Ulster club SFC: Clarke inspires Cross'

19 November 2012

Crossmaglen's David McKenna scores a goal against Errigal Ciaran at Clones. INPHO
Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) 2-10
Errigal Ciaran (Tyrone) 0-10

Goals in either half from Jamie Clarke and David McKenna saw Crossmaglen through to another AIB Ulster club SFC final at Errigal Ciaran's expense in Clones.

Clarke, who is set to go travelling next spring and won't be available to new Armagh manager Paul Grimley, brought the three-in-a-row chasing All-Ireland champions back into it with a brilliant 21st minute goal after Errigal Ciaran had dominated the early exchanges. He followed up with a point as Cross' trailed by the minimum at the break, but they came good in the second half and sealed their place in the Ulster final against surprise packets Kilcoo when midfielder McKenna added a second goal from close range six minutes from the end.

Errigal, who defeated the South Armagh men after an epic trilogy of games a decade ago, settled to their task quickly. With Darren and Tommy Canavan, nephews of Fermanagh manager Peter, to the fore, they led by 0-6 to 0-3 after 20 minutes. But then came Clarke's goal, and the Tyrone side's lead was reduced to the minimum, 0-8 to 1-4, at the break.

Tony McEntee's charges upped the tempo after the restart, holding their opponents scoreless for 22 minutes while putting themselves into a winning position. Oisin McConville slotted over a brace of frees on the restart and Errigal's fate was eventually sealed by McKenna's late strike, which had followed an earlier miss by his midfield partner John Hanratty.

Crossmaglen Rangers - K McKeown; P Hughes (0-1), P Kernan, P McKeown; A Kernan (0-1), J Morgan, M Aherne; J Hanratty, D McKenna (1-0); K Carragher, S Kernan (0-1), T Kernan (0-1); J Clarke (1-1), A Cunningham, O McConville (0-5). Subs: M McNamee for Cunningham, K Brennan for Carragher, C Cumiskey for McConville, P Grant for Clarke, R Finnegan for Aherne.

Errigal Ciaran - J Devine; A McCrory, M McRory, C Quinn; S Tierney, P Harte (0-1), D Harte; C McGinley, E McGinley; C McGinley (0-1), T Canavan (0-3), P Quinn; D Canavan (0-3), B Horisk, R McRory (0-2). Subs: J Kelly for Quinn.

Referee - J McQuillan.