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Poor Harps hammered as Watty claim minor crown

By John Campbell

Watty Graham's 4-12 Armagh Harps 0-6: Derry champions Watty Graham's from Glen strode to a massive 18 points victory over disappointing Armagh Harps in yesterday's final of the Northern Bank Ulster Minor Football Champions' Trophy Tournament, at St Paul's Complex in Belfast.

The final tally of 4-12 to 0-6 tells the tale of a one-sided affair during which the Armagh boys never showed any signs of the form that took them to the decider.

It was generally agreed that the best two teams in the competition had reached the annual New Year's Day decider but the losers just didn't show up.

Right from the throw-in, Glen set out their stall with a goal in the 11th minute, as skipper and 'Man-of-the-Match' Emmett Bradley, from a Danny Tallon pass, hit the net.

Further goals followed in the 15th and 20th minutes with Michael Warnock cracking home both as the winners surged to a huge 3-5 to 0-4 interval lead, having played against a brisk breeze.

All over the field Watty Graham's were the masters.

They were rock solid in defence and Bradley, along with No 11 Stephen O'Hara, controlled everything around midfield. The attacking moves were superb as pressure was constantly kept on the Armagh defence.

It took the losers 24 minutes of the second half to get their next score and by then the game was far beyond redemption for them.

Ryan McShane, probably their best player, got that score and half-back Joe McElroy, who also tried brilliantly, got Armagh's only other point, one minute from time.

For most of 23 minutes after the restart, the winners dominated.

The game was a series of Derry attacks with the Harps rarely causing any trouble.

Ciarán McFaul pointed two free-kicks, Bradley pointed another from all of 45 metres and immediately he raised another white flag to leave Glen leading 3-9 to 0-4 after 43 minutes.

Danny Tallon, who was another star in a star-studded team, fired home his second and his team's fourth goal on 45 minutes and the door was firmly closed on Harps.

It was a strange performance from the losers.

Their skipper Conor White, who played excellent football in previous games, was totally out of touch and the loss of his leadership was a blow to the team as nobody else stood up to the line.

Emmett Bradley, deservedly so, went home with two trophies as he collected the Jimmy McConville Cup as winning captain and also the Ann-Marie Donnelly Memorial Trophy as Man-of-the-Match.

WATTY GRAHAM'S GLEN (Derry): C McCloy; O Hegarty, R McDonnell, T Convery; B O'Kane, C Carville, C Mulholland; R Dougan, E Bradley (1-2, 1f); M Warnock (2-2), S O'Hara (0-1), C McCabe; D Tallon (1-0), C Convery (0-3, 1f), C McFaul (0-4, 3f). Subs: P Gunning for McCabe (36), G Tallon for T Convery (49), O Glass for McCabe (52), T McKenna for D Tallon (54), K McErlean for Warnock (55).

ARMAGH HARPS (Armagh): C McShane; T Marley, S Farry, R McGrath; O McConville, C White, J McElroy (0-2); P Campbell, S Grimley; E Fields, M Hynds (0-1, free), D Donnelly; L Grimley, J Loughran, R McShane (0-3). Subs: A Rath for Loughran (43).

Referee: J White (Donegal).

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