Club weekend goes according to plan
The weekend’s Club championship matches all went according to plan, with both of the All-Ireland Club Champions winning their respective matches to make sure that the weekend passed without any major shocks.
The reigning football champions Crossmaglen, who were expected to be challenged by Pearse Og in the Armagh Championship final, ended up winning by 3-9 to 0-11, though they needed two goals from Jamie Clarke to see off the Armagh City side.
It was the Ranger’s 40th Armagh Senior Football Championship title.
Loughgiel, meanwhile. made light work of Armagh Champions Middletown in the Ulster Club Hurling Championship. The All-Ireland Club hurling champions won by 1-25 to 0-12 in a game which Pj O’Mullan got a chance to test the strength of his panel.
The Antrim Champions must now prepare for a meeting with the Down winners, Portaferry, who beat Derry champions Swatragh 0-23 to 1-6 in their Ulster Club semi-final. The key man for Portaferry was Paul Braniff who scored 0-11. It was a disappointing day for Swatragh who had their star man, Ruairi Convery sent off.
Perhaps the most noteworthy story of the weekend was Ballybay’s first senior championship victory in 25 years, as the Patrick Pearses beat Clontibret 1-12 to 2-5.
Ballybay captain Paul Finlay won man of the match, and on receiving the Mick Duffy trophy spoke about the last time the club won the title, in 1987, as his father, the late Kieran ‘Jap’ Finlay, was part of that team.