This Saturday and Sunday we have the T-Met Senior Club Championship Semi-Finals in the Athletic Grounds. First up on Saturday evening from 7.45pm is reigning champions Crossmaglen facing the increasingly impressive Maghery. Crossmaglen will go into the game as favourites however many have sensed that Crossmaglens dominance could be under threat and that Maghery are best placed to end their reign. Many of course have laughed off such suggestions, how many times has this belief been wiped out by the Cross men who have suffered just one defeat in 18 years in the Armagh Club Championship.
Maghery have been accused in the past of lacking consistency to win a Championship however this year they have progressed to the last 4 with relative ease. An 8 point victory over Forkhill, followed by an 11 point win over Pearse Og and eased up in the end when overcoming Granemore by 8 points. Crossmaglen thumped Granemore in their opening Championship game by 17 points, defeated Killeavy by 12 points and pushed on in the end to defeat Pearse Og by 5 points. Will it be business as usual for Crossmaglen or can Maghery defeat the Champions and reach their first final since 1993, Saturday evening could be an absolute classic. On Saturday we have the Minor Division 1 Final between Crossmaglen v Clann Eireann from 6pm.
On Sunday Evening we have last year’s Finalist Armagh Harps v Ballymacnab who look to reach their first final since 2011. Games throws in at 5.45pm. Armagh Harps will be chomping at the bit to get straight back into a County Final following the comprehensive victory for Crossmaglen last year. The Harps got their campaign off to a solid start with a 4 point victory over Wolfe Tone in Clann Eireann followed with 2 games v St Patrick’s Cullyhanna. The first game needed a comeback by the Harps men to secure the draw and they went on to win the replay by 5 points. Their Quarter-Final clash v Killeavy ended with a 10 point victory however it wasn’t all plain sailing in that game and was a tight affair until Harps ran away with it in the 2nd half.
Ballymacnab is the only team out of the 4 to have suffered a defeat so far in the Club Championship. They did however get their campaign off to a good start with a 5 point victory over Dromintee. In the 2nd Round they came up against a stubborn Annaghmore side and were defeated by a single point. The Nab entered the Qualifiers and were paired against Sarsfields and earned a victory after extra time. Following the draw for the Quarter Final, Ballymacnab found themselves paired up against Annaghmore again and revenge was on their mind. In an excellent game that could have swung either way, Ballymacnab got the scores in the last 10 minutes to record a one point victory and earn their spot in Sundays Semi-Final. Armagh Harps will be favourites for the game but Ballymacnab will look to the Gurgans to pair up and hope to end up in only their 2nd senior final in their history. A tough one to call and could go either way. The Minor Division 2 Final will be the opener to the Senior Semi-Final and throws in at 4pm.
We wish all the teams the very best of luck on Saturday and Sunday.