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St Patrick's day as Crossmaglen Rangers stranglehold on trophy is ended

By John Campbell

All good things come to an end. Crossmaglen Rangers' cherished dream of landing the Armagh senior football title for the 20th time in 21 years was suddenly and dramatically sabotaged at the Athletic Grounds last night.

Leading by two points with less than a minute left, St Patrick's Cullyhanna plundered the most improbable of victories when Aidan Nugent's '45' was flicked to the net by Malachy Mackin, thus piloting the challengers into a one-point lead.

And that's how it finished, St Patrick's blazing their way into a final showdown with Maghery on a 1-15 to 0-17 scoreline.

Nugent, too, was the hero of the hour, his 10 points underpinning St Patrick's stunning triumph with Shea Hoey, Eugene Casey and Paudie McCreesh also getting among the scores.

Tony Kernan, Oisin O'Neill, Aaron Kernan, Martin Ahern and Rian O'Neill helped to compile the Rangers' total but the team's cause was not helped when Garvan Carragher was dismissed.

Rangers, who had survived a close call against Harps in the quarter-final, thus surrendered their Armagh and Ulster club titles, leaving the way open for other clubs to further intensify their drive for glory.

Cargin, meanwhile, have reached another Antrim Championship final following their 1-21 to 2-12 win over St John's yesterday in a semi-final that was laced with some fine scoring.

Tomas McCann landed Cargin's goal while Ross Hannigan and Matthew Fitzpatrick both found the net for St John's.

There was something of a turn-up in the Tyrone Championship when Coalisland overcame Clonoe by 0-15 to 0-8 in a feisty semi-final replay and now meet Killyclogher in the final.

In the Donegal Championship quarter-finals, county team skipper Michael Murphy was again a central figure in the Glenswilly side that beat Malin by 0-9 to 0-7 in a tight, tense encounter with Murphy landing four points in a majestic performance.

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