All-Ireland club SFC: Cross on fire

February 21, 2009

Crossmaglen Rangers' Paul Kernan drives upfield past Dromcollogher-Broadford's Garry Egan
Crossmaglen Rangers 4-12 Dromcollogher-Broadford 0-6 By Cóilín Duffy Four-time All-Ireland Champions Crossmaglen Rangers are on the hunt for another national crown after a brace of goals in each half ensured the Armagh outfit romped to an emphatic 18-point victory over Dromcollogher-Broadford at Pearse Park, Longford. Substitute Tony Kernan may have entered the fray as a forced replacement for the injured Tony McEntee, just five minutes into the game; but he came up trumps bagging a brace of second half goals in the 33rd and 41st minute to pave the way to a comfortable win. Once half-forward Jamie Clarke slotted home a second minute goal the Ulster champions led until the finish and held a 2-6 to 0-4 interval lead, despite playing against a stiff wind in the opening half. Clarke bagged 1-1 before half-time with his goal coming from an excellent move which started in the heart of the Crossmaglen defence as Paul McKeown fed Aaron Kernan, and finished with the left-half-forward slotting past goalkeeper Eamon Scollard. Oisin McConville and John Murtagh tagged on points, before Rangers lost McEntee through injury. Although half-forward Derry McCarthy responded with a seventh minute point from Dromcollogher-Broadford, the Limerick outfit wouldn't score for a further 20 minutes, as Crossmaglen built up a 2-4 to 0-2 advantage. Crossmaglen's second goal arrived after 11 minutes with McKenna making a fine catch at midfield before dispatching the ball to Mickey McNamee who went on a surging run before despatching the ball to John Murtagh 30 metres out at the full-forward sent the ball to the net with relative ease. Ray Lynch took the underdogs first point for 20 minutes, and although Michael Reidy followed up with a pointed free three minutes later, a brace of scores from Stephen Kernan and McConville to ensure a 2-6 to 0-4 lead for Crossmaglen at the interval. Despite full-forward Ray Lynch adding his second point on the restart for Dromcollougher-Broadford, Crossmaglen showed no mercy as they ran ragged in the second half. Crossmaglen's dominance at midfield continued right through the closing 30 minutes, with John McEntee now playing a central role for Rangers. It didn't take long for their attack to get motoring again with Tony Kernan breaking through for his first goal following a good fist passing movement in attack, with Kernan slotting the ball to the net. Tony's brother Aaron added his first point of the game, before Tony broke through for his second goal after a mix-up in the Dromcollogher-Broadford defence, which saw full-back Tommy Stack lose concentration, with Tony capitalising and slotting home Crossmaglen's fourth goal. Trailing by 4-7 to 0-5 at this stage the heart was firmly gone out of the Dromcollougher-Broadford defence as Crossmaglen could afford to drop back into second gear and romp to an 18-point win with John Murtagh, Michael McNamee, John Donaldson and Oisin McConville all replaced as the game entered the final quarter. Crossmaglen Rangers - P Hearty; B McKeown, P Kernan, P McKeown; A Kernan (0-2, 1f), F Bellew, J Donaldson; T McEntee, D McKenna; M McNamee, J McEntee, J Clarke (1-2); S Kernan (0-2), J Murtagh (1-1), O McConville (0-4, 1f). Subs: T Kernan (2-0) for T McEntee (5 inj); S Finnegan for J Murtagh (45); M Aherne for McNamee (45); K Carragher (0-1) for Donaldson (45); J Hanratty for McConville (45). Dromcollagher-Broadford - E Scollard; D O'Leary, T Stack, E Barry; N Conway, T McLoughlin, M Clancy; P Donnelly (0-1, 1f), J Stokes; D McCarthy (0-1), M Reidy (0-2, 2f), S Buckley; G Egan, R Lynch (0-2), G Noonan. Subs: K Culhane for Clancy (37 inj); J O'Kelly for Noonan (52); M O'Sullivan for Donnelly (55); D O'Connor for Barry (57); J Ryan for Egan (59). Ref - Derek Fahy (Longford)

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