Shaun Casey runs his eyes over the hotshots from the Ulster Junior Football Championship…
Ryan Connolly (Drumlane) 0-23
IT’Ss no consolation to Ryan Connolly after his side suffered a heart-breaking penalty shootout loss to Stewartstown in the Ulster final, but the Drumlane sharpshooter ended the campaign as top scorer. Connolly recorded 0-4 in their low scoring preliminary round win over Craigbane, 1-8 to 0-10, before finishing with 0-8 as the Cavan men overcame Clones in the quarter-final. Connolly only claimed 0-2 as Drumlane strolled past Newtownbutler and added 0-9 to his growing tally in the decider.
Dan Lowe (Stewartstown) 2-15
LOWE rattled the net against Letterkenny Gaels and Drumlane as Stewartstown claimed the Ulster Junior Championship title. Lowe was Stewartstown’s top scorer in each of their three outings, with his lowest return coming in the final. His 1-1 against Drumlane came from a penalty and a free. Lowe rattled off 0-8 in the opening round as the Tyrone men eased past Teconnaught and followed that up in the semi-final with an eye-catching 1-6 as Stewartstown booked their spot in the showpiece.
Gareth Devlin (Stewartstown) 1-13
ANOTHER Stewartstown hero, Gareth Devlin, was in fine form for the Tyrone men right throughout their Ulster campaign. Devlin claimed 1-3 in that opening round win over Down champions Teconnaught and chipped in with 0-6 in the semi-final victory over Letterkenny Gaels. A hamstring injury in the final against Drumlane finished Devlin’s day prematurely, but the key attacker was able to knock over 0-4 before having to make way.
Michael Owens (Drumlane) 2-6
LIKE his (almost) namesake from across the water, Michael Owens was a constant goal threat for Drumlane right throughout the campaign. The dangerous full forward rattled off 1-1 in their quarter-final victory over Clones, with one point to spare and hit a further 1-3 as Drumlane overcame Fermanagh champions Newtownbutler 3-15 to 1-8. In the final against Stewartstown, Owens fired over 0-2 to end the season with 2-6 to his name.
Conor McBrearty (Letterkenny Gaels) 1-9
THE Letterkenny Gaels bustling full-forward Conor McBrearty rolled his sleeves up and dragged his side over the line against Derrynoose with a super display. McBrearty claimed 0-5 and helped turn the tide in the second half, as his team trailed by seven points, with a number of inspirational scores. Stewartstown proved too strong in the semi-final, but McBrearty still top scored with 1-4.
Conor McNally (Derrynoose) 1-9
DERRYNOOSE fell at the first hurdle in Ulster, but McNally was the main man on show as they lost out to Letterkenny Gaels by one point. McNally was in blistering form in the first half and scored 1-5 as the Armagh champions flew into a 1-7 to 0-3 lead. McNally finished the game as overall top scorer with 1-9, but it wasn’t enough for his side to qualify for the next round.
Daryl McGurren (Drumlane) 1-7
McGURREN top scored for Martin Dunne’s team in their semi-final showdown with Newtownbutler and was one of three goals scorers as he finished with 1-4. McGurren claimed a point in the preliminary round win over Craigbane but failed to score as Drumlane overcame Clones. He did get back on the scoresheet in the final and ended the game with 0-2.
Ryan Carson (Newtownbutler) 2-4
THE veteran was fantastic for Newtownbutler this year and showed that age is just a number. The Fermanagh men made their way to the last four of the competition and Carson was superb in their quarter-final victory over Pearse’s of Antrim. The ex-Fermanagh forward ended the game with 2-4 but was held scoreless as his side crashed out against Drumlane in the semi-final.
Anton Coyle (Stewartstown) 1-5
COYLE left the majority of his scoring to the final and he claimed 0-4 against Drumlane to equal the scoring exploits of Stewartstown key men, Dan Lowe and Gareth Devlin. Coyle came off the bench to replace the injured Devlin and took over the free-taking duties with great aplomb. Coyle was also in fine scoring form in the semi-final win over Letterkenny Gaels and hit 1-1 as Stewartstown saw off their Donegal opponents 2-15 to 2-5.
Ger O’Keefe (Newtownbutler) 1-5
WHILE Ryan Carson caught the eye with his scoring power, Ger O’Keefe was another essential member of the Newtownbutler side that reached the last four. He finished just three points behind Carson in the quarter-final victory, nailing 1-4 against Pearse’s. He added a further point against Drumlane in the semi-final.
Lee Moore (Craigbane) 0-8
CRAIGBANE’S Ulster Championship campaign lasted just 60 minutes as they crashed out of the competition at the hands of Drumlane in the preliminary round. Lee Moore’s accuracy in front of the posts saw them run the Cavan champions close but it wasn’t enough in the end as they lost 1-8 to 0-10. Of Craigbane’s final tally, Moore was responsible for 0-8.