Crossmaglen 2-15 Cargin 0-13
Second-half goals from Johnny Hanratty and Johnny Murtagh got Crossmaglen through a difficult test against 14-man Cargin at the Athletic Grounds.
Cross', shock losers in last year's AIB Ulster club quarter-final to Omagh St Enda's, were in trouble early on but made sure they would be no repeat of last year's defeat with a committed second-half performance to book a place in the provincial semi-finals.
The six-time All-Ireland champions seemed unsettled by the absence of injured midfielder David McKenna in the early stages but three points just before the break helped them go in level at 0-7 apiece at half-time.
Murtagh's 39th-minute goal settled the nerves, putting the Armagh champions five points up, but Cargin battled hard and got to within three points before the dismissal of Gerard McCann in the 52nd minute halted their momentum. Hanratty clinched the insurance goal one minute from time.
Having made such a bright start, Cargin will have been disappointed to have gone in level at 0-7 apiece at half-time.
The Antrim champions, buoyed by winning a first county SFC title since 2006, led 0-4 to 0-1 after eight minutes and were good value for their lead.
Ciaran Close was a late inclusion in the starting line-up and he scored three of those points.
Johnny Hanratty burst through the middle for Cross' sole score after six minutes.
Tony Kernan (free) and Mickey McNamee got Cross back into it and Cargin squandered several opportunities to stretch their lead, hitting four first-half wides and dropped a couple of efforts short.
Still, they were able to assert some level of control on the scoreboard with Michael Magill prominent. The Antrim forward nailed a '45' and then took Michael McCan's pass, pivoted brilliantly to slot over.
McCann then scored a 40-metre point to put Cargin 0-7 to 0-4 ahead in the 28th minute.
Cross' are well experienced in Ulster club combat, however, and didn't panic.
Rico Kelly was moved from full-forward to midfield and helped them get their hands on more ball and the six-time All-Ireland champions reeled off three quick-fire points before the interval.
Frees from Aaron and Tony Kernan reduced the gap and in first-half injury-time, Mickey McNamee capitalised on a poor kick-out and pointed from close range.
Cross', anxious to pick off where they'd left off, emerged early from the changing-rooms and a late hit on Johnny Hanratty a minute after the restart allowed Aaron Kernan to pop over a left-footed free to put his team in front for the first time.
His brother Tony converted a '45' to put them two points clear and then the tension which had been simmering from the first half boiled over in the 36th minute with a spat involving around ten players.
At the end of it, referee Joe McQuillan booked James Morgan and Gerard McCann and it was Crossmaglen who settled quickest afterwards with the opening goal.
Cargin lost possession around their own '45' and Johnny Murtagh ran through, unleashing a fierce shot which flew past the 'keeper's outstretched left arm to give Cross a 1-10 to 0-8 lead in the 39th minute.
The Antrim champions refused to buckle and Michael Magill led the fightback with a '45' and a superb score from the wing.
They were within a score, trailing 1-13 to 0-13, with nine minutes remaining but the sting went out of their challenge after Gerard McCann was sent off for a second booking after 52 minutes.
Stephen Kernan made sure with a confident point and then delivered a clever low pass in to Johnny Hanratty whose confident finish set up a rematch against Down champions Kilcoo, who defeated them after a replay in 2013.
Crossmaglen: P Hearty; P Hughes, A Rushe, P McKeown; S Finnegan, M Aherne, J Morgan; J Hanratty (1-01), A Kernan (0-03); M McNamee (0-02), S Kernan (0-02), T Kernan (0-04); J Murtagh (1-00), R Kelly, K Carragher
Subs: G Carragher for Finnegan (29), O O'Neill (0-3) for Murtagh (41), A Cunningham for Kelly (50), P Stuttard for McNamee (53), K Brennan for K Carragher (56)
Cargin: C O'Reilly; M Kane, J Laverty, K O'Boyle; T Scullion (0-01), J Crozier, J Carron; M McCann, G McCann; P McCann (0-02), T McCann (0-02), E McGrogan; R McKernan, C Close (0-03), M Magill (0-05)
Subs: M Kelly for McGrogan (38), B Laverty for P McCann (41), M Clarke for T McCann (55)
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)