Supersub Carragher to rescue for Crossmaglen
Crossmaglen Rangers 1-11
Armagh SFC final
KYLE Carragher found himself cast in the role of hero when his three late points cemented the capture of a 14th title in 15 years for Crossmaglen Rangers yesterday.
Brought into the fray with 17 minutes -- including five minutes of added-time -- still to play, Carragher made an immediate impact to the match by whipping over a 51st-minute point.
He followed that with a second in the 59th minute, which gave his side a tenuous 1-9 to 1-8 lead, and Carragher then added a third before Stephen Kernan's added the icing on the cake.
Despite their first-half midfield dominance, Rangers were unable to achieve consistency in their finishing and although they held their opponents scoreless from the seventh to the 28th minute, they held a rather fragile 1-6 to 1-3 interval lead, Michéal O'Rourke's early goal having proved something of a false dawn for Dromintee.
When Francis Hanratty drilled in the Rangers goal after a smart off-load from Oisin McConville in the 27th minute -- the latter had already collected three points -- they were in the driving seat at 1-5 to 1-2.
However, Dromintee whipped over a brace of points just before the break through O'Rourke and Gareth O'Neill to sound a warning for the second half.
And even though Francie Bellew was sent in to help shore up the Rangers rearguard, Dromintee -- with Vincent Martin, Kevin Dyas and Aidan O'Rourke prominent -- carried a much greater threat.
Two points from O'Rourke and the creative Dyas brought the game level at 1-7 each in the 48th minute, and it was then that Carragher launched his personal scoring blitz to see Rangers home. Crossmaglen will now meet reigning All-Ireland Club champions St Gall's in the Ulster Club series on Sunday week.
SCORERS -- Crossmaglen Rangers: O McConville 0-4 (0-1f), F Hanratty 1-0, K Carragher 0-3, A Kernan (0-1f), D McKenna, S McKernan, A Cunningham 0-1 each, Dromintee: Michéal O'Rourke 1-4 (0-2f), G O'Neill 0-2, K Dyas , M O'Rourke 0-1 each.
Crossmaglen Rangers -- P Hearty; P McKeown, P Kernan, J Morgan; A Kernan, D O'Callaghan, S Finnegan; J Hanratty, D McKenna; M McNamee, S McKernan, F Hanratty; T Kernan, A Cunningham, O McConville. Subs: F Bellew for McNamee (h/t), M Aherne for Finnegan (40), K Carragher for F Hanratty (48).
Dromintee -- P McEvoy; C Fegan, E Martin, M McGahon; C McGuinness, A O'Rourke, B Shannon; V Martin, G O'Neill; K Fearon, Michéal O'Rourke, S O'Neill; K Dyas, M O'Rourke, O Gaughran. Subs: P O'Hare for Fearon (h/t), D McKenna for Fegan (35), P Courtney for Gaughran (57).
REF -- G Smith (Portadown).