Maghery call a halt to Crossmaglen’s reign
Goal blitz proves enough to dethrone the defending Armagh champions
Aidan Forker: the man of the match scored 1-3 for Maghery in the Armagh senior football final victory over Crossmaglen at the Athletic Grounds. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
In a mesmerising encounter littered with outstanding individual displays on both sides and highlighted by a stunning Maghery goal blitz, the Rangers were forced to surrender their aspirations of making it a hat-trick of titles.
For Maghery, this was their second title in five years and arguably the sweetest triumph in the lough shore club’s history.
They may have made life difficult for themselves on occasions but they never lost their momentum and in Aidan Forker they provided the man of the match.
The reigning champions were rocked as early as the fifth minute when a scintillating Maghery movement that ripped the Rangers defence asunder culminated in right-half-back Brendan Haveron thundering home a spectacular goal.
Trailing by 0-11 to 2-3 at the break with the O’Neill brothers Rian and Oisin sharing the lion’s share of Maghery’s total, Maghery still looked vulnerable but when the Forker brothers Aidan and Stefan along with Gerard Campbell swept over three points immediately on the restart it was the beginning of the end for Rangers.
And it was Aidan Forker who set Maghery on their victory march with a stunning 37th minute goal. Rangers’ goose was effectively cooked when Ronan Lappin fisted in a fourth Maghery goal three minutes later.
In a fraught finish, Maghery held their nerve although they had Stephen Fox and Aidan Forker dismissed, the latter for incurring two yellow cards.
MAGHERY: C Hendron; E Scullion, G Campbell (0-1), S Cusack (0-3); B Haveron (1-0), C Higgins, O Lappin; J Lavery, J Mackle; S Forker (0-2), D Lavery, O Cushnahan; B Fox (1-0), A Forker (1-3, 1f), R Lappin (1-0). Subs: B Crealey for Mackle (half-time), K Robinson for Cushnahan (38), P Forker for B Fox (55), S Fox for R Lappin (62).
CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS: P McEntee; C Crowley, J Morgan, P Hughes; A Kernan, C Cumiskey, T O’Callaghan; A Rushe, D O’Callaghan (0-2); M Boyce, O O’Neill (0-6, 2f), T Kernan (0-4, 1f); C McConville (0-2, 2f), R O’Neill (0-3, 2f), K Carragher. Subs: G Carragher for Rushe (21), P Finnegan for Carragher (46), S McConville for Boyce (46), P Studdard for Crowley (60), O Kieran for (60).
Referee: Kevin Faloon (Forkhill)