All-Ireland Club SFC: Cross book semi-final spot

January 16, 2011

John McEntee of Crossmaglen Rangers battles with Neasden Gaels star Keith Geraghty during the 2011 All-Ireland Club SFC quarter-final at Ruislip
Crossmaglen Rangers 1-8
Neasden Gaels 0-5

Crossmaglen Rangers booked their place in another All-Ireland Club SFC semi-final by grinding out victory over London champions Neasden Gaels at Ruislip on Sunday.

It was a real war of attrition in the English capital, with veteran forward Oisin McConville proving the difference between the sides with five points, two of which came from play.

The six-point winning margin flattered the Ulster champions, with Francis Hanratty's injury time goal reflecting unfairly on Neasden on the day.

With the considerable aid of the elements in the first half hour, Crossmaglen struggled to find any real fluency and needed three quickfire points before the interval to lead by 0-5 to 0-2 at the change of ends.

Indeed, the sides could well have gone in level but for a fine stop from Cross goalie Paul Hearty to deny Peader Friel a three-pointer for the home side.

As the game entered the final quarter there were just two points between the sides (0-7 to 0-5) and real prospects of an upset with the wind behind Neasden, but Cross saw it out in characteristically gritty style to secure their passage to next month's All-Ireland semi-final.

Crossmaglen Rangers: P Hearty; B McKeown, P Kernan, J Morgan; A Kernan (0-2), D O'Callaghan, P McKeown; J Hanratty, D McKenna; J Clarke, J McEntee, M Aherne (0-1); T Kernan, M McNamee, O McConville (0-5, 0-3 frees). Subs: S Kernan for Aherne (34 mins), F Bellew for T Kernan (40 mins), F Hanratty (1-0) for McNamee (inj 42 mins), Ronan Finnegan for McKeown (57mins).

Neasden Gaels: J McNamara; C OFlynn, K Geraghty, B McDonagh; P McCone, T Gaughan, B Comer (0-1); C McColdrick, A Flanagan; T Dougan, P Geraghty, J Scanlan; D Carty (0-3, frees), P Friel (0-1, free), M Toner. Subs: J Raftery for Comer (55 mins), S Lynch for Friel (56 mins), W Comer for Dougan (57 mins).

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo).

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