against better quality teams to tell in this one with a young Peter’s taken to advance to the next round in a close run affair.

Junior Championship 2013

KILLEAN 1-5 ST MICHAEL’S 1-15

As expected St Michael’s used to Senior Championship action had too much in hand for Killean in this Junior Championship tie. Ahead by 7 at the break the winners were never extended as they set up an appealing clash with Junior A League Champions, Forkhill.

COLLEGELAND 1-15  CORRINSHEGO 0-9

The understrength Junior B Champions Corrinshego were simply outclassed by Collegeland who now meet Clonmore for a place in the quarter final.

CLADY 2-10 DERRYNOOSE 4-13

A high scoring encounter that brought an end to a very poor season for Clady but keeps the Championship and promotion push going for victors Derrynoose. The winners will fancy a quarter final berth as they now face Killeavy Seconds in the next round.

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