Wednesday 21 February 2018

The game at a glance

Man of the match

Jamie Clarke (Crossmaglen)

Scored 1-3 from open play and was involved in several other scores. Creative and alert, he was always a serious threat to St Brigid's defence.

Turning point

Crossmaglen's second goal, scored by Jamie Clarke in the 39th minute. They had scored two points in the preceding minutes to draw level and the goal gave them a cushion that they protected all the way to the finish.

Talking point

You can't beat big-time experience. Crossmaglen knew what to expect in an All-Ireland final, whereas it was all new to St Brigid's. Ultimately, that was a significant difference.

Ref watch

A solid enough performance from Cormac Reilly. However, having handed out seven yellow cards up to the three-quarter stage, he was very lenient when Stephen Kernan was flung to the ground in a dangerous tackle in the 56th minute.

What they said

Aaron Kernan (Cross' wing-back):

"We don't want to be retiring anybody, but if boys feel that was their last day then what better way to do it. The McEntees, Francie Bellew and Oisin McConville, they've been winners all their lives and they've instilled that in our club and our county."

Noel O'Brien (St Brigid's manager):

"Cathal McHugh was a big (injury) loss, but you can't look at one area of the field and say that was the reason we lost. The better team won, they didn't give us any space inside and were very sharp and well organised."

Match statistics

Wides: Crossmaglen 6 (6); St Brigid's 8 (3)

Frees: Crossmaglen 22 (10); St Brigid's 29 (13)

Yellow cards: Crossmaglen 3 (A Kernan 36, D McKenna 40, P Kernan 43); St Brigid's 4 (G Dolan 14, S Kilbride 35, E Sheehy 45, R Kelly 52).

Red cards: Crossmaglen 0; St Brigid's 0.

Attendance: 25,442

Irish Independent

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