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Crossmaglen Rangers are taken to the wire yet again by Maghery

By John Campbell

Published 28/09/2015

Battlers: Oisin McConville praised Rangers’ character
Battlers: Oisin McConville praised Rangers’ character

For the second time in a fortnight, Crossmaglen Rangers were put to the pin of their collar in the Armagh club championship before squeezing out a gallant Maghery side by 0-12 to 0-9 in a riveting semi-final.

"There is no doubt that Maghery were well organised and efficiently set up," said Oisin McConville after his side had booked their place in the decider.

"Even though we were taken down to the wire (as they were in the quarter-final by Pearse Og), we were happy with the resolve and character that our players showed."

Rangers led by 0-5 to 0-2 at half-time but it took all of Tony Kernan's artistry and a generous helping of the team's famed spirit to take them over the line.

Seamus Forker, Ronan Lappin, and Stefan helped to stoke Maghery's resistance and with six minutes to go the Lough shore team was still in the hunt, until Rangers clinically closed out the contest.

In the final they will meet Armagh Harps who beat a plucky Ballymacnab in the other semi-final by 2-16 to 2-10.

A first-half goal from Ryan McShane helped to thrust Harps into a 1-8 to 1-3 lead and when Charlie Vernon then found the net the city side looked to be in command at 2-10 to 1-5.

But Gavin McParland's second goal ensured that Ballymacnab competed vigorously until the end, the Harps' edge in experience proving a telling factor in the end.

In the Monaghan senior football championship, a Ciaran Hanratty goal proved decisive in taking Castleblayney to a hard-earned 1-14 to 1-10 win over Ballybay while Monaghan Harps, proved too strong for Magheracloone, winning by 2-12 to 0-14.

St Eunan's booked their place in the Donegal senior football championship final by beating St Michael's 2-15 to 0-11, goals from Lee McMonagle and Conor Parke proving crucial.

They will meet Naomh Conaill in the decider following the latter's facile 4-11 to 0-10 win over Kilcar in the other semi-final.

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