Belleek vs Forkhill Replay Preview
Friday 25th Sept – Athletic Grounds – 7.30pm
More of the same will be the hope for all those attending or watching the Junior Championship Final replay this evening.
Forkhill and Belleek served up a cracking contest six days ago, and now must do it all again to see who gets their hands on the Sean Quinn Cup.
Forkhill will once again enter the Athletic Grounds donning the favourites tag but Belleek have shown that odds mean nothing once the ball is thrown in.
Heading into additional time last weekend, Forkhill must have been thinking of their celebrations as they lead by four points with just minutes left on the clock.
But Belleek had other ideas, and a smash and grab goal from substitute Conor McKevitt offered a huge lifeline to the underdogs.
Back in contention, Belleek looked to their captain to save the day and Callum O’Neill showed nerves of steel to swing over a free from all of 45 meters out.
Forkhill were the better team up to that point, having controlled the final quarter and it appeared that their superior fitness levels were beginning to show.
You can be sure that if Forkhill can once again find themselves in a winning situation, they will have learned their lessons from last week.
Belleek will have picked up a thing or two as well of course, and they’ll hope to get more joy from their inside line this evening.
Only Sean McCreesh got on the score sheet in the drawn game from their front three, and only one of his 1-3 came from open play.
If Belleek are to prevail, they will need their two corner forwards, Drew McVerry and James McParland to hit top form.
Aidan Coleman and Tony Canning gave heroic displays in defence for Forkhill and will once again shadow the Belleek dangermen.
Paddy Burns is another who is likely to match up with the same opponent as last week and man-mark Callum O’Neill.
Belleek will also have to get their match ups right of course and are likely to change very little from the first game.
Fergus Quinn will once again face the difficult challenge of trying to derail the influence of Jemar Hall, something he did quite well last weekend.
The professional boxer held his man to just three points from play, which is pretty impressive giving the form Hall has shown this season.
Other dangermen in the Forkhill ranks will be Stephen Sheridan and Cormac Toner and Belleek will target those two players.
All in all, Forkhill were marginally the better team the last day out and the favourites more often than not come out on top in the replay.
Belleek are sure to give it their all and leave it all on the field, but Forkhill should have enough to capture their first title since 1981.
Prediction: Forkhill by five.