Published 17/12/2012 | 12:07
Killeavy are through to the final of the Danske Bank Ulster Minor Football tournament without having kicked a ball, after the withdrawal of Castleblayney Faughs from the competition.
The Armagh champions had already been awarded a bye to the semi-finals and will now face either Ardboe or Glen in the January 1 decider.
Monaghan champions Castleblayney withdrew from the competition at St Paul’s in Belfast after a melee at the end of their quarter-final win over St Patrick’s, Donagh.
It means a bitter-sweet Ulster final appearance for the Orchard County boys against the Tyrone or Derry champions, with manager John King not having seen his charges in competitive action since mid October.
“It puts us at a terrible disadvantage. We finished our county championship on October 14 and haven’t had a competitive game since,” said King.
“We’ve had a few challenge games but you need the competitive games to get the edge and we’re not going to get too many games between now and New Year’s Day.
“We started training last January and our goal was to be playing football on New Year’s Day. We have achieved that, but not the way we wanted to. All we can do is give it our all.
“Ardboe and Glen will have two or three games under their belts and we haven’t been on to the St Paul’s field yet. The demoralising thing is that you’re getting lads ready for the game and then telling them that it’s been called off. Young lads want to play football.”
Ardboe’s semi-final against Glen takes place on Boxing Day at St Paul’s, throw-in 1.30pm.
Holders Glen are tipped for the title following impressive displays against St John’s and Warrenpoint.