Crossmaglen win fifth All-Ireland
Crossmaglen Rangers' Oisin McConville lifts the cup after winning the All-Ireland SFC Club Championship final for the fifth time at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
GAA – All-Ireland Club Finals Round-up:Crossmaglen Rangers lived up their billing as favourites by defeating St Brigid's to be crowned All-Ireland SFC Club champions while Clarinbridge ran out convincing winners against O'Loughlin Gaels to win the hurling club title.
Cross didn’t have it all their own way as St Brigid’s put up a stern test before the Armagh side ran out 2-11 to 1-11 winners in the St Patrick’s Day final at Croke Park.
Crossmaglen, Armagh champions 38 times, have now won the All-Ireland Club title five times.
Jamie Clarke put in a man-of-the-match performance and it was his goal shortly after the restart which proved the difference between the two sides in the end.
Clarke's goal was the culmination of some fine inter play before the marksman collected from the air on the edge of the square. Quick feet and awareness gave enough space to get his shot away which found the back of the net and past Brigid's goalkeeper Philip Martin.
The Roscommon men were forced into action and their response to the opening goal of the game was immediate. Play moved quickly to the other end of the field as Eoin Sheehy found space behind the Crossmaglen defence.
Sheehy had a one-on-one with keeper Paul Hearty with the Armagh man getting the better of the initial exchange. However the ball rebounded and Sheehy made no mistake a second time as he slotted home the timely goal for St Brigid's.
Aaron Cunningham scored Cross' first goal after 23 minutes. David McKenna collected a high ball before finding full forward Cunningham, who wasted little time in shooting and found the back of the net.
In an entertaining game the sides were level on no less than six different occasions with a Senan Kilbride point leaving St Brigid's 1-06 to 1-05 ahead at half-time.
However, Crossmaglen's experience told in the end as they ran worthy winners to receive the Andy Merrigan Cup.
In the curtain-raiser to the football club final Clarinbridge came through strongly to deny O'Loughlin Gaels 2-18 to 0-12 in the SHC Club final at GAA headquarters.
The Galway side may have struggled early on but their perseverance paid off and were eventually comfortable winners over the fancied Kilkenny hurlers.
Clarinbridge trailed by five points in the early stages, but came into their own and by half time nothing separated the two sides, 1-07 to 1-10.
The western outfit’s first goal came just before half time when Mark Kerins found the net. Kerins also had a penalty in the game but Gaels goalkeeper Stephen Murphy pushed the effort over the bar.
If there was little to choose between the sides by the end of the first half then the second period was very one-sided and very much in Clarinbridge’s favour. Gaels also had substitute Seamie Cummins sent off late on.
Just after the 50 minute mark the winners found the net for a second time and with it Eoin Forde sealed the deal as Clarinbridge went on to lift the Tommy Moore Cup.
Crossmaglen: P Hearty; P McKeown, P Kernan, J Morgan; A Kernan, D O'Callaghan, S Finnegan; J Hanratty, D McKenna; J Clarke, S Kernan, F Hanratty; T Kernan, A Cunningham, O McConville
St Brigid's:P Martin; R Kelly, D Donnelly, D Sheehy; I Kilbride, P Domican, G Cunniffe; G Dolan, K Mannion; E Sheehy, C McHugh, D Dolan; D O'Connor, S Kilbride, F Dolan
Clarinbridge: L Donoghue; C Forde, B Burke, P Callanan; J Cannon, D Forde, M Donoghue; B Daly, E Murphy; S Burke, M Kerins, S Forde; E Forde, A Kerins, P Coen. Subs used : E Collins for S Forde.
O'Loughlin Gaels:S Murphy; B Kelly, A Kearns, E Kearns; A O'Brien, B Hogan, N Bergin; P Dowling, M Nolan; N McEvoy, M Bergin, A Geoghegan; B Dowling, M Comerford, D Loughnane. Subs used: S Cummins for B Dowling (half-time), B Murphy for Kelly.