Four red cards but Crossmaglen's new kids power them through to Ulster semi 2 years ago

Four red cards but Crossmaglen's new kids power them through to Ulster semi

Crossmaglen are back and they won't be going away anytime soon.

They didn't make it to an Armagh final for two years and they were calling it a drought. The people of Crossmaglen were worried, were experiencing withdrawal symptoms and it just didn't feel right.

They won minor championships though and there were young lads rising up through the ranks. Not just any young lads though, good young footballers who come from good Crossmaglen stock.

"It felt like it was a lifetime...We've just won four of the last five minors...there's some superb footballers coming through, with good pedigree, coming from traditional families," said Aaron Kernan recently on The GAA Hour Show.

That's Cross for you. One of Ireland's most successful ever clubs - and normality has been restored now. They ended the Armagh famine a couple of weeks ago when they beat Ballymacnab and they're bowling along through Ulster now.

The familiar faces - the Aaron Kernans and the Johnny Hanrattys are still there and the youngsters, the Oisin and the Rian O'Neills, the Cian McConvilles - they are coming of age and Cross are as dangerous as they've ever been.

Saturday's Ulster quarter final triumph over Coalisland wasn't as swashbuckling as their county final win but it was as sweet, with those youngsters doing the honours.

The Tyrone champions were down to 13 men after 25 minutes of the game making Cross' task a bit easier, but to the Coalisland men's credit, they fought like dogs against the odds and without Brian Toner and Eoghan Hampsey.

Advertisement

So hard that they had the scores level after 45 minutes and that they had Crossmaglen fouling to the extent that they were down to 13 men by this stage too. Johnny Cumiskey and Johnny Hanratty getting their marching orders after the break.

By the final whistle, referee Martin McNally had issued 11 yellows and one red card but these stats must be taken with a pinch of salt with both sets of supporters, and Joe Brolly claiming that he'd ruined the game.

In the end, the O'Neill brothers, with nine points between them, kicked Cross to a 0-12 0-10 victory, but Coalisland left Armagh unhappy with the ref's performance.