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Oisin McConville's on fire as he points Crossmaglen Rangers to final

By John Campbell

Crossmaglen Rangers took another decisive step in their bid to retain their Armagh, Ulster and All-Ireland titles when they overcame Pearse Og by 0-13 to 0-9 in the county championship semi-final at the Morgan Athletic Grounds.

Oisin McConville emerged as the Rangers hero snapping up seven points in a masterclass of finishing, his scores coming from all angles and distances.

The Rangers led by 0-7 to 0-4 at the break by which stage McConville had been on target on four occasions, Sean Moore having seen his second-minute penalty for Pearse Og pushed to safety by goalkeeper Paul Hearty.

With Aaron Kernan providing experience after coming on as a sub and the Pearse Og attack unable to convert possession into points, Rangers maintained the pressure to finish strongly and book their place in yet another county decider.

In the other Armagh semi-final, Ballymacnab stunned Granemore by winning 2-11 to 0-11.

Gavin McParland orchestrated much of the winners' scoring, helping himself to six points and laying on a goal.

Ryan Kennedy and Brian McCombe both found the Granemore net while Rory Grugan also made an impressive contribution.

Dromore caused a surprise in the Tyrone championship quarter-finals when they beat Ardboe by 2-8 to 0-9, goals from Conor O'Neill and Niall Sludden underpinning their victory.

And Coalisland set down a marker that they can make further progress when they beat Omagh St Enda's by 2-16 to 2-10. Conor O'Donnell and Ronan O'Neill each scored 1-3.

Former Derry manager Damian Cassidy is on course to steer Clonoe to a second Tyrone title in three years following yesterday's 0-11 to 0-8 extra-time time win over Carrickmore, a match in which five red cards were flashed.

Carrickmore's Conor Gormley was among those who saw red in a tense period of extra-time during which the winners, who had midfielders Stephen McNulty and Shane O'Hagan dismissed, landed four points with Carrickmore hitting the target just once after the sides finished at 0-7 each at the end of normal time.

In the Down semi-finals, Clonduff beat Kilcoo, champions two years ago, by 0-11 to 1-7.

Jason Brown hit the winning point for Clonduff, for whom Arthur McConville and Aidan Carr were impressive.

Kilcoo's Paul Devlin was uncharacteristically wide from a 30-metre free in injury-time.

In the Derry football semi-finals, Ballinderry and Kilrea triumphed over Dungiven and Loup respectively.

Ballinderry staged a late surge to get the better of Dungiven by 1-12 to 0-10 with Tony Martin grabbing their goal in a match that was marred to some extent by an apparent illness suffered by Aaron Devlin, but he appeared to subsequently recover.

Loup surrendered the initiative against Kilrea when they had Kevin Mallon dismissed in the 34th minute.

They had led by 1-6 to 1-3, but Kilrea rallied and fought back, scoring eight unanswered points to win the game.

Belfast Telegraph


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