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‘T-Met’ Armagh Football Championships 2015

September 7, 2015

Previews

Crossmaglen Rangers v Pearse Og’s

The shock Rangers loss to the Og’s when seeking 14 titles in a row has been well forgotten about by the reigning champions who are now seeking a sixth successive county title and a fifth successive championship win over the Og’s since that defeat. Og’s were unable to build on their last success against Cross and will be underdogs when the sides meet in the quarter-final. In their win over Dromintee in the last round, minus the injured Ronan Clarke, the Og’s seasoned campaigners Gerald Barton, captain Paul Duffy, Darnell Parkinson, Sean Moore, Conor & Ross Clarke along with Marc Cullen and Tommy Turley guided them home but at times the pace of the youthful Dromintee side caused them plenty of problems.

Cross, as we all know, have what Dromintee were lacking,  a telling cutting edge up front and a panache for producing scores from a host of players. The champions have been struggling numerically all year with injuries but have been shaping up a bit better looking sharper as their last two league games suggest as they scored 1-20 followed by 7-18. Although far from their best in seeing off Killeavy it is getting to the business end of the season and time for the champions to step on the gas. Og’s will provide them with the best incentive to up the ante and with the 3 Kernans Stephen, Tony and particularly Aaron still able to dictate games, combined with the defensive strengths of James Morgan, Paul McKeown, Martin Aherne and steadily improving full-back Aidan Rushe Cross should have enough in hand as the pace of Mickey McNamee, John Murtagh and Kyle Carragher an added bonus to test the Og’s defenders. The heavyweight midfield battle might be worth the entrance money alone as David McKenna and Johnny Hanratty square up to Sean Moore and Chris Rafferty. Verdict is a Cross victory.

Maghery v Granemore

Maghery have been ticking over nicely in the championship with wins over Forkhill and Pearse Ogs under their belts.  Granemore were beaten by the champions at the first hurdle but recovered to beat Carrickcruppen before going on to provide the shock result to date in the championship a 1-11 to 0-13 win over highly fancied recently crowned league champions St Patrick’s.

Seamus Forker , Jack Lavery , Stephen Cusack , Aidan & Stefan Forker and inspirational team Captain James Lavery have been to the fore thus far for Maghery with Brendan Boylan, Shane, Ryan & Caolan Rafferty, Jason O’Neill, Christopher O’Connor,  and Tony McClelland doing the business for Granemore. Granemore will be boosted by their last round win which will make them a very difficult proposition for their opponents whose championship vulnerability is a noose that hangs around their neck. Granemore will use their physicality to muscle their way into the game and get their good forwards on the ball. How Maghery will react could be the key. If the Loughshore men are to advance they will need to thread carefully and resort to their renowned footballing ability instead of revealing their volatile streak which has cost them dearly before. Maghery to let their footballing talents do the talking to book a last four berth.

Armagh Harps v Killeavy

Harps eased past Wolfe Tones but needed a second bite of the cherry to see off St Pat’s. The draw and replay have sharpened the city side as they hope to go a step further than last year’s final defeat. Championship victory is all that can save Killeavy from Intermediate football next year. Victory over Carrickcruppen was followed by a defeat by Cross for Killeavy who recovered to set up this match with a win over Wolfe Tones. The dress rehearsal in the league saw Harps win 2-11 to and a repeat is on the cards in this championship quarter final

Annaghmore v Ballymacnab

Annaghmore beat Tir na nOg in the first round and then took care of a fancied Ballymacnanb 1-12 to 0-14 to set up this repeat meeting. The ‘Nab need extra-time to see off Sarsfields in the losers section and will be all out for revenge and a place in the semi-finals. Annaghmore led 1-4 to nil after 6 minutes in their last meeting, then went 22 minutes without a score but went in level 1-7 to 0-10 at the break. Ahead 1-12 to 0-11 with 12 minutes to go Annaghmore stood firm despite having the kitchen sink thrown at them to hold on for victory. Marc Cullen, Michael McConville, Ciaran & Oisin McIomhair, Michael McQuaid , Shane McGeown  Eoin McCormick were to the fore in that win whilst the’Nab will be looking for improvement from Michael Beggan, Jack Grugan , Brendan Toner, Gavin McParland, Marty McCone , Ferghal Nugent and Joe Gribben to turn the tables and reach the last four. The ‘Nab will not be caught on the hop this time round.

Review

Pearse Ogs 2-12 Dromintee 1-5

It was a case of the “auld experienced” showing the “young inexperienced” how to get the job done as Pearse Ogs advanced to a quarter-final meeting with champions Crossmaglen Rangers following their 2-12 to 1-5 win over Dromintee. The Og’s full-forward line of Marc Cullen (0-2), Ross Clarke (0-4) and Tommy Turley (0-2) scored all of their eight first half points with opposition full-forward Cathal McKenna notching 1-1 for Dromintee. McKenna’s goal on 25 minutes was a bit fortuitous as Og’s keeper Ryan Kearney, after saving his shot dropped the ball over the line as he attempted to pick it up. It was Dromintee’s second score of the half, 20 minutes after their opening score but for 8 first half wides (13 in total) they could have pushed the city side a lot closer. Og’s midfielders Rafferty and Moore added points in the second half but it was 15 minutes before Dromintee midfielder McCrink got their first second half score and with 10 minutes left on the clock it stood 0-12 to 1-3. A barren 5 minutes was followed by the most productive 5 as the game finished with a flurry of scores.  Marc Cullen cut in along the end line fisted across goal towards Conor Clarke who palmed the ball to the net. Before you could draw breath Og’s through substitute Sean Hughes had raised a second green flag. This time it was a deft chip over the advancing goalkeeper from an acute angle by Hughes to record a fine goal. Game Dromintee kept plugging away and were twice denied goals by blocks by Conor McNicholl and keeper Kearney which resulted in consolation points for McKenna and Shane Carroll. A learning curve for this very youthful Dromintee side a daunting task awaits the Og’s in the shape of the Rangers.

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