Second half storm sees Crossmaglen stroll to 47th Championship title against Clan na Gael

Cormac Leonard Armagh Senior Football Championship Final: Crossmaglen 2-16 Clan na Gael 1-7
Crossmaglen Rangers celebrate after defeating Clan na Gael to win their 47th Armagh county title.Crossmaglen Rangers celebrate after defeating Clan na Gael to win their 47th Armagh county title.
Crossmaglen Rangers celebrate after defeating Clan na Gael to win their 47th Armagh county title.

A late Jamie Clarke penalty and a palmed goal by Ronan Fitzpatrick sealed a comfortable 2-16 to 1-7 win for Crossmaglen, as they strolled to victory against Clan na Gael in the Armagh Senior Football Championship Final.

Wing forward Paul Hughes was awarded Man of the Match for his energetic display, but he was far from alone in getting Cross their 47th county title in front of 7,691 spectators in Armagh.

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As has been the case throughout the competition, the O'Neill brothers Oisin and Rian were in fine form, whilst Cian McConville stood up when the chips were down for his side.

In defence, Callum Cumiskey picked up Stefan Campbell, Chris Crowley was tasked with a man-marking job on Callum O'Neill, and Stephen Morris had to curtail Shane McPartlan. All three players were superb in shutting down the Clans' key men.

However, things weren't looking good for Anthony Cunningham's men on 25 minutes when Michael McConville found the back of the Cross net to put the Lurgan men four ahead.

However, crucially McConville and Rian O'Neill combined for three points to leave Cross just one down at the break.

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It was in the second half when they really began to turn the screw however, as they had outscored the opposition 0-7 to 0-1 in the second period, before Thomas Og Duffy was brought down by Jamie Brady for a penalty on 53 minutes.

Captain Clarke stepped up and slotted home as cool as you like, and that goal realistically put the game beyond doubt.

In the dying stages substitutes Colin O'Connor and Ronan Fitzpatrick combined for a late goal, as O'Connor's fist pass was palmed home by Fitzpatrick to put the icing on the cake.

For full match report and reaction see this week's Newry Reporter - in shops on Wednesday October 25!

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