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Cross have high hopes for young star Oisin O'Neill

By John Campbell

Published 01/01/2016

AIB Ulster Club Senior Football Championship Semi-Final, Pairc Esler, Down 15/11/2015
Kilcoo vs Crossmaglen Rangers
Kilcoo's Stephan Kane with Crossmaglen Rangers' Oisin O'Neill
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry
AIB Ulster Club Senior Football Championship Semi-Final, Pairc Esler, Down 15/11/2015 Kilcoo vs Crossmaglen Rangers Kilcoo's Stephan Kane with Crossmaglen Rangers' Oisin O'Neill Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/William Cherry

Oisin O'Neill is out to collect what he hopes will be the second of three medals within a three-month period today.

The talented forward will line out for Crossmaglen Rangers against St Eunan's (Letterkenny) in the Ulster Club Minor Tournament final at the St Paul's complex in west Belfast fortified by a string of impressive performances that have already thrust him into the Rangers side.

He has just taken delivery of his first Ulster Senior Club Championship medal following Crossmaglen's final victory over Scotstown and will have a key role against St Eunan's today before setting his sights on the All-Ireland club senior championship semi-final against Connacht champions Castlebar Mitchels next month.

Rangers joint manager Oisin McConville said: "Oisin is a player who was introduced as a substitute during the Ulster Club series and he announced himself by scoring three points against Cargin in a 20-minute spell.

"Since then he has matured further at senior level and I have no doubt that the experience he has acquired will stand him in good stead against St Eunan's.

"He will be in our squad for the All-Ireland club semi-final next month and could well get some game time there."

O'Neill's ability to both create and take scores has underpinned the Rangers journey into today's decider against a St Eunan's side that overwhelmed Enniskillen Gaels by 4-10 to 0-8 in a one-sided semi-final last weekend.

But they must field without the injured Rory Carr today following the dislocated shoulder he suffered during that game.

Indeed, Carr's misfortune has robbed him of the opportunity to sample game time at senior level for Donegal against Down in the McKenna Cup on Sunday.

Donegal senior boss Rory Gallagher said: "It's a pity that Rory will miss out. He will be missed against Crossmaglen Rangers and will now have to wait a little longer to make the breakthrough at senior level.

"He is a talented player who has made a big impact but hopefully will make a fast recovery."

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