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McCreesh stars as Rock deliver a solid display

By John Campbell

Tyrone title-holders Rock have certainly created an impact on their debut in the Ulster Club Junior football championship.

The small, homely club a few miles from Pomeroy underlined their commitment to enhancing their reputation by overcoming Derry champions Moneymore yesterday.

And while Rock as a unit were impressive, full-forward Conor McCreesh was their undoubted hero.

The quicksilver marksman pocketed a stunning 0-11 as he ran the show in attack, his pace and accuracy causing huge problems for a beleaguered Moneymore defence.

Rock fully deserved their comfortable 0-17 to 2-5 victory and will certainly enter the semi-finals bolstered by a fresh ration of confidence.

Eamon Ward and Diarmuid Carroll were also impressive for Rock while Rory Young's goal from a penalty kept Moneymore in contention in the first-half.

The third quarter, though, belonged to Rock with McCreesh scoring virtually at will from play as well as from frees with Carroll and James McCreesh also on target as their team moved nine clear.

Moneymore then staged a revival and when Paudie O'Neill found the net with less than 10 minutes to play the gap was just three points.

McCreesh, though, scored the last three points of the game to see the Tyrone league and championship winners safely through.

Armagh champions Keady Dwyers showed that their form in winning the county title was by no means a temporary upsurge as they overcame Monaghan representatives Drumhowan by 3-8 to 3-4.

Stephen Reneghan, renowned as much for his hurling skills as for his football prowess, once again proved the ace in the Keady pack.

And in what proved a hugely successful weekend for Down GAA, Drumaness powered to a fine 1-11 to 1-4 win over St Malachy's (Antrim) to set up a semi-final meeting with Rock.

On yesterday's evidence, this is a match that will certainly have considerable appeal.

Drumaness showed they meant business from the outset and it was a fine goal from Paul Gilchrist that provided them with the inspiration to embrace a policy of all-out attack.

Gilchrist's goal may have proved the catalyst for their performance but it was Donal Kennedy who made a huge contribution by hitting five points.

St Malachy's battled hard but found it difficult to break down the Down champions' defence although they managed to poach a goal when Paul Turley's effort entered the net off a Drumaness defender

Donegal will also be represented in the last four as Urris beat Cavan side Arva by 2-6 to 0-9.

Peter Devlin scored both goals for the winners who trailed by 0-8 to 1-1 at the break but even though they shot some 17 wides overall, they still managed to take control after the break to carve out a deserved victory.

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