Armagh Simplyfruit Football Leagues

September 2, 2013

Forkhill v St. Patrick’s

Having overcome St Michael’s 0-13 to 2-6 in the last round Forkhill now clash with St Patrick’s for a place in the semi-final. League champions Forkhill won both their meetings this year but will be well aware that the Cullyhanna boys are ever improving. The boost Pat’s will get from their replay win over Crossmaglen Seconds, where they trailed by 5 points some 20 minutes into the game will give them no fear of taking on their more vaunted opponents. Forkhill have been going along nicely this year knocking up some big scores while Pat’s have been in indifferent form but managed 1-9 in both games against Cross. John Moan carries the underdogs goal threat whilst Forkhill have the irrepressible Jemar Hall in rich scoring form. Forkhill to remain in the hunt for the elusive double because they are all round a better side that carries more potency up front. But anything short of their best will be exploited by a Pat’s side that will be up for the test.

Annaghmore v Ballyheagan

All the rage for the title Annaghmore nearly slipped against Lissummon needing a 3-12 to 0-10 replay victory to set up this quarter final with Ballyhegan, themselves replay winners against Tullysarran. A team on the promotion trail to Division One taking on a team destined for the Junior League is surely a no contest but Annaghmore have already found out that there is no such thing as an easy passage in the Championship. But with Ciaran and Oisin MacIomhair and Conor and Oisin McCann very prominent up front and Jamie McDonald and Michael McNeice very solid in defence it’s hard to go against Annaghmore getting to the last four against doughty Championship battlers Ballyhegan who will not be found wanting for effort.

Clonmore v Belleek

Clonmore overcame Collegeland 1-12 to 1-7 in the last round while opponents Belleek cantered home 2-13 to 0-2 against an out of sorts O’Hanlon’s.  The question is following a disastrous league campaign can Belleek reserve their best for the Championship. The facile win in the last round will be a confidence booster to low moral but they are lacking in too many departments to cause the upset by beating a Clonmore side that many have a sneaking regard to go all the way.

Dorsey Emmet’s v Killeavy seconds

Killeavy Seconds caused a bit of a stir when eliminating Derrynoose ( 4-10 to 2-10 first round winners over Clady) in the last round. Dorsey come into this game on the back of a 1-20 to 1-9 win against Dromintee Seconds and knowing that they will be back in the Junior League next year following relegation. Killeavy, as they have shown, can field a team which can challenge the best but their lack of consistency is baffling at times. It is hard to gauge Emmet’s season as they would have given up on their League prospects early on. But on the form shown in previous encounters with Killeavy Dorsey are a better side and should progress to the last four.

● Intermediate Football Championship

Tir Na Nog 0-15 Grange 2-6

Literally a game of two halves, with the eventual losers dominating the first but the favourites Tir Na Nog held their composure to control matters from the break thanks to some very astute interval tactical changes. Grange will be kicking themselves for letting this one slip as they shot a total of 15 wides, conceded 8 points in a row, only scored from the penalty spot in the second half and were denied a late leveling fisted goal by a brilliant save from the goalkeeper. A first half Cathal McKenna goal put the gloss on a wasteful Grange performance and had them 4 clear going into added time only for the opposition to score 3 points on the trot which put paid to all the Grange good work. Tir Na Nog penalized every indiscretion by their opponents and added 5 unanswered points after the break. The solitary second half score for Grange, a converted penalty from Brendan Rafferty, threw them a lifeline but they lacked the composure of the winners when it counted most.

Clan Na Gael 0-7 Mullaghbawn 0-9

A hungrier more determined Mullaghbawn rightly claimed victory over Clan Na Gael in the first of two upset results at Pearse Og Park. Promoted Clans were fancied to advance to the last four against Mullaghbawn who just avoided relegation and had not hit the heights in disposing of near neighbours Silverbridge in the last round. When the chips were down a couple of months ago manager Ollie Flynn rallied his troops and gathered back a few experienced hands who had been absent for Mullaghbawn all year. Relegation avoided and 2 championship wins under the belt, the confidence is high for taking on Madden for a place in the County Final. Clan Na Gael went 2 points in front early on but 6 unanswered scores from Mullaghbawn helped them lead by double score 6-3 at the short whistle. Wind assisted in the second half Clans were quickly back on level terms but the rocking Mullaghbawn ship was steadied with the conversion of a couple of soft frees which seemed to derail Clans challenge. The winners held their composure, defended very well, in particular Barry McKinley and deserved their victory. Eddie English (0-4), Eugene McVerry (0-3), Aidan McVerry and Kieran Grant a point each accounted for the winners scores who will take on Madden on Sat Sept 21 at the Athletic Grounds for a final berth.

Wolfe Tones 0-9 Madden 2-12

From the moment Niall Grimley fired home the game’s opening 3 pointer, underdogs Madden never looked back against Wolfe Tones. Madden were out of the blocks and up and running never allowing Tones to get a grip on the game. Grimley’s goal was the difference at the break 1-6 to 0-6. Madden tacked on the first 2 points of the second half and when Aaron McKenna rifled home their second goal to give them a 2-8 to 0-7 lead the writing was on the wall for the Tones. Madden will play Mullaghbawn in the semi-final.