BIG WEEKEND OF CHAMPIONSHIP ACTION

6 October 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By COLM SHALVEY

The Universal Graphics Junior Football Championship Final takes place in Drumhowan on Sunday, with perennial challengers Blackhill back for another go, this time against Seán McDermotts.

Blackhill are in the JFC Final for the fourth consecutive year after losing to Emyvale (after a replay) in 2013, Drumhowan 12 months later and Rockcorry (in another replay) last year, as well as the 2014 JFL decider against Aughnamullen. Seán McDermotts are Blackhill’s fifth different opponent in those finals. The Seáns are level with Blackhill on the JFC roll of honour with four titles. The last of those came in 1990, although the Threemilehouse club also won the IFC in 2002 and a couple of junior leagues more recently.

These teams have taken the direct route to Sunday’s final. The Seáns cruised past Corduff, before edging out Éire Óg and producing their best performance to date in their semi-final against Clones. Blackhill saw off Clones, Scotstown and Drumhowan on their way to a semi-final against Toome. Blackhill led for much of last Friday’s derby in Inniskeen, although their four-point lead was wiped out in the closing stages, with livewire James Wilson finding the net for Toome. Blackhill drew level at the death when substitute Andrew Burns nailed a high-pressure ’45 with his first touch and he added a goal in extra-time to propel his side into another final.
Both sides have also qualified for the league semi-finals, where there is very little to choose between them on their meetings: a one-point win for Blackhill, followed by a draw last month.

Blackhill’s semi-final team showed four changes from last year’s final replay, with Gerard McArdle, Shane Courtney, Jason Finnegan and Éamon …
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