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T-Met Armagh Football Championships 2015

August 10, 2015

Seniors

After a three month break action resumes this weekend in the T-Met sponsored Armagh championship. There are two cracking round two matches in prospect, Maghery v Pearse Og and St Patrick’s v Armagh Harps although both games might be diluted a little, as the loser gets a second chance. The remaining two second round matches the following weekend will see underdogs Killeavy and Annaghmore seek giant killing acts over respective opponents Crossmaglen Rangers and Ballymacnab. In the round one qualifiers it’s last chance saloon for Granemore and Carrickcruppen who meet at Crossmaglen.

Maghery v Pearse Og

Every year both teams are touted as title contenders. On this occasion one of them will advance to the last 8 with the loser of this Friday night game at the Athletic Grounds heading for the qualifiers. Inspired by Ronan Clarke (0-6) and free-taker Marc Cullen (0-11, 9 frees) the Og’s recovered from the concession of two goals inside the opening 3 minutes to beat Sarsfields 0-21 to 4-4 in the first round. Maghery met Senior debutants Forkhill in the opening round and went through on a 1-14 to 0-9 scoreline having led 1-6 to 0-7 at the short whistle. Maghery have been the big championship disappointments over the last number of years given the quality of players available to them, the Forkers, Shay Tennyson, Conor Mackle and James Lavery yet they have consistently failed to produce in the championship. Og’s for their part have regressed since their championship winning exploits of 2000 The Clarke brothers Ronan and Ross, Paul Duffy, Chris Rafferty, Shaun Gribben, Tommy Turley will be on for another championship assault.

The strengths of both sides lie in their attacking prowess with their defensive frailties and lack of consistency and ill-discipline the Achilles Heel for both teams. I think that Maghery, with Aidan Forker orchestrating things from the back can book a quarter-final berth following an open contest.

St. Patrick’s v Armagh Harps

Current top two in the league, the last two beaten county finalists, it’s easy to see why this meeting of St Pat’s and Armagh Harps on Monday night. Both teams are playing attacking free flowing football which should make this a cracker. Charlie Vernon, Mark McConville and Declan McKenna of the Harps will be up against their fellow county players in Michael Murray, Sean Connell. St Pat’s have been playing really well in the league with the Mackins, Irwin, Hoey and McConville and Donnelly to the fore in the absence of their county men. Monday night may not be a do or die contest but it is one which could give us a real insight as to how good these teams are and who will be the real challenger to the Rangers dominance. Will the absence of Donnelly and Tasker take its toll or will the Pat’s defence be able to stand up to the forceful running of the Harps forwards. Pats to squeeze out a narrow victory to keep their momentum going.

Granemore v Carrickcruppen

The opening last chance qualifier sees Granemore take on Carrickcruppen in the second part of a double header at Crossmaglen. Cruppen lost the last championship outing at this venue suffering a 2-13 to 0-8 defeat at the hands of Killeavy. Granemore would probably have set their sights on an August championship run once they faced the champions Crossmaglen Rangers in round one which they lost 4-15 to 1-7.

Since that meeting both teams have been on the slide in the league so much so in that Cruppen are on the verge of relegation and Granemore have avoided the drop. It’s a question of which team fancies an extension to their season by claiming a championship victory. The poor season for Cruppen to continue as Granemore are given the nod to advance to the next qualifier round.

Intermediate

Ballyhegan v Clonmore

Ballyhegan did well to dismiss St Pat’s 2-8 to 0-12 in the last round and now face a Clonmore team that has not been doing well in the League. This is really a battle of two teams on the slide from their former lofty positions so who will prevail Ballyhegan by a small margin.

Crosmaglen 11 v Lissummon

What Cross produce from the hat for the Championship will be the main worry for Lissummon as both sides have disappointed in the League to date. The few additions to the Championship side to help Rangers through to the next round.

Belleek v Tullysarran

Two teams who would have liked to have had a better League campaign but can have a Championship impact as they have the proven pedigree. I will go with the League form and give Tullysarran the nod to advance

Killeavy 11 v Derrynoose

A late burst has seen Derrynoose come from obscurity to League leaders and potential champions. They will fancy their chances of the double but face a tricky opponent in Killeavy 11. Killeavy with all hands on deck will give Derrynoose a run for their money but will come up a bit short in the end.

Dromintee 11 v Thomas Davis

Tullysarron knocked Corrinshego off their path with a 2-7 to 1-5 victory. Dromintee were well beaten 4-11 to 0-5 by Belleek so both will be seeking redemption. Corrinshego look the better bet.

Clann Eireann 11 v O”Hanlon’s

Beaten by Lissummon and Crossmaglen respectively in the Championship Clann Eireann and O’Hanlon’s have not been going well in the League, so both have all to play for. O’Hanlon’s are taken to progress to the next round of qualifiers.

Pearse Og 11 v St Michael’s

Og’s and St Michael’s lie bottom of the Junior A and B Leagues which gives them both the opportunity to light up their year. Verdict goes to the Newtown boys who were operating in a tougher division.

Junior

Ballyhegan v Clonmore

Ballyhegan did well to dismiss St Pat’s 2-8 to 0-12 in the last round and now face a Clonmore team that has not been doing well in the League. This is really a battle of two teams on the slide from their former lofty positions so who will prevail Ballyhegan by a small margin.

Crosmaglen 11 v Lissummon

What Cross produce from the hat for the Championship will be the main worry for Lissummon as both sides have disappointed in the League to date. The few additions to the Championship side to help Rangers through to the next round.

Belleek v Tullysarran

Two teams who would have liked to have had a better League campaign but can have a Championship impact as they have the proven pedigree. I will go with the League form and give Tullysarran the nod to advance

Killeavy 11 v Derrynoose

A late burst has seen Derrynoose come from obscurity to League leaders and potential champions. They will fancy their chances of the double but face a tricky opponent in Killeavy 11. Killeavy with all hands on deck will give Derrynoose a run for their money but will come up a bit short in the end.

Dromintee 11 v Thomas Davis

Tullysarron knocked Corrinshego off their path with a 2-7 to 1-5 victory. Dromintee were well beaten 4-11 to 0-5 by Belleek so both will be seeking redemption. Corrinshego look the better bet.

Clann Eireann 11 v O”Hanlon’s

Beaten by Lissummon and Crossmaglen respectively in the Championship Clann Eireann and O’Hanlon’s have not been going well in the League, so both have all to play for. O’Hanlon’s are taken to progress to the next round of qualifiers.

Pearse Og 11 v St Michael’s

Og’s and St Michael’s lie bottom of the Junior A and B Leagues which gives them both the opportunity to light up their year. Verdict goes to the Newtown boys who were operating in a tougher division.

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