Clann Eireann 2-12 Crossmaglen 0-16
Clann Eireann ended a wait of over half a century to win Armagh Senior Club Championship title win this afternoon after a late flurry denied Crossmaglen Rangers.
The Lurgan men won the title for the first time since 1963 after outscoring their opponents 2-06 to 0-04 in the last quarter.
Crossmaglen looked on course to claiming a remarkable 46th Armagh Senior club championship title as they led by six points at the last water-break.
They had found their grove and looked as if they were pulling away, but it wasn't enough.
Not for the first time this championship Clann Eireann went for the jugular with Armagh’s Conor Turbitt scorer in chief and he delivered the crucial points when it mattered most.
But it was goals from substitutes Ruairi McDonald and Jack Conlon that turned the game on its head. McDonald’s goal on 50 minutes levelled the score but as the hour approached Cross had done what they usually do an edged ahead, with Rian and Oisin O’Neill.
Then came Jack Conlon’s long ball into the square and it deceived the entire Crossmaglen defence as it crashed under the crossbar and into the net, leaving a stunned Rangers and elated Clann Eireann.
Three additional minutes was played, in which time Turbitt slotted over his seventh and eighth point to wrap up a remarkable and memorable victory for Clann Eireann.
The sides had been level at the break. It was Clann Eireann who pressed high early on but eight first half wides was frustrating. Callum Cumiskey, Tony Kernan and Rian O’Neill opened Crossmaglen’s account and Turbitt got off the mark as Rangers led 0-03 to 0-01 at the first water-break. It was 0-05 each at half-time though as Turbit and Tiernan Kelly replied to points from Cian McConville and Rian O’Neill.
In the second quarter, Cross put down a marker with Tony Kernan, Thomas Og Duffy, Dara O’ Callaghan, Oisin O’Neil, Rian O’Neill and Cian McConville giving Rangers a six-point lead, but Turbitt’s converted point closed the gap at the second water-break. And then came that thrilling finish, which will go down in Clann Eireann folklore and hurt the Crossmaglen side who have lost two finals in as many years.
The lights were out at the Athletic Grounds and the fans were still on the pitch a full hour after the final whistle getting photos taken as they record a magical moment for their club.
CLANN EIREANN: Eoghan Mulholland, Conan O'Carroll, Barry McCambridge, Declan Leatham, Sean McCarthy, Shea Heffron, Adam Kelly (0-02), Conor Bell, Tiernan Kelly, Daniel Magee, Ryan Henderson (0-01), Dan McCarthy, Conor Turbitt (0-08, 0-1 45’, 0-1 mark, 0-1 free), Aodhan McConville.
Subs used: Ruairi McDonald (1-00) for Bell (39’), Jack Conlon (1-01) for A McConville (39’) Paul McKenna for D Magee (54’).
CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS: Tiernan McConville, Paudie Stuttard, Caolan Dillon, Paul Hughes, Aaron Kernan, James Morgan (0-01), Tony O'Callaghan, Stephen Morris, Rian O’Neill (0-05, 0-02 frees), Callum Cumiskey (0-02), Oisin O’Neill (0-02), Tony Kernan (0-01), Dan O’Callaghan (0-02), Cian McConville (0-02, 0-2 frees), Caolan Finnegan.
Subs used: Thomas Og Duffy for T O’Callaghan (ht’).
Referee: Ollie Hearty (Belleek).