Team of the Decade – Full Forward Line

Jamie Clarke

Probably hasn’t had the career in Crossmaglen that many would have liked to have seen but when he was there he was brilliant. Clarke was untouchable at times this decade and turned himself into one of the most deadliest forwards in the country. Surprisingly Clarke only played in three county finals this decade.

Didn’t score in the 2011 decider against Ballymacnab but Clarke certainly made up for it in the 2012 and 2014 finals, when he grabbed four goals, evenly shared across the two games, with his tallies of 2-2 in 2012 vs Pearse Ogs and 2-1 against Harps two years later showing why he was one of the best attacking threats in Armagh club football this decade.

Brian McCone

McCone has been a consistent performer in the maroon and white of Ballymacnab for more than 10 years now and has been one of the reasons for their success in recent times. A deadly finisher who has always been a reliable free-taker for The Round Towers, McCone excelled in pressure situations.

McCone has been essential to Ballymacnab’s attacking play during the last 10 years and has always been one of the first names on the team sheet. He can play anywhere across the full forward line and has also spent time in the centre half forward position where he excels at creating play as much as he does scoring.

Rian O’Neill

What a bright future O’Neill has in front of him, he may have only played in four years of this decade but there’s no doubting the fact that he has been one of the standout players throughout his time. His first two years saw little success with Cross failing to reach the final in 2016 and ’17 but O’Neill has dragged them back to the top.

He has displayed his versatility in the last two years playing in midfield, half forward and full forward, wreaking havoc wherever he is placed. O’Neill not only aided Crossmaglen’s return to the top table, he has claimed the man of the match award in the last two county finals as well as being the only player to win three Club All-Stars in a row.

Gavin McParland

One of three Ballymacnab players nominated in the full forward line, it’s McParland’s eye for goal that makes him stand out. A beautiful cross-field pass from Jack Grugan handed the ball to McParland but Gavin still had a lot of work to do to find the back of the net in this year’s county final.

His performances in 2011 will live long in the memory for Ballymacnab as he marched The Round Towers to their first ever Senior Championship Final with a hat-trick of goals against Clan na Gael and four points against Granemore. McParland has also saw a lot of game time in the orange and white of Armagh this decade.

Ultan Lennon

The star of the Armagh Harps 2017 Senior Championship triumph, he rattled the net seconds after Ryan McShane had raised the green flag to hand the Harps the lead for the first time in that year’s final against Maghery, Lennon was the go to man for so long over the last 10 years for Armagh Harps.

Top scored for his side in two of their three championship finals this decade, hitting 0-5 in their defeat to Crossmaglen in 2014 while recording a personal tally of 1-5 in the 2016 showpiece. His performances in 2016 earned him the number 14 jersey on the Armagh Club Team of the Year.

Kyle Carragher

The Crossmaglen corner forward would have easily walked onto any team in the county throughout this decade, and probably still would. Pace to burn and an eye-catching first touch, Carragher has always been a nightmare for any defender to chase and great for a crucial score when needed.

A man for the big occasion, he kicked four points in his side’s 2013 championship victory over neighbours Cullyhanna, 1-2 the following year against Armagh Harps, 0-3 in 2015 against the same opposition and once again hit 0-3 in his sides six point victory over Ballymacnab last season.

Jack Grugan

The big full forward has become one of the finest finishers in the county over the last 10 years and a key component to Ballymacnab’s attacking philosophy. Great off both feet and an extremely sharp eye for goal, Grugan has received two Club All-Stars awards in a row at full forward for his performances.

Grugan has been the main attacking threat for Ballymacnab for a number of years now, top scoring in the last two county finals with 1-6 in each game, although on the losing side on both occasions. Another performance that stood out was his display against Cullyhanna in the 2013 semi final, where he struck 2-4 of his side’s 2-10.

Stefan Forker

Always a handful for any defender to handle, Forker has become one of the most important assets to Maghery play over the previous 10 years. Strong on the ball, Forker has played a range of different positions for the 2019 league champions, this years developing into a working half forward under Finnian Moriarty.

His scoring power is what sets him apart for Maghery and he was top scorer for his men when he helped them deliver their first Senior Championship in 2016, hitting 0-4 in the final. He once again aided their journey in getting to the 2017 final with 0-4 in their semi final win over Crossmaglen while he hit 0-3 in that years decider.