Lucozade Sport Armagh Senior Football Championship
August 10, 2010
Dromintee v Whitecross August 13th at Carrickcruppen 7pm
After making a good impression in last year’s championship Whitecross followed it up with promotion to Division one. A blistering winning start to this year’s league has come to a staggering half with only one win in their last 10 outings and are now involved in a battle to avoid relegation.
Dromintee have had a poor league campaign mixing the good with the bad in an erratic set of results. With their county men back in harness they will have had time to blend back in. Team manager Aidan O’Rourke is key to their success and he will have his hands full deciding on his starting 15, such is the talent at his disposal.
Over the last decade Dromintee have carried the fight to that all conquering cross side but had to stand back and watch Pearse Og claim the glory when winning last year’s championship. Derserving and getting championships are not bosom buddies so while Dromintee might feel that they are due one no one is going to hand it to them.
These two met in the league a few weeks ago with Dromintee overcoming a 7 point deficit to win.Whitecross have shown a terrible inability to see out matches after getting into a winning position which has proven very costly for them. It’s a tough championship opener for both sides but I favour Dromintee who could go all the way, with they themselves proving their biggest obstacle.
CLANN EIREANN v MAGHERY Aug 14 @ DERRYTRASNA 7 pm
With second division Clann Eireann unable to mount a serious promotion challenge in the league a championship win over Maghery who are in second place in Division One, is a tall order. After a slow start to the league Maghery have made the steady climb up the table coming into form just at the right time. In the last week a home win over Mullaghbawn and a 3 point defeat to Crossmaglen puts Maghery in good fettle for this championship clash. Clann Eireann find themselves in mid-table limbo with their season in one basket in this championship encounter. A half dozen more games of un-importance await Clann Eireann as Maghery are given a confident vote to have their name in the hat for the quarter final draw.
MULLAGHBAWN v PEARSE OG (Holders) Aug 14 @ CULLYHANNA 7 pm
Defending champions Pearse Og would have preferred an easier assignment in the opening defence of their title than Mullaghbawn. The sides met a few years ago with Og’s, as in this one, raging hot favourites but Mullaghbawn pulled off the upset. Og’s have been operating without their county stars and producing indifferent results. The inclusion of Ronan Clarke and Anton Duffy if both recover from the injuries which has kept them sidelined will be a huge boost to the champions. Mullaghbawn have only won a half dozen league games from 18 and are in real danger of relegation. Injuries have played a big part in their season to date and they will need all hands on deck for this one if they are to pull off another giantkilling act. Defensively, as always, Mullaghbawn look solid with putting scores on the board their Achilles Heel. 10 points in their latest defeat by Carrickcruppen is only the third time this year that they have reached double figures in the point scoring stakes, hardly inspiring statistics. Mullaghbawn will be looking to rekindle their championship fighting spirit to put it up to the champions who if not up for the battle could lose the war. July 9 in the league Mullaghbawn won 8-7. It will be another close run affair with the title holders getting the nod for a narrow victory.
CLAN NA GAEL v ST PATRICK’S Aug 15 @ ABBEY PARK 2 pm
St Pat’s won the league encounter between the two in July 3-13 to 0-11 but this is a different kettle of fish. Pat’s, after a losing start to the league, have improved with only 7 loses from 17 while their Lurgan opponents are very much involved in the relegation end of things. With their county men back on board Pat’s are a far more formidable opponent in terms of attitude and committment. Clans are building and their efforts will be boosted by Sunday’s B Championship final win over Pearse Og. Pat’s will eye this as one to win and will frank the league form with a win and a place in the next round.
GRANEMORE v ST MICHAEL’S Aug 15 @ KEADY 4 pm
Intermediate champions St Michael’s face last year’s surprise packets Granemore. Granemore expected to be operating in the top division of the league next year have seen their hopes dealt a cruel blow last weekend with a loss to Ballyhegan (who were below St Michael’s in the table) and a draw at Wolfe Tone. Promotion should have been the priority but they have now opened the door for Armagh Harps to take the second promotion place away from them. St Michael’s are in relegation trouble in the same division for the second successive year. Reprieved last year by the league changes the Newtown men turned their season into a good one by winning the championship. St Michael’s could only manage 7 points against their championship opponents in each of their two league defeats and it’s very hard to go against the form. Granemore to throw their name in the hat for the last eight.
CARRICKCRUPPEN v CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS Aug 15 @ SILVERBRIDGE 7 pm
Last April it finished 2-15 to 0-5 in the league to Cross but it will be a lot closer in this championship meeting. All eyes will be on the new Rangers to see how they have adopted to their retirements and more importantly to their aura of invincibility within the county. The league, without their county players, saw them still prove miles ahead of the rest but their new management know that it is on championship that they will be judged. Nobody has been busier playing matches than Cross since their county players returned to try and sort their best 15. The probable loss to injury of David McKenna will further weaken the physical prowess Cross had in their years of dominance. There is no argument to the talent that still exists in the Rangers ranks but Sunday will be a test in itself to see who the new leaders of the pack are and who will stand up to be counted as a new chapter in Rangers history commences.
At the same venue a few years ago ‘Cruppen showed that they were not there to make up the numbers and gave the then champions a hell of a game. With a good midfield at their disposal ‘Cruppen will cause a few problems but could come unstuck in the scoring stakes. All eyes will be on Cross who will make it to the next round after getting a very thorough examination.