Crossmaglen make it an amazing 17 Armagh titles in 18 years
Novices St Patrick’s no match for famed champions
Crossmaglen’s Johnny Hanratty and St Patrick’s Eugene Casey in action during the Armagh football final. Photo: Russell Pritchard/Inpho
Crossmaglen 0-17 St Patrick’s 0-8
There is no substitute for experience. This was amply borne out in yesterday’s Armagh senior football final as Crossmaglen Rangers cruised to their 17th crown in 18 years at the expense of first-time finalists who clearly found the occasion rather too daunting.
Apart from a couple of spirited surges, St Patrick’s never quite managed to match their august opponents in terms of pace or technique.
They may have led by a modest 0-8 to 0-3 at half-time but by then Rangers had stamped their mark on the proceedings.
Their dynamic full-forward line of Kyle Brennan, Kyle Carragher and Callum Cumiskey plundered scores with an economy of effort that left the St Patrick’s defence in disarray.
Brennan and Carragher shared half-a-dozen of Rangers first-half yield with the lively Cumiskey grabbing a brace while Robbie Tasker’s three points did much to sustain St Patrick’s limited challenge.
With Aaron Kernan, Garvan Carragher and Danny O’Callaghan epitomising the Rangers defiance in their half-back division, it was left to Ciaran McKeever to offer a crumb of comfort to St Patrick’s by whipping over two fine long-range points.
Even when the accurate Tasker notched a late brace of points for St Patrick’s, Rangers still managed to finish with a flourish, Tony Kernan (2) and his brother Stephen rounding off an comprehensive display that certainly augers well for their Ulster club aspirations.
No wonder manager Joe Kernan was beaming at the end, the prospect of a full-frontal assault on a fourth Ulster club crown on the trot clearly titillating his taste-buds.
“It’s great to get another Armagh title under our belts but now we want to keep our Ulster crown. We will certainly be giving this our best shot,” promised Kernan.
CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS: P Hearty; P Hughes, P McKeown, M McNamee (0-1); A Kernan, G Carragher, D O’Callaghan; J Hanratty, T Kernan (0-5, all frees); A Cunningham (0-1), S Kernan, M Aherne; K Brennan (0-1), K Carragher (0-4), C Cumiskey (0-3). Subs: D McKenna (0-1) for McNamee (39 mins), P Grant (0-1) for Brennan (46 mins), L Boyce for Cunningham (58 mins).
ST PATRICK’S: C O’Neill; K McCooey, G McCooey, M Murray; S Reel, S Connell, C Hoey; C McKeever (0-2), B McConville; L O’Hare, R Tasker (0-5, all frees), E Casey; P Casey, M Mackin, T Donnelly (0-1). Subs: G Mackin for Donnelly, N McShane for K McCooey (both 53 mins), P McKeever for Reel (58 ).
Referee: Jim Slevin (Keady).