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Cremartin gunning for Ulster JFC title against Derrytresk

November 24th, 2011

AIB Ulster Club Junior Football Championship Final

Cremartin v Derrytresk, Sunday, 1.30, Armagh


Cremartin will attempt to become the fourth Monaghan club in a row to win the Ulster Club JFC Final when they take on Derrytresk from Tyrone at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh on Sunday. Cremartin, who had the brainwave for this tournament and ran it until the Ulster Council took over, will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Corduff, Emyvale and Monaghan Harps by winning the Paul Kerr Cup, which is of course named in honour of a young player from the mid-Monaghan club.

Monaghan and Tyrone have dominated the competition. Farney clubs have won six out of ten times (although Corduff were stripped of last year’s title after being found to have fielded an ineligible player in the final against Swanlinbar), while Tyrone sides have won in three of the other four years, This is the 10th time in 11 years that Monaghan have been represented in the final and it’s a second appearance for Cremartin, who lost to Stewartstown in 2004.

Having lost both championship and league finals in 2010, Cremartin are a team on a mission this year and they made up for last year’s disappointment by securing a first Monaghan junior double since 1956. The Shamrocks had a facile win over Fergal O’Hanlons in the JFC first round and they then saw off Clones to qualify for a semi-final where they needed a second chance to edge past Aghabog in a nervy replay. Clones had battled their way through the back door to get to the county final, but Cremartin once again proved too strong and were more comfortable winners than the scoreline suggested. Despite finishing with 14 men, Gerry McCarville’s side held on to draw with Shercock from Cavan after extra-time in the Ulster opener and they made no mistake once again in the replay to advance to the semi-finals, where they were convincing winners at the expense of Donegal side Burt.

Derrytresk beat Dungannon Thomas Clarkes, Drumquin and Errigal Ciarán II to reach the Tyrone final, where they had a 0-15 to 0-9 win over Killeeshil. The ‘Men from the Hill’ have gone through the gears in their Ulster championship campaign to date, securing comprehensive victories over Derrytransa of Derry and Armagh champions Éire Óg Craigavon.

Both teams have enjoyed unbeaten runs to the provincial final, with Cremartin winning six times and drawing twice and Derrytresk having a six-from-six record. Cremartin have scored 15-72 (an average of just over 14.6 points per game), while conceding a mere 2-50, which works out at just seven points per game. Derrytresk’s scoring average is even more impressive, as they have averaged 16 points per game (6-78 from six matches) and let in an average of less than seven points (2-35).

Both of these teams have become used to playing at big venues in recent months, as Cremartin have lined out in Clones, Breffni Park and Enniskillen, while Derrytresk have taken to the fields of Celtic Park and Casement Park. This is an even bigger occasion, taking place before the Ulster Club SFC Final between Crossmaglen and Burren, and McCarville will seek to use his big-match experience to help his players.

Cremartin have a star forward in team-captain Darren Bishop, but others have stepped up to the mark at various times throughout the year, including Kevin Brennan, Barry Carragher and Ronan Burke, who has been converted from a wing-back to a wing-forward with a knack of scoring important goals – a habit he continued last Sunday in the league final against Clones. Gary Boyd and Niall Flanagan have built up a strong partnership at midfield, while Patrick McGuigan, Declan Farrell, Fergal Mulligan and county minor captain Jonathan McGuigan have led a strong defence in front of a solid goalkeeper in Damien Lavelle. Derrytresk, who are from what joint-manager Paul Hughes described as “the mossy side of Clonoe parish” are undoubtedly the best team Cremartin will have faced this year, however. They have a formidable centre-field duo of their own in Ronan O’Neill and Conor Gavin, as well as a couple of sharp-shooters in Niall Gavin (who has scored 2-31 in the championship to date) and Mickey Rae and strong defenders like Cathal O’Neill and Seán Slater.

Monaghan clubs have a superb record in the Ulster Club JFC and it would be fitting if Cremartin take the Paul Kerr Cup home on Sunday. The Shamrocks, who have had 18 scorers in their championship run, have been steadily improving as the year has gone on – building up to a strong team performance in the Junior Football League Final last Sunday – and they have what it takes to finish a dream year in style by completing a rare treble.


Cremartin JFC scorers 2011:
Darren Bishop 3-15 (0-7f); Barry Carragher 1-11 (0-8f); Stephen Bishop 1-7; Mark Bishop 0-10 (2f); Ronan Burke 3-4; Gary Boyd 2-3; Kevin Brennan 1-7; Niall Flanagan 2-1; Conor Mulligan, Gerard Malone 1-1 each; Liam McVicar 0-4; Christopher Farrell (1f), Shane Burke 0-2 each; Jonathan McGuigan, Patrick McGuigan, Declan Farrell, Kevin Atkinson, Peter McMahon 0-1 each

Paths to the Ulster Final:



Cremartin        4-22     Fergal O’Hanlons        0-0

Cremartin        2-9       Clones                         0-10

Cremartin        1-6       Aghabog                     1-6

Cremartin        3-3       Aghabog                     0-9

Cremartin        1-6       Clones                         0-7

Cremartin        2-11     Shercock                     1-14 (AET)

Cremartin        1-7       Shercock                     1-3

Cremartin        1-8       Burt                             0-4


Derrytresk       0-12     Dungannon                 0-4

Derrytresk       1-12     Drumquin                    1-5

Derrytresk       1-16     Errigal Ciarán              1-8

Derrytresk       0-15     Killeeshil                     0-9

Derrytresk       2-11     Derrytrasna                 0-6

Derrytresk       2-12     Éire Óg                        0-3      


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