Lucozade Sport Armagh Senior Football Championship Review

August 17, 2010


As the scoreline suggests this was a close run affair with many believing that the better team on the night are out. But scores win games and no matter how poor you play if you get enough on the board to win the game you deserve it as missed opportunities are not called that for nothing. It has been the tale of Whitecross’s year to date, their failure to put away opponents when on top with a missed a fourth minute penalty and a couple of more goal chances wasted before being hit with a Cathal McKenna goal against the run of play on the stroke of half time which left Dromintee going in 1-5 to 0-6 in front despite being by large outplayed. Mark Shields (0-4) Whitecross and Miceal O’Rourke (0-7) were in fine form from placed balls as the winners pressed on in the second half despite the loss of a number of key players through injury, using up their whole compliment of substitutes. to make it into the draw for the next round.


The referee was the main man in this brusing encounter which saw 4 red cards issued. Inside 7 minutes three players were dismissed two from Clann Eireann and one from Maghery. The division two side led 6-2 but Maghery were level 6-all at the interval. Another brusuing second half followed with both teams reduced to 13 players as they traded points and were level pegging 10 all with 8 minutes left. Maghery finished the stronger with two winning points both from placed balls with the referees report the emost eagerly awaited thing to come put of this match.

MULLAGHBAWN 0-5 PEARSE OG (Holders) 3-15

The scoreline says it all indeed it is flattering towards the losers as the wasteful champions have had harder training sessions than this championship encounter. The title holders would have been a little wary of this one as Mullaghbawn beat them in the league in Armagh a few weeks ago and they were starting minus the services of Andy Mallon, Anto Duffy, JJ and Ronan Clarke. Any semblence of an upset were dispelled inside the opening 10 minutes as the champions kept the challengers in their own half as they cut through for points at will as Conor Clarke (0-5), Kieran Hughes (0-2), Sean Moore, Ross Clarke had them 9-2 up before Mark Cullen struck for a three pointer five minutes from half time. Midfielder Darnell Parkinson made it 1-10 to 0-2 at the break with the last score of the half. Kieran Grant and Paddy McNulty replied in the tenth and twentieth minute for a totally disjointed Mullaghbawn outfit.

Paul Kelly opened the second half scoring with his team’s third point which was cancelled by a reply from Ross Clarke. A sweeping move saw Mark Cullen close the lid on the Mullaghbawn challenge as he added his second goal by rounding the goalkeeper 2-11 to 0-3. County star Paul Duffy showed his class with three excellent points on the trot off either foot before parting with the ball for Ross Clarke to find the net 3-14 to 0-3. Gareth Smyth and Sean Harte scored two on the bounce for the losers before Ross Clarke had the final say with a point.


A first ever senior championship win for St Patrick’s over Clan na Gael lookes a lot easier on the scoreboard than it was. Clans had the early dominance leading 3-2 after 10 minutes with 2 points from Stefan Campbell and one from Sean Mackle. Eugene Casey and Barry McConville were on target for Pat’s. The game turned on a terrific double save from Cullyhanna keeper Conor O’Neill who blocked efforts from McGuinness and Campbell in rapid succession. Spurred on by this they swept upfield to score the first of 8 unanswered points through midfielder Tony Donnelly to lead 10-4 at the short whistle.

Malachy Mackin came to life in the second half after opening the scoring but Campbell pointed 3 frees in a row to make it 11-7. Points from Mackin and Casey halted the comeback with the best player on view Ciaran McKeever coming forward to fist a great point. Clans hit back with their last two scores of the game before Liam O’Hare finished off a sweeping move by raising the green flag to put the finishing touches to an impressive Pat’s victory which finished off with a third Mackin point and a sixth for Casey.


The swashbuckling  Granemore from last year’s championship failed to show for this sub standard local derby. Intermediate champions St Michael’s replied to two early points with a Barry Murray goal to take the lead which was extended by a Paul O’Rourke free which was to be his side’s last score of the half. Granemore ended a barren 15 minutes with four late points to go in 0-6 to 1-1 in front. The poor fare continued with both sides finding scores hard to come by before a scrambled goal with 6 minutes left on the clock sealed Granemore’s place in the quarter finals. America and injuries have taken their toll on what was a promising Granemore team.


On a lovely evening for football a good crowd gathered to see how the new Cross Rangers would perform following the loss of the title last year. Well it was a case of not adjusting your set as some of the characters may have changed but some breathtaking football showed that the hunger, appetite and we want our crown back we’re very much in evidence.

‘Cruppen opened the scoring in the first minute through a Seamus Kane free but by the time he added their second score some twenty minutes later Cross had the match won. Points from Kyle Carragher, Oisin McConville and Stephen Kernan had wiped out the early lead before disaster struck for ‘Cruppen in the shape of an “own goal” with a handpass back to the keeper found it’s way over the line. If that was not bad enough the umpire was raising a second green flag for Rangers next score as Martin Aherne found with a delightful Carragher crossfield pass netted to make 2-3 to 0-1. Two points from Aaron Kernan with one from Jamie Clarke sandwiched inbetween were added before Kane got his sevcond with Paul Keenan rounding off the half with his team’s first point from play to leave it 2-6 to 0-3 at the break.

The second half began with a fisted Jamie Clarke point before ‘Cruppen’s hopes were further hit by self inflicted disaster as they were reduced numerically for a silly needless second yellow card. Cross doubled their scoring tally after the dismissal with Clarke and Aaron Cunningham getting the goals but credit to the losers who battled gamely against the odds and hit the last four points of the game.