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Hot-shot Clarke poised to net final glory for Kilcoo in U16 showpiece

 

By John Campbell

Justin Clarke is the name that has been on everyone's lips as the Spirit of Paul McGirr Ulster U16 tournament has progressed to tomorrow's final in which Kilcoo will meet Crossmaglen Rangers at Gardrum Park, Dromore (2pm).

Kilcoo full-forward Clarke is the competition's top scorer and his penchant for landing goals in particular has certainly stood his side in good stead to date.

In the quarter-final win over Castleblayney Faughs he scored no fewer than four and then in the semi-final win over Carrickmore he contributed a brace.

Tomorrow Clarke could prove a hot handful for the Crossmaglen defence in what should prove a gripping decider.

"Both teams have impressed on their way into the final so there would appear to be a cracking game in store," says Dromore club spokesman Joe Rafferty.

Crossmaglen are managed by the evergreen Tim Gregory and Gene O'Callaghan with the former having taken charge of the 2013 Crossmaglen side which won the competition. The then team captain Oisin O'Neill has already broken into the Armagh senior team in style and tomorrow's players will undoubtedly harbour a similar ambition.

The Rangers have already beaten Lavey, Antrim side St Brigid's and Derrygonnelly and look to have acquired a high level of cohesion.

Kilcoo, under the tutelage of former Down senior ace Conor Laverty, play a fast, direct brand of football with the emphasis on getting the ball quickly up to their attack.

Belfast Telegraph

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