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Adrian Logan: Rangers can march on to even more glory

What odds now for Crossmaglen to take the All Ireland Club once more? After last Sunday the odds have surely shortened as the Armagh kingpins once more took the Ulster title.

What odds now for Crossmaglen to take the All Ireland Club once more? After last Sunday the odds have surely shortened as the Armagh kingpins once more took the Ulster title.

Make no mistake about it either they fully deserved their result. They are the best side in Ulster and the way things are going then can once more be the best in the land.

In this column last week I tipped Ballinderry to take the trophy citing injury problems etc. Cross made me and so many others eat their words. Some people looking in at glancing at the scoreline of 0-5 to 0-3 will say there's not too much to worry about in Ulster. Wrong. On form they are now the team to beat.

The reason isn't the result from last week-end but rather the manner of the win. The weather was dreadful and on occasions it was hard to watch but still Cross persevered and produced the goods when needed.

It was interesting to hear from the manager Donal Murtagh afterwards when he said that football in December is not about fancy football, its about winning.

The All Ireland semi-final will bring a different challenge next February but that statement from Murtagh just about sums up this super club side.

It's all about winning and Cross have got what it takes.

Several of the Errigal lads after the loss to Ballinderry thought the Derry side would be hard to beat. Ballinderry are a fine footballing side but last week Crossmaglen just wanted it more and it showed. At the end Ballinderry had to admit that.

Just seconds after getting the Ulster trophy Oisin McConville reminded us all about last year's defeat to Bellaghy at the same stage of the competition.

He said they had let an All Ireland title slip through their fingers and they were annoyed. It appears that this has been their theme all this season.

Last season Donal Murtagh retired as a player and it seems he told the players they had under-achieved. When he took the manager's job at the start of the season he said it again.

It's obvious the Cross players believed him and have responded in kind. I always feel great sympathy for players at this time of the year. The calendar is so packed they are forced to play crucial matches in the worst of conditions.

We can only hope that things will improve come the new year as I like so many others know this is an Armagh side who can play great football.

Next February Crossmaglen Rangers they will take on St Brigid's of Roscommon in the All Ireland semi- final and I am sure they will reach the final on St Patrick's Day in Croke Park.

Crossmaglen are seasoned campaigners who will relish another shot at the big time. They haven't won the All Ireland for six years now. It has been a long wait and it has been a cross to bear for this proud club.

Unlike their counterparts in Scotland this is a Rangers side who have the look of winners.

It's time for Strachan to home in on Celtic's away day blues

If Celtic are not to be embarrassed in the next phase of the Champions League manager Gordon Strachan needs to go out and buy picture postcards of Parkhead for his players.

He needs to take them into a darkened room and tell them they are playing at home.

It won't be hard to convince them. Their loyal supporters pack most grounds so much that you would think you are back in Glasgow.

Can anyone tell me, or better still tell Gordon Strachan, just what the matter is? At home Celtic play like men possessed. Away from home they collaspe.

Celtic were taken apart midweek by a very ordinary Copenhagen side and that must have sent shock waves through everyone at the Scottish club.

Remember after Benfica I called them the Lisbon Lemons. I got a bit of stick for that from several loyal Celtic fans. I have been searching the streets for the same lads this week but like their team they too have disappeared.

What a pathetic performance it was. Celtic never looked like winning. In fact Celtic never looked like even getting a draw.

Strachan proclaimed after the game that he knew what was wrong. No point telling the media, Gordon. Have a word instead in the players' shelllike. Tell them what's wrong for, God's sake.

Staying with the Champions League am I in a minority of one or is anyone else getting sick sore and tired of the antics of Manchester Unity's Cristiano Ronaldo.

He's the Portuguese player who goes down in the box if a defender winks at him. He was at it again mid-week getting nine out ten for his latest dive.

I find it sickening that players at this level will try and bend the rules in a bid to win. Perhaps what makes it worse is the way managers try to defend the indefensible.

How come such a great manager as Alex Ferguson doesn't see it the way everyone else does?

I am fed up with it all and also fed up with all the showboating. All that stepping over the ball when the game as a contest is over. Bring back Chopper Harris is what I say.

Do your showboating on the dance floor, my son, not on the Champions League stage.

Hero of the week

Hero of the week was an easy choice this week.

The evergreen but brilliant Peter Hutton. I don't know what they put in his tea but he just keeps on producing quality for Derry City.

What great character he showed. He gives away a penalty in the Cup final and then pops up at the other end to nab a vital goal.

It was quite a game with St Patrick's Athletic and it was fitting end to the Derry City career of manager Stephen Kenny.

He can go to Scotland with great memories of the Maiden City and one major regret.

If only Peter Hutton were ten years younger.

Well done to all at the Brandywell on their success and a season never to be forgotten.

Belfast Telegraph


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