Crossmaglen defeated Coalisland Na Fianna by two points in an eventful Ulster Club SFC quarter-final clash at the Athletic Grounds this evening.
The Aaron Kernan captained outfit progress to a semi-final meeting with the winners of tomorrow’s clash between Cargin (Antrim) and Gaoth Dobhair (Donegal) thanks to a 0-12 to 0-10 victory over their Tyrone opponents.
Johnny McKeever got the scoring underway for the Armagh standard-bearers and they shaded a low-scoring first-half by 0-6 to 0-5.
Played in front of an attendance of 7,637, a converted Rian O’Neill free separated the sides at the break but the dismissals of Coalisland duo Brian Toner (two yellow cards) and Eoghan Hampsey (straight red card) were the main talking points during the half-time break.
Crossmaglen’s numerical advantage didn’t last long, however, as they were also reduced to 13 men after Callum Cumiskey and Johnny Hanratty (both two yellows) were sent for early showers during the second quarter and the game was delicately poised at the three quarter hour mark on 0-7 apiece.
Patrick McNeice and Oisin O’Neill subsequently traded points and the sides were deadlocked at 0-8 each with 10 minutes to go.
A Rian O’Neill brace - the centre-forward finished with seven points to his name - edged Donal Murtagh’s charges in front entering the home straight and further points from the O’Neill brothers in stoppage sealed a two-point success for Cross.
Crossmaglen - J McEvoy, R Kelly, A Farrelly, G Carragher; A Kernan, J Morgan, P Hughes; S Morris (0-1), O O’Neill (0-2); J McKeever (0-1), R O’Neill (0-7, 1'45, 2f), P Stuttard; M McNamee (0-1), J Hanratty, K Carragher. Subs: C Cumiskey for P Stuttard, C McConville for M McNamee, T Kernan for J McKeever.
Coalisland Na Fianna - P Donnelly; D Fee, P Hampsey, E Hampsey; M McKernan, S McNally (0-1), N Kerr; J Carberry, P Kane; P Herron, C O’Hagan, P McGahan; B Leonard (0-1), P McNiece (0-8f), B Toner. Subs: T Quinn for P McGahan, C Quinn for B Leonard.
Referee - M McNally.