The Junior Championship Quarter Finals took place at the weekend with the eight competing teams battling for four available spots in the semi finals. On Friday night Silverbridge hosted St Patrick’s IIs and Dorsey with the old rivals going head to head in an evenly match affair with Dorsey coming away with a three point victory.
The eventual victors were ahead at the interval 1-6 to 1-4 and pulled away to take a five point lead with 10 minutes left to play. Cullyhanna came storming back into the contest however with a goal three minutes from time and Dorsey had to work to confirm victory, which they did with the final score of the game to win 1-12 to 2-6.
The Junior Championship game of the week came on Sunday with League Champions Clonmore locking horns with Junior B League title holders Forkhill. An inspired Forkhill side led from start to finish and really set a marker down for the rest of the teams left in the competition as they ran out easy winners in the end 3-12 to 0-6.
Conor McNally led the charge for Derrynoose and guided his team into the semi finals with nine points from play over the 60 minutes against Belleek, Derrynoose ahead 0-15 to 0-9 at the final whistle. Collegeland filled the last place available in the semi finals with a 1-12 to 0-9 victory over Killeavy.
Keady 0-9 Shane O’Neill’s 4-8
Keady crashed out of the Intermediate Championship at the hands of Shane O’Neill’s in Ballymacnab on Saturday night with three second half goals confirming the victors’ entry into the last eight. Shane O’Neill’s led by four after a low scoring first half and pushed on to run out 11 point winners.
Mark McCabe began proceedings with the opening score from a free two minutes into the game. Keady replied with a Eugene McDonnell brace (one free) before a great score from Conor Hughes allowed Keady to hold the upper hand. Shane O’Neill’s tied the game one minute later when Paul O’Rourke struck the back of the net for the first goal of the game.
Three points from Shane O’Neill’s saw them finish the half strongly with a fisted point from Greg McCabe being followed by scores from Ciaran Mackin and David McCabe. This saw an end to the opening half where Keady were wasteful in possession while Shane O’Neill’s punished their mistakes to lead 1-4 to 0-3 at the break.
Conor Hughes brought Keady back to within three with a pointed free but Shane O’Neill’s continued to build on their lead with points from Matthew Girvan and Paul O’Rourke. Eugene McDonnell landed a huge score for Keady to bring his side back to within four but the game was killed off in the next few minutes.
Eamon McCabe split the posts for Shane O’Neill’s before Michael Brady, who was fantastic all evening, fired home his sides second goal which was closely followed by their third, Paul O’Rourke hitting the net on this occasion. Keady tagged on the next three scores through Ryan McCabe, James King and Conor Hughes, narrowing the gap to eight.
Conal O’Brien knocked over another Shane O’Neill’s point from 45 metres while Keady replied with a point of their own. The winners ended the game in devastating fashion with Paddy Gregory seeing off a fantastic performance with his sides’ fourth goal of the evening. Shane O’Neill’s will now face St Paul’s next weekend in the quarter finals.
Shane O’Neill’s Scorers: Paul O’Rourke (2-1), Michael Brady (1-0), Paddy Gregory (1-0), Mark McCabe (0-1), Greg McCabe (0-1), Ciaran Mackin (0-1), David McCabe (0-1), Matthew Girvan (0-1), Eamon McCabe (0-1), Conal O’Brien (0-1).
Keady Scorers: Eugene McDonnell (0-4), Conor Hughes (0-3), Ryan McCabe (0-1), James King (0-1).
An Port Mor 1-13 Crossmaglen II 1-15
A tightly contested affair saw Crossmaglen see off hosts An Port Mor to book their spot in next weekend’s quarter final when they will pair off against Clan na Gael. The sides were evenly matched as the home side led at the interval by three points but Cross improved for the second 30 minutes and saw out a two point victory.
Crossmaglen began the brighter of the two as they had control of possession but couldn’t make the most of it, kicking several wides. An Port Mor made no mistake with their first score however as they hit the net in the 5th minute through Cormac Kieran to give them a brilliant start.
The sides traded scores with Callum Kieran hitting a brace for Cross while David Curran, Gary Traynor, Michael Garland and Cormac Kieran all found their range for the home side. A Patsy Finnegan point was followed by a Ryan Conlon score before An Port Mor hit their 6th through Gary Traynor. Cross finished the half strongly through Finnegan and Callum Kieran to see the half time score An Port Mor 1-6 Crossmaglen 0-6.
The hosts kept their noses in front with the first two scores of the second period with David Curran and Cormac Kieran both hitting their target. Crossmaglen responded heroically scoring seven points in a row with Callum Kieran (free), Shane McConville, John Murtagh (3) and Pasty Finnegan (2) all splitting the posts.
The Rangers were now two ahead having trailed by five but were soon just one in front when David Curran struck a score. Pasty Finnegan’s point allowed Cross to retain their narrow advantage before Mark and David Curran both fired over points to see the sides level with eight minutes of the match still to play
Stephen Ogle remained cool and calm between the posts for Crossmaglen and kept the opposition at bay with some fantastic saves. It was nail biting stuff with both teams missing golden opportunities but Cross took the advantage when Ryan Conlon fired the ball to the An Port Mor net at a vital stage of the game.
Two late scores from Shane Nugent and David Curran weren’t enough to get their side on level terms and the final piece of action came when John Murtagh put his side two ahead. The final whistle blew to end a hectic 60 minutes of competitive action with Crossmaglen victorious with two points to spare.
An Port Mor Scorers: David Curran (0-5), Cormac Kieran (1-2), Shane Nugent (0-2), Gary Traynor (0-2), Mark Curran (0-1), Michael Garland (0-1).
Crossmaglen Scorers: Patsy Finnegan (0-5), Callum Kieran (0-4), John Murtagh (0-4), Ryan Conlon (0-4), Shane McConville (0-1).
Whitecross 0-9 Grange 1-16
Madden played host to a winner takes all play off game between Whitecross and Grange and the match really took a turn for the worst when several second yellow cards were handed out to Whitecross players reducing them to 11 men with the S Killian’s club failing to register a single score during the final 30 minutes after a competitive first half.
Grange kicked the opening score of the contest though Justin Kieran which was quickly followed by a Cathal McKenna goal to give Grange a perfect start. Their early momentum continued as Ethan Rafferty split the posts to leave his side ahead 1-2 to 0-0 after four minutes of play.
Whitecross responded with three points in quick succession from Cathal McSherry, Ruairi Convery and a converted free from Ryan McSherry. The McKenna brothers Cathal and Miceal grabbed a point each for the Grange to put their side four points in front after the first quarter.
Whitecross once again battled back strongly to make it a one point game with scores from Mark Shields, Ryan McSherry and Ruairi Convery. The Grange had the final say of the half however with youngster Ben Toal edging them ahead by two with a point to leave the half time score Whitecross 0-9 Grange 1-8.
After the break the Grange pushed on with points from Ben Toal and Justin Kieran (2) to put their side five points up. With four Whitecross men seeing the line the second half became a non contest as the Grange pulled away to confirm their entry into the last eight where they will face Mullaghbawn next weekend.
Elsewhere Tir na nOg captured the final spot in the last eight with a hard fought victory over Tullysaran on Sunday afternoon, winning 2-16 to 1-14 with Jamie McAleenan grabbing both Tir na nOg goals. The Portadown men will now face Wolfe Tones next weekend in the Intermediate Championship quarter final.