Junior Championship Previews
By Paddy Savage
With a thrilling Junior league concluding last Friday evening, we are set fair for the commencement of the Junior championships this weekend. Perhaps fittingly, we commence this championship grade with an outing from the recently crowned league champions Clonmore, who dramatically squeezed out Keady at the head of the division with their final day victory over Lissummon, allied to Keady’s reversal against Collegeland, being enough to hand the Robert Emmetts the title. The battle for promotion from Junior A was a remarkably competitive affair and no doubt their success means that Clonmore enter this competition with great confidence. Key for them will be whether they can put the league celebrations aside and concentrate on the job in hand. Ballyhegan are Clonmore’s opponents on Friday night in a match to be played at Clann Eireann at 7pm and although the Davitts could not challenge at the head of Junior A, they are a useful outfit and would be well equipped to take advantage of any lack of focus from their opponents. However the class of James Grimley, Caolan Donaghy and of course perennial Armagh star Brendan Donaghy should be enough to see Clonmore through to the next round.
Lissummon were one of the sides involved in the titanic battle for promotion to Intermediate and although they fell just short after a couple of late reversals, they will be expected to have enough for their south Armagh neighbours St Michael’s in Carrickcruppen on Friday evening. Newtown were not involved in the final promotion shakeup in Junior B and may struggle to cope with the likes of Paidi Rodgers and Stevie Matthews who would be expected to excel for Lissummon.
The final Junior championship match of the weekend sees Collegeland play Dorsey in Keady at 6 30pm on Sunday evening. These sides finished the league locked together on 26 points and each recorded one verdict over the league season with Dorsey avenging a narrow defeat in May with a comprehensive eleven point verdict in mid July. Therefore, there is likely to be little between these sides but Dorsey might be able to edge through to the next round.