Crossmaglen fight back to book their place in All Ireland final

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Saturday, February 18th, 2012
GAA Club News and Events, Sport
Crossmaglen staged a brilliant comeback in the All Ireland club semi-final today, beating Dr Crokes 3-08 to 2-08 in Portlaoise. Kerry side Dr Crokes dominated the opening 20 minutes and an unfortunate own goal from Rangers’ Brendan McKeown helped them go 1-05 to 0-01 ahead. Crossmaglen fought back and dominated the rest of the half, with Michael McNamee scoring a crucial goal. Injury time frees from Aaron Kernan and Oisin McConville helped narrow the gap to just two points at the break. Half time score: Crossmaglen Rangers 1-4 Dr Crokes 1-6. Crossmaglen continued where they left off in the second half as David McKenna fired a point over to reduce the gap to one point. Minutes later captain Stephen Kernan found the net when his shot was fired through the crowded goal mouth to put Rangers ahead. Points from Aaron Kernan and Jamie Clarke put Crossmaglen into what should have been a comfortable 4 point lead, however a straight red for Stephen Kernan made it a nervous final quarter for the Armagh side. Kernan saw red following an off the ball incident, in which he seemingly hit out at a Crokes player following a tackle. The sending off seemed to inspire Crokes as they immediately responded with a point from defender Brosnan and a goal from Chris Brady to put the scores level with very little time left to play. With just 6 and a half minutes left on the clock Crossmaglen’s Aaron Kernan found the net to give his side an invaluable lead. The sides shared a point a piece in the dying minutes to make the final score at Portlaoise – Crossmaglen Rangers 3-08 Dr Crokes 2-08. The result means that Rangers book their place in the All Ireland club final on St Patrick’s Day against Garrycastle. Crossmaglen Rangers: P Hearty; J Morgan, P Kernan, P McKeown; A Kernan (1-03), D O’Callaghan, S Finnegan; J Hanratty, K Brennan; T Kernan, S Kernan (1-00), A Cunningham (0-01); J Clarke (0-01), M McNamee (1-00), O McConville (0-02). Substitutions: B McKeown / O’Callaghan (12 minutes), D McKenna (0-01) / Finnegan (17 minutes), M Aherne / McNamee (29 minutes), K Carragher / Brennan (40 minutes); Dr Crokes: A Kelly; J Payne, L Quinn, K McMahon; F Fitzgerald, E Brosnan (0-01), D O’Leary; A O’Donovan (0-01), J Buckley; A Kenneally (0-01), D Casey (1-00), B Looney (0-01); C Cooper (0-03), K O’Leary, J Doolan (0-01). Substitutions: C Brady (1-00) / Kenneally (51 minutes), S O’Neill / Looney (58 minutes). Referee: David Coldrick (Meath) Attendance: 4,084
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