Clinical Crossmaglen cruise to Armagh title
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
CROSSMAGLEN 0-17 CULLYHANNA 0-08
CROSSMAGLEN star Aaron Kernan admitted he and his team-mates are aware that they are part of something special as he won his 12th and Crossmaglen cruised to their 41st All-County title.
There was no fairytale ending for St Patrick's Cullyhanna who had reached their first ever Senior Final in their 125th year, as Crossmaglen dominated the contest.
Put simply Cullyhanna couldn't deal with Crossmaglen's pace up front and Rangers' defenders had the beating of Cullyhanna's main scoring threat.
Cullyhanna's route one tactic failed to garner any results as county defender Paul McKeown nullified Robbie Tasker, and young Garbhan Carragher gave Malachy Mackin a torrid time at the edge of the square.
At the other end Crossmaglen's Kyle Carragher was too fast and, with the balls coming in at speed, Cullyhanna couldn't deal with Crossmaglen's scoring threat.
Rangers kicked 13 points from play from eight different scorers and as they have proven time and again, there isn't a team in the county that come close to Rangers.
It is a wonderful achievement for Rangers - Joe Kernan was the man to start their latest winning campaign and his son Aaron admitted he wasn't too sure if his Dad taking over would be the best thing for his family but believes it is working fine, especially after Sunday's win.
“I have to be honest we had a good long chat about it. As a family I don't know if we wanted him taking it or not because the past few years things have been going fairly well and we didn't know if we wanted to upset that - the father-son relationship," said Aaron.
“There was never going to be an issue of him favouring his own sons, it was just the fact he can only play 15 people and you have 35 friends, so some people are going to be a bit put out. But he has come in and done a job and stuck by his word that he would carry on the great work done by Tony (McEntee) and Gareth (O'Neill) and I suppose the work he started.
“So from a personal point of view this is probably one of the most sweetest wins, to see Tony lift the Cup and with Dad being over us," he said.
“For the family, the club, the town, it is great and we feel that we are part of something very special and long may it continue."
Cross showed their intent on 36 seconds with Tony Kernan's long ball from the throw-in feeding Kyle Carragher for a deft lay-off to Callum Cumiskey for the opening point.
Moments later Ciaran McKeever's high free spilled from a jump contest by Mal Mackin and Paul Hearty to Robbie Tasker and quick pass to Tony Donnelly brought the equaliser.
Both sides were finding their feet and then Rangers increased the tempo and fired over six points without reply in a nine minute spell, with Kyle Carragher (3), Callum Cumiskey and Kyle Brennan all finding the target.
Tasker (2) and Tony Kernan exchanged converted frees answered in as Cross led 0-08 to 0-03 at the break.
A Tasker converted free and a super long range effort from Cullyhanna captain Ciaran McKeever gave St Pat's some hope but proved false as Rangers clicked into gear once more to score five unanswered points within 12 minutes through Tony Kernan, Aaron Cunningham and substitutes David McKenna and Paul Og Grant.
And at 0-13 to 0-05 ahead with 10 minutes left the game was effectively over.
McKeever and Kyle Carragher traded points and Tasker chipped in another two frees but it was Rangers who had the last say as Kernan brothers Stephen and Tony added to the Cross tally.
Tony became the third Kernan brother to lift the Gerry Fegan Cup and his brother Aaron said Rangers can improve ahead of the Ulster clash against Kilcoo.
“I knew there wouldn't be much in that game and to be honest it's a match I would have loved to have gone to see and unfortunately the times clashed," he said.
“It is going to be another huge day in Ulster. It's always a step up in Ulster but we are used to that and we will work hard to step it up again.
“Big Joe won't be too long on pointing out our mistakes and that is what we will work on."
Crossmaglen: Paul Hearty, Paul Hughes, Paul McKeown, Mickey McNamee, Aaron Kernan, Garbhan Carragher, Danny O'Callaghan, Johnny Hanratty, Tony Kernan (0-5), Aaron Cunningham (0-1), Stephen Kernan (0-1), Martin Aherne, Kyle Brennan (0-1), Kyle Carragher (0-4), Callum Cumiskey (0-3). Subs: David McKenna (0-1), Paul Og Grant (0-1) and Mel Boyce.
St Pat's Cullyhanna: Conor O'Neill, Kieran McCooey, Gary McCooey, Michael Murray, Stephen Reel, Sean Connell, Colm Hoey, Ciaran McKeever (0-2), Barry McConville, Liam O'Hare, Robbie Tasker (0-5 all frees), Eugene Casey, Pearse Casey, Malachy Mackin and Tony Donnelly (0-1). Subs used: Gareth Mackin and Niall McShane.
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