Crossmaglen made to work for place in last four


Crossmaglen (Armagh) 1-8 Neasden Gaels (London) 0-5:CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS had to call on all their vast experience before finally seeing off a plucky Neasden Gaels at Ruislip yesterday. In the end there were six points between the teams but that scoreline did not reflect the competitive nature of this entertaining match before a sizeable attendance at the west London venue.

Since Crossmaglen are no strangers at London GAA headquarters they were well aware of the task they faced on what was their fourth visit since December 1998. Despite the visitors having the benefit of a strong wind in opening half, they failed to open a significant lead until they kicked three unanswered points in the last eight minutes of the half after a Peader Friel pointed free opened the scoring for the hosts in the seventh minute.

But a brace of points from ubiquitous wing Aaron Kernan and top scorer Oisín McConville had the visitors in control by the interval. However, a magnificent save by Crossmaglen goalkeeper Paul Hearty denied Peader Friel a goal just before the interval when the score was 0-5 to 0-2 in favour of the visitors.

An early pointed free from David Carty gave the Exiles real hope of putting it up to the former All-Ireland club champions and although two McConville pointed frees had the visitors back in control by the end of the third quarter, Neasden also replied with points from another Carty pointed free and wing back Barry Comer, who had switched with Thomas Dougan in attack, to leave just two points between the teams between them with 12 minutes remaining.

Soon afterwards a long-range Paul Geraghty effort almost left the minimum between the sides but just fell short for goalkeeper Paul Hearty to clear to safety.

As another McConville point from play restored a three-point lead for the visitors, it was left to substitute Francis Hanratty to get on the end of a superb diagonal pass from late substitute Ronan Finnegan to clinch the Ulster champions’ place against the Leinster champions in the semi-final next month.

Meanwhile, 24 hours previously at the same venue Dickboro’s intermediate hurlers from Kilkenny ended the hopes of Kilburn Gaels of London in the All-Ireland club quarter-final on a score of 2-13 to 2-4. A goal in each half from Cillian Starr gave the Noresiders a comfortable victory after they led by 1-5 to 0-3 at the interval. It was all one-way traffic for the visitors in the second half with goals from John Reddan and a late score from Michael O’Dwyer replying for the Exiles.

CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS: P Hearty; B McKeown, P Kernan, J Morgan; A Kernan (0-2), D OCallaghan, P McKeown; J Hanratty, D McKenna; J Clarke, J McEntee, M Aherne (0-1); T Kernan, M McNamee, O McConville (0-5, 0-3 frees). Subs: S Kernan for Aherne (34 mins), F Bellew for T Kernan (40 mins), F Hanratty (1-0) for McNamee (inj 42 mins), Ronan Finnegan for McKeown (57mins).

NEASDEN GAELS: J McNamara; C OFlynn, K Geraghty, B McDonagh; P McCone, T Gaughan, B Comer (0-1); C McColdrick, A Flanagan; T Dougan, P Geraghty, J Scanlan; D Carty (0-3, frees), P Friel (0-1, free), M Toner. Subs: J Raftery for Comer (55 mins), S Lynch for Friel (56 mins), W Comer for Dougan (57 mins).

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo).

Sunday – Leinster club SFC final: Kilmacud Crokes v Rhode, OMoore Park, 2pm

All-Ireland JFC quarter-final St Peter's (Manchester) 2-9 Parke (Mayo) 0-14

A LAST-gasp goal in the final minute of extra-time in the All-Ireland JFC quarter-final, played in Manchester yesterday, resulted in a famous victory for home side St Peter’s.

Played in atrocious conditions, the British champions just about deserved victory in an attritional game. Parke trailed by two points with a minute to go in normal time, but a pointed free by Pat Lynch and a super score from Niall Dunne saw the game go into extra-time. The Mayo and Connacht champions looked to be on their way, with the Cloherty brothers kicking three points for their side. However, a final attack from St Peter’s saw Castlebar native Joe Corcoran fizz a ball across the goalmouth and Parke substitute, Michael Walsh knocked the ball into his own net.

ST PETER’S: J Sheehan; P OShea, E Hansberry, S Kincaid; E Vahey, S Gallagher, M McKenna; J Corcoran 1-0, R Gallagher; S McGeehan, E Meaney 0-3 (0-3 frees), P OBrien; D Gallagher 0-1, J ONeill 0-2, J Hurst. Subs: R Hannah 1-3 (for S Gallagher), B McGinty (for P OBrien).

PARKE: B Coyle; M Marley, J Cloherty 0-1, P Moran; S Cloherty 0-7 (0-6 frees), P Dunne, T Walsh; S Duffy, D Hopkins; U Bourke, R OBoyle, D Neary; N Dunne 0-2, D Durkan 0-2, S McHale 0-1. Subs: K Hall (for S Duffy), P Lynch 0-1 (free) (for D Durkan).

Referee: C Reynolds (Down).