Pivotal Players – Junior Final

It’s an all-South Armagh Junior final this weekend with Crossmaglen IIs taking on Belleek.

The Rangers clinched the league title during the summer, making them slight favourites heading into the game.

Belleek were moments away from claiming the Sean Quinn Cup last season. They lost out to Forkhill after a replay and extra time.

We’ve picked out two players that have been superb so far this season and will have big says this weekend.

Paul McKeown (Crossmaglen)

Paul McKeown has been there and done it for Crossmaglen seniors in the past. And yet his hunger for success continues.

Ten years ago he led the black and amber army to All-Ireland Championship glory for the fifth time in their history.

Renowned as a tough, tenacious corner back, the former Armagh player has transformed his positioning this season.

McKeown has played as a playmaking centre half forward for the Juniors and has starred in the role.

Photo Credit: Dorsey Emmets

His smart movement replaces a lack of speed and McKeown is always out in front and showing as an option.

The Crossmaglen star has is always an outlet and is the key link that joins the defence and attack.

He leads a star-studded forward line with support from Colin O’Connor, Johnny McKeever and Johnny Hanratty, should he play a part.

Belleek would be foolish to solely focus on McKeown, but there’s no doubt a lot of their plans will be made around him.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Sean McCreesh (Belleek)

Sean McCreesh has soldiered in the Belleek jersey for a long time and is still one of the stars.

His heroics helped them make the final last season, but Garreth Thornton’s men just couldn’t get over the line.

They’re back in the showpiece once again and no doubt the hurt of last year will be driving them on this weekend.

McCreesh has led from the front throughout the championship campaign and is currently his side’s top scorer.

Photo Credit: Belleek

The dangerous attacker has notched up a personal tally of 0-19 across the three games so far this year.

His accuracy is a big asset for Belleek and he has proven an extremely reliable free taker. His point from the dead ball near the end of the semi final was crucial in them winning.

Kicking points isn’t the only strength to his game as McCreesh is willing to put in the hard yards as well.

Crossmaglen will be concerned with the Belleek attack and no doubt they will hope to shut McCreesh down.

Photo Credit: Belleek