Armagh Junior Championship Semi Finals Match Reports

Derrynoose 3-15 Forkhill 2-10

Derrynoose reached their first Junior Championship final in 15 years on Sunday evening in the Athletic Grounds with an emphatic 3-15 to 2-10 victory over Forkhill. Forkhill will be disappointed in their tame effort as they were over reliant on Jemar Hall who was fantastic for his side, finishing with 2-5 to his name.

Hall scored all but one point of Forkhill’s 1-3 in the opening half as Barry Shannon hit the first score from a free after Hall had been fouled. Derrynoose responded instantly with a Peter McKearney point one minute later. Conall McNally and Hall traded scores before Derrynoose were awarded a penalty in the 9th minute that was coolly slotted home by Pearse Lennon.

Points from Stevie Keenan and McNally stretched Derrynoose’s lead but Jemar Hall brought Forkhill back into the game after a long ball was sent in by Cormac Toner only for Hall to put it low past the Derrynoose keeper 15 minutes into the opening half to bring his side back to within two points.

Derrynoose responded brilliantly with points from Sean Lennon and Conor McNally until Forkhill pulled one back with Hall again on target. Derrynoose piled on the pressure and kicked two more scores before the half from Conor McNally and Sean Lennon to leave it 1-8 to 1-3 at half time in Derrynoose’s favour.

Forkhill came bursting out of the blocks early in the second half desperate to remain in the contest and kicked the opening score through Hall but that was soon cancelled out again by Conor McNally. Forkhill showed resilience and kicked another point shortly after from Cormac Toner but Derrynoose kicked on and Conor McNally got on the end of a great run from David McCreesh to palm home Derrynoose’s second goal.

Stephen Sheridan and Pearse Lennon traded points then Forkhill pulled up their socks with 15 minutes left on the clock and took the game to Derrynoose. They kicked two unanswered points and before being awarded a penalty with 13 minutes left to put two between the teams. Jemar Hall blasted the ball into the net and the pressure was really on Brian Hamilton’s men.

Forkhill began to turn the tide and a long range Jemar Hall effort brought it back to a one point game. David McCreesh put Derrynoose in the driving seat going into the last 10 minutes with a great point before the leaders upped their work rate once again and kicked another two unanswered scores from Peter McKearney and Conor McNally.

The 3rd goal was a real sucker punch to Forkhill and came from the boot of the Derrynoose goalkeeper Stephen McArdle who stepped up to take a 45 and it went straight in through the hands of a Forkhill defender and into the net. Derrynoose finished out the game with scores from Conor McNally and Kevin McKenna to book their place in this year’s final which will be played on Sunday 29th of September.

Collegeland 2-8 Dorsey 0-9

Derrynoose’s opponents in the decider will be Collegeland who saw off the challenge of Dorsey on Sunday evening’s second semi final. The sides played out a dull encounter but the victors were undoubtedly the better of the two sides on the night and their two goals gave them a good foothold in the games.

Jason Kelly kicked the opening score which saw Collegeland take the lead but two minutes later the sides where level with Conor Moley bursting through the defence and blasting the ball over the black spot. Collegeland went in front once more when an incredible run from Shane Donnelly was finished with aplomb when his powerful shot flew past the diving keepers hand and nestled in the corner of the net.

Dorsey continued to bring the fight to Collegeland and were level once again with three points on the trot, Shane Connelly (2) and Conor Moley bringing their side back on level terms. Collegeland nudged ahead through Stefan McKenna and Tyrone McGeary but points from Cormac Toner and Kevin Kelly saw the sides level 1-3 to 0-6 at the break.

Collegeland got off to a great start in the second half with Scott McCann’s early point followed by another bullet from the boot of Shane Donnelly, who hit the corner of the net for the second time, this time with his left foot. Robert McQuaid continued his sides’ dominance and his converted free put them on top by five.

Dorsey hit two points to bring them back within touching distance but there scores where soon cancelled out with points from Stephen Clancy and Cathair McGeary. Gary Mackin and McGeary traded scores before the referee called for the ball with Collegeland ahead by five at the final whistle and they can now look forward to the final in two weeks time.