O’Rourke’s men make Shield showpiece

Armagh 7-16 Antrim 0-2

Armagh breezed into the Ulster u17 League Shield final with a convincing win over Antrim at Crossmaglen on Saturday.

A scoring spree at the start of the games sent Aidan O’Rourke’s youngsters on their way and they never looked back. 

Armagh rattled the net inside the first few minutes and followed it up with two more goals before the short whistle. 

Caomh Agnew, Eoin Duffy and Sean Woods all pointed before Shea Loughran slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner from a penalty. 

Loughran followed that up with a brace (one free) while Diarmuid O’Rourke and Aaron Garvey also got in on the scoring act. 

Another Loughran free was followed up by Agnew’s second before Duffy, their top scorer in the league, hit a quick fire 1-1. 

Agnew brought the scoring to a close for the first period with his sides third goal to see Armagh up 3-10 to 0-0 at half time.

Like the first half, Armagh started the faster with Agnew adding to his tally with a point, which was cancelled out by Antrim’s first score.

Corner back Conal Wilson darted forward for a score while fellow defender Sean Woods chipped his with his second point of the afternoon.

Culloville attacker Duffy hit Armagh’s fourth goal midway through the second period while Keelan McEntee also raised a green flag.

A third goal in five minutes followed as Loughran rattled the net for a second time, this time beating the keeper from open play.

A further Duffy point split two more from Loughran before Diarmuid O’Rourke added Armagh’s seventh major of the day.

Antrim claimed the final score with a point free late on, but Armagh were well clear at that stage and reach the Shield final with a 35-point win.

Armagh: Michael Finnegan, Conal Wilson 0-1, Gavin O’Rourke, Danny McGee, Fergus Toale, Sean Woods 0-2, Diarmuid O’Rourke 0-1, Jack Loughran, Oisin Gribben, Daithi O’Callaghan, Caomh Agnew 1-3, Keelan McEntee 1-0, Aaron Garvey 0-1, Eoin Duffy 2-3, Shea Loughran 2-5 (1 pen, 2f). Subs: Donnacha Gribben for G. O’Rourke, Fionn Toale for A. Garvey, Michael Walker for O. Gribbben, Jack Bowman for C. Agnew, Odhran Scully for S. Woods.

Photo Credit: Finbar Burns