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Carragher keen to help Cross extend spell of title dominance

By John Campbell

New Crossmaglen Rangers skipper Kyle Carragher is hoping to get his first taste of action when the Armagh and Ulster club champions take on Tir na nOg (Portadown) in the next round of the County Championship.

Carragher, who has spent over a decade in the side, is determined to lead his men to what would be a 20th domestic honour in 21 years.

A flying forward imbued with a marked scoring touch, Carragher will bring an added dimension to the Rangers attack as manager Gareth O'Neill sets his sights on more silverware.

Carragher said: "I am looking forward to getting back into the side. Several of us have been out because of injury and for other reasons but our collective appetite for more success is still very strong. Every season presents a new challenge and we want to deliver again.

"Paul Hearty, Aaron Kernan, Paul McKeown and others are good leaders so my job is made very straightforward. Still, it's a great honour to be leading a side like the Rangers, the spirit within the squad is unbelievable."

Oisin O'Neill, Aidan Rushe and Stephen Kernan are others who are set to return to action after spells on the sideline.

Armagh All-Ireland winner Oisin McConville, assisting manager O'Neill, believes Carragher can prove a driving force.

"He has been totally committed since he first joined and I know he is just relishing his role as captain," said McConville.

St Patrick's, Cullyhanna have emerged as strong challengers to the Rangers' dominance following their emphatic 2-20 to 1-5 win over Pearse Og at the week-end while Maghery too could offer a vibrant challenge.

St Patrick's will face Sarsfields in the next round while Maghery take on Wolfe Tones.

Meanwhile, Derry champions Slaughtneil confront a stiff test in the defence of their title when they take on Newbridge.

And, like last year, Slaughtneil are in the running for both the football and hurling crowns.

Belfast Telegraph


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