Armagh SFC final: Cross' come good in second half

October 20, 2019

Crossmaglen's Rian O'Neill with Paul Meegan of Ballymacnab. ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

Crossmaglen Rangers 2-18

Ballymacnab 2-9

Holders Crossmaglen turned on the style in the second half to overwhelm Ballymacnab and claim a 45th Armagh SFC title at the Athletic Grounds.

Trailing by 0-6 to 1-6 at the interval, the black and ambers scored an unanswered 1-9 after the restart to crush Ballymacnab's hopes of a first Gerry Fagan Cup. The victory gave former county star Aaron Kernan his 16th SFC medal and paves the way for an Ulster club SFC quarter-final against Clontibret, who are managed by former Cross' player and manager John McEntee.

Crossmaglen players celebrate. ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

An upset looked to be on the cards when Gavin McParland's goal helped Ballymacnab to a three-point advantage at half-time. But with Oisin O'Neill driving them on, Cross' were a different team after the restart. They racked up 1-9 without reply between the 39th and 56th minutes - the scoring blitz culminating in a Colin O'Connor goal.

Fittingly, O'Neill added a second in stoppage-time to complete a remarkable second half transformation.

Crossmaglen Rangers - T McConville; P Hughes (0-2), R Kelly, C Crowley; A Kernan, C Cumiskey (0-2), G Carragher; S Morris (0-2), A Farrelly (0-1); J McKeever, O O'Neill (1-5, 0-3f), C O'Connor (1-1); M Boyce (0-1), R O'Neill (0-2, 1f), C McConville (0-2). Subs: K Carragher for J McKeever, T Kernan for M Boyce, J Hanratty for S Morris, S Finnegan for G Carragher.

Ballymacnab - C McGivern; C Loughran, R Kennedy, S Lynch; M Beagan, R Gribben, J Gray; C Gribben, P Gribben; P Meegan (0-1), B McCone, O McGivern; R Grugan (0-2), J Grugan (1-6, 0-2f), G McParland (1-0). Subs: R Watters for O McGivern, N McKee for P Meegan.

Referee - J Magill.

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