Armagh GAA Round-Up

September 18, 2012

Senior football Championship

Carville hat-trick decides it


With this game finely balanced in the second half, a hat-trick of goals in a 10 minute spell from Declan Carvill decided the outcome. Sarsfield led 0-7 to 0-6 at half-time and were still two points in front when Carville raised his first green flag to put his team in a lead from which they never looked back from. Declan Monaghan was on hand to polish off a good Cruppen move with their fourth goal of the game in the dying moments. Only triple champions Crossmaglen stand in the way of a Carrickcruppen first senior championship final appearance in thirty years. Incidentally Cruppen beat Cross 0-6 to 0-4 in that 1982 final played in Killeavy.

Crossmaglen Rangers v Carrickcruppen

Everyone thinks that the semi-finals of the Armagh Senior Football Championship are foregone conclusions with champions Cross already in the final against Pearse Og. But semi-final opponents Carrickcruppen and St Patrick’s will be out to show that they are more than just number makers as they plot to upset the applecart.

The injury hit champions also minus the services of Jamie Clarke have not been impressive to reach the last four but in typical Cross fashion got the job done. After two long hard years Rangers took a longer break than usual from their training but as things are now nearing for what for them has become the business end of the year they have upped the ante. Jamie is expected to return from America this week which will be a boost as will the presence of veteran Oisin McConville who is on his way back from injury. Another boost for Cross is the game time full back Paul Kernan got under his belt in the defeat of Maghery in the last round. Garbhan Carragher missed out at centre back in the quarter final having filled the void left by the absence of Danny O Callaghan in the previous game. Garbhan will be hoping to make a start as will a fit again Aaron Cunningham back in to replace Australia bound Francis Hanratty.

‘Cruppen have all to gain and nothing to lose going into this match. The extra game with Sarsfields will have stood them in good stead. ‘Cruppen have steadily improved their squad as the year has progressed with players returning to the club following immigration. The ‘Cruppen half forward line of Stephen Harold, Paul Keenan and Declan Carville will trouble any defence. ‘Cruppen will be hoping to emulate the Maghery midfield dominance of Cross to set up their forwards for those all important scores. Rangers Captain David McKenna retired from the midfield injured the last day and he will be needed to partner Johnny Hanratty in this crucial sector and help shore up what has been a porous Rangers rear-guard which has been uncharacteristically conceding goals in this year’s championship.

‘Cruppen goalkeeper John McCullough has been in sparkling form and will need all of that sparkle as he faces the acid test . Mickey McNamee was in fine form against Maghery, Substitutes Kyle Carragher, Callum Cumiskey, Boyce are all pushing for starting places. Cross have so many options and different scorers that can punish you at any given time a thing which sets them apart from the rest. Over the full duration of the game it is hard to see the underdogs living with the champions the whole way. ‘Cruppen will be hoping to stay in the game early on as Rangers have been out of the blocks and away thus far early on in their Championship matches. ‘Cruppen to earn more than credibility for their efforts in this one, but alas no final berth to show for their efforts.

St. Patrick’s v Pearse Og

Again the impression in this one is that St Pat’s are just making up the numbers as a rejuvenated OG’s have swept aside all before them with ease in the Championship. With a full panel of players at their disposal for the first time in a long time with even long term injury concern, former All-Star Ronan Clarke, getting in some game time the City side feel that they can as they have done in the recent past end the Champions dominance of the local scene,

St Pat’s will be the first to put their hands up and say that they should have lost to Culloville but with 2 goals turned eminent defeat into a victory. One must not forget that Dromintee forged a point ahead of them deep in added on time and they showed great character and resolve to force a replay when all once again looked lost. While Pat’s football has been patchy to say the least their fighting qualities, in terms of desire for victory, should not be lost on the hot favourites. St Pat’s have shown that they are no mean force themselves and with the very influential Ciaran McKeever back in the fold to re-ignite their charge the Cullyhanna side will be well up for this game. While one man never makes a team his influence can bring match winning qualities that can become infectious

The easy games thus far for the Armagh city side will be put aside on Friday night as their credentials will get a thorough examination from their south Armagh rivals. There is one basic difference between these two sides and that is in a scoring capacity with Pearse Og ahead in this vital stat. which should be good enough to see them over the line by a narrow margin.

Intermediate Football Championship

Killeavy 3-15 Mullaghbawn  2-12

Thirty two scores suggests a classic but it was far from that as this match was over by the short whistle by which time the eventual winners led 3-9 to 1-4.With veteran Stevie McDonnell leading the orchestra as well as helping himself to 1-5 he distributed some great ball to willing corner forward partners Caolan Trainor (1-2) and Ciaron O’Hanlon (0-5). All the Killeavy goals came in the first half with Paul Kelly finding the net for the losers. As in previous Championship outings Killeavy took their finger off the pulse in the second half, brought on 5 substitutes managed only a half dozen points but were always in control despite Mullaghbawn weighing in with 1-8 in an improved second half display. Gerard McCreesh fired home a great second goal for the losers all too late to have any effect on the outcome as was the introduction of Eugene McVerry when the Killeavy horse had already bolted before his arrival following a long layoff through injury.

James Duffy and Michael Murphy (third goal) gave Killeavy the upperhand at midfield and good displays from James Donnelly and corner backs Gordon Magennis and Caolan Moan cemented the smooth slick football provided by the winners who were impressive when it mattered most.

Killeavy will have to wait a bit longer to know their final opponents as the other semi ended in a draw St Peter’s 1-11 Wolfe Tones 1-11.