Crossmaglen Rangers bow out after narrow defeat
Crossmaglen Ranger’s journey on the road to three All Ireland titles in a row came to a surprise and untimely end on Saturday in Mullingar when the south Armagh men were beat by the slimmest of margins by Roscommon club St Brigid’s, 2-7 to 1-09.
Having lost to Cross in the 2011 final, the Roscommon men had a taste of revenge this time around by dethroning the current All Ireland champions. Despite going behind early in the first 2 minutes to a Frankie Dolan goal Cross pressed on and went in at the break in front by a score line of 1-5 to 1-3.
Early in the second half Cross missed a great goal chance to pull further ahead. This was the spur that was needed for St Brigid’s who kicked 4 unanswered points going 1-7 to 1-4 in front.
Uncharacteristically for Cross, they were held scoreless for the first 22 minutes of the second period, but Cross sprung back to life and with points from David McKenna, Aaron Kernan and Jamie Clarke they went into a one point lead with seven minutes remaining on the clock.
St Brigid’s came storming back when their backs were at the wall and when Senan Kilbride sent the ball in from the right the ball broke to Frankie Dolan on the edge of the square, Dolan scuffed his shot but the ball rolled in to the path of Conor McHugh who had the easiest of finishes from close range.
Before Cross could take the resulting kick out, they were down to 14 men when Kyle Carragher was given a straight red card for an off the ball incident. To the south Armagh men’s credit, they came streaming up the field and again hit back with another point from Clarke.
But it was not to be Crossmaglen’s day and referee Maurice Deegan blew the final whistle on a final scoreline of St Brigid’s 2-7 Crossmaglen Rangers 1-9.
Crossmaglen Rangers: Paul Hearty, Paul Kernan, James Morgan, Paul McKeown, Aaron Kernan (0-02, 0-01 free), Danny O’Callaghan, Paul Hughes (1-00); Johnny Hanratty, David McKenna (0-01), Tony Kernan, Stephen Kernan, Martin Aherne, Jamie Clarke (0-03), Kyle Carragher (0-02), Oisín McConville.
Subs: Kyle Brennan (0-01) for McConville, Aaron Cunningham for Paul Kernan, Callum Cumiskey for Cunningham, Mel Boyce for O’Callaghan
St Brigids: Shane Curran, Ger Aherne, Gearóid Cunniffe, Peter Domican; Ronan Stack, Darragh Donnelly, Niall Grehan; Karol Mannion, Ian Kilbride, Cathal McHugh (0-02), Richard Blaine, Garvan Dolan, Frankie Dolan (1-03, 0-02 frees), Senan Kilbride (0-02, frees), Darren Dolan.
Subs: Eoin Sheehy for Garvan Dolan, Damien Kelliher for Grehan, Conor McHugh (1-00) for Cathal McHugh, Garvan Dolan for Darren Dolan.
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).
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