Battle hardened Crossmaglen Rangers of Armagh won through to the AIB All-Ireland Club Senior Football Final this afternoon with victory over the students of UCC at Parnell Park, Dublin. The game finished 2-16 to 3-6. The reigning All-Ireland champions were well up at half-time and as such the game was practically over at that early stage despite a spirited comeback from the students in the second half. Armagh star Oisín McConville was on top form notching up a personal tally of 1-8.
The other semi-final, between Na Fianna of Dublin and Crossmolina of Mayo took place in Pearse Park, Longfordon a scoreline of 1-10 to 2-2. All square at half-time, Na Fianna added five points in the second half to the Mayo champions one, and pulled away aided by the ever more influential Dessie Farrell. The result marks the first time in Na Fianna's history that the club has reached the All-Ireland final.
Meanwhile the inter-county hurling scene returned to center stage with round 1 of the National Hurling League where the big clash was the Division 1B meeting of the All-Ireland champions and finalists, Cork and Kilkenny, in Nowlan Park. Kilkenny avenged that final defeat in a keenly contested match winning 1-13 to 0-12. John Power and hurler of the year Brian Corcoran renewed acquaintances with Power just shading the contest over the hour. DJ Carey popped up to score a vintage goal seven minutes before half-time and put the Cats in the driving seat, and while Cork - fielding 14 of their All-Ireland winning side - pushed their opponents all the way they never quite caught up.
An unusual sight for the seasoned supporter at the many hurling games around the country was the new starting and restarting method for the game. Instead of the traditional throw-in each half now begins with a puckout.
Yesterday reigning All-Ireland champions St Joseph's Doora-Barefield booked their place in this year's club final at the second attempt. It was 1-5 apiece at half time but they defeated Cushendall at Parnell Park with a late burst and won out 1-14 to 1-8.They now meet Galway champions Athenry in the final on St Patrick's Day.
In Camogie, the Ashbourne Cup was won by UCC today. With somewhat better luck than the college footballers they defeated UCD by 2-3 to 1-5 in Galway. Yesterday the semi-final results were UCD 2-5 Waterford IT 10 points and UCC 3-8 University of Limerick 3-4.
National Hurling League Results:
Antrim 3-11 Limerick 1-19 – Casement Park
Galway 2-15 Offaly 2-11 - Ballinasloe
Kerry 1-05 Clare 2-20 - Ballyheigue
Kilkenny 1-13 Cork 0-12 – Nowlan Park
Wexford 1-13 Laois 0-09 - Gorey
Derry 2-11 Waterford 2-18 – Celtic Park
London 3-07 Westmeath 5-13 – Ruislip
Carlow 3-13 Roscommon 3-06 – Dr Cullen Park
Meath 4-14 Armagh 0-02 – Trim
Down 2-16 Wicklow 1-10 – Ballycran
Tyrone 0-04 Kildare 6-26 -
Longford 3-14 Fermanagh 1-04 -
Monaghan 2-05 Leitrim 1-08 – Scottstown
Sligo 2-06 Mayo 0-10 - Markevicz Park
Louth 5-24 Cavan 1-02 - Dundalk