Corrinshego quash Cross

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

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CORRINSHEGO ended a 35-year wait to book their place in the Donnelly Group Armagh Junior Club Championship Final, after defeating the mighty Cross Rangers II on Sunday.

Corrinshego ...0-14
Crossmaglen Rangers II ...1-09

Played in Silverbridge, the Newry men fully deserved their victory as they played smart football and they have a great chance of going all the way, especially now that Belleek have exited the Championship.

There was a massive cheer at the final whistle and it is a massive result for the small club in the Newry City suburbs. Corrinshego has made strides in recent season's, having won promotion for their first time in decades as well as having opened a new pitch and clubhouse and Sunday's win proves the club is moving in the right direction, and like those previous occasions the Newry Democrat was there.

In truth Crossmaglen disappointed, they relied too much on former Senior All-Ireland winner Johnny Murtagh and while he did show class by steering over a number of late points, he shouldn't have needed to do it all himself. Too many Rangers players didn't do the simple things and tactically they played into Corrinshego's hands by continuously kicking long towards the square, where Ryan McWilliams executed his sweeper role brilliantly.

Corrinshego keeper Karl Kimmins pulled off three brilliantly courageous saves and he has the bruises to show it.

While early on the Newry side looked as they could be physically punished, they showed much more steel and resolve as they grew into the contest and this will be the best preparation they could have asked for a final.

With only two minutes gone Kimmins denied Crossmaglen's Micheal Traynor a goal and

three minutes later he did the same again and then followed up with another brave save to prevent Cormac Clarke poking in from close range.

Phelim Finnegan converted a free to get Corrinshego off the mark and with ten minutes played the sides were level after Murtagh converted a 45' but two points in as many minutes from David Murphy and Phelim Finnegan gave the Newry men the lead.

Corrinshego spread the ball about and used both wings and it was no surprise when Lee Courtney swung over their fourth point.

Clarke (free) and a fine Jamie Carlisle point closed the gap but up popped Jordan King to stretch Corrinshego's lead.

As expected it was a physical contest and referee Brian Canavan allowed the game to flow. While Corrinshego looked in control Crossmaglen still posed a threat and Eoin Keenan finished off a slick move involving Ronan Finnegan and Aaron Mostyn - for a classy goal. Rangers followed this up with a point from Cormac Donnelly to give his side a two point lead and all of a sudden the tables had turned.

Seven minutes additional time was played before the break when Phelim Finnegan struck his fourth point and Murtagh tapped over his second as Crossmaglen led 1-05 to Corrinshego's 0-06.

Points from Finnegan (free) and Lee Courtney had the sides level within two minutes of the second half but Ranger's edged ahead with a clever fisted point by Aaron Smylie.

Both sides hit wides but Caolan Flanagan did well to win his own ball at the edge of the square and kick over the bar. Then Finnegan followed this up with a great long-range point from his left side of the field to give Corrinshego a one-point lead with 15 minutes to play.

Then David Murphy out-battled two Cross defenders to blast over the bar and the Newry men looked calm an in control.

Murtagh then pulled Cross back into the contest with two magnificent long-range points and the game was in the balance with less than ten minutes to go. Declan Loye confidently struck over for the Newry men, then Traynor squeezed over a beauty for Cross but it was Corrinshego that held their nerve as Murphy kicked over and after a patient build up play, King blazed through and collected a pass before coolly kicking the winning point.

It was a great Corrinshego team performance, to follow up on their fantastic win over Dorsey.

Players such as McWilliams, Turlough Kane, Declan Loye, David Murphy, Phelim Finnegan and Jordan King all stood up when it mattered

They will meet the winners of Cullyhanna II and Ballyhegan for Junior Championship Final showdown on Saturday, October 7. Northern Ireland's Norman Whiteside became the youngest ever player to score in the World Cup the same year Corrinshego last contested a Junior Championship Final - but the important thing is they won then and have a great opportunity to do so again.


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