Preview: Junior Football Final

October 6th, 2017 | Football

Preview: Junior Football Final

ONE long wait is set to be ended this evening – barring a draw – as Ballyhegan and Corrinshego battle it out for the Sean Quinn Perpetual Cup.

The Davitt’s last got their hands on the Junior Championship trophy in 1995, although they did add an Intermediate crown two years later. The Thomas Davis men’s search has been even longer though with the club’s one and only triumph coming back in 1982 when they were six-point winners over Clonmore.

The Doran’s Hill men, under the tutelage of Adrian McCourt and Martin Kelly, will take a lot of confidence into the game though after their disposal of favourites Crossmaglen in the semi-final.

The Rangers had a forward line that was racking up high tallies all season, but they were held to just 1-9 in Silverbridge with Ryan McWilliams disrupting so much of their play in his sweeper role.

He will be asked to repeat that job alongside captain Turlough Kane and teak-tough defender John Bradshaw as they try to prevent Ballyhegan from making their regular quick break.

Even in their opening draw with Dorsey Emmet’s, they stole a march with two Conal McKeever points while they also made lightning breaks in the replay win and their victories against An Port Mor and Cullyhanna.

They have also found their scoring touch since that first Dorsey match and have scored eight goals in the three following games.

McKeever has been responsible for three of those while Paul Nixon (2), team captain Paddy Marley (2) and Jack Rafferty have also raised green flags.

The Newry club also bring plenty of attacking threat too and free-taker Phelim Finnegan has proven reliable as the side chalked up wins over St Michael’s, Clady and Cross.

All three of those games were tight encounters and the side’s ability to win out gritty encounters is one of the most pleasing aspects for their management team.
“The last four or five months though, the effort the boys has put in has been excellent,” said long-serving goalkeeper Karl Kimmins.

“It’s been a progression, every game has got harder as it’s went on but we have stood up to every challenge so far.”

This is undoubtedly the biggest challenge yet, but if they can prevent the Davitt’s from racing away in the opening quarter, they will have every chance of taking a rare piece of silverware home.

By Niall McCoy

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