Ulster club SFC: Cross get through after shaky start

17 November 2008
Crossmaglen Rangers 0-11
St Eunan’s 0-8

Crossmaglen Rangers’ provincial three-in-a-row chase remains on course, after they produced their old familiar form in the second-half of yesterday’s meeting with St Eunan’s at Enniskillen to take their place in this year’s Ulster SFC final.

As they have on a few occasions this year, the Armagh kingpins stuttered in the first-half against the Donegal champions and even trailed by two points at the interval, but, in truth, their place in the last two of the province was never really in doubt here after half-time.

Eunan’s opened the game playing an excellent brand of football, while dominating at centre-field, to take a 0-5 to 0-1 lead by the 20-minute mark with Ross Wherity (two frees), Rory Kavanagh, Paddy McGowan and Conal Dunne all sending over the points that outweighed the favourites’ sole score through Tony Kernan.

John McEntee and Dunne swapped points there after, but Cross came to life with McEntee and Oisin McCoville’s first free of the afternoon sending the sides in at the break on 0-6 to 0-4.

Crossmaglen boss Donal Murtagh made three changes at half-time, and from there on the inevitable fight back began from the Armagh men and they were in front by the 39th minutes thanks to the lethal McConville.

Wherity got in for goal soon after but was brilliantly denied by Paul Hearty before converting the resulting 45 himself. The St Eunan’s corner-forward thought he had another score moments later, but his point, given by one umpire, was ruled out by referee Joe McQullian after the Cavan official had consulted with his waving linesman.

After the disputes of the Eunan’s players it was the more experienced Ulster champions that kept their focus as McConville and substitute Johnny Murtagh pointed them over the finishing line and to a repeat of the 2006 provincial decider against Ballinderry.