Crossmaglen 2-19 Garrycastle 1-7
Crossmaglen are All-Ireland champions yet again. The legendary south Armagh club collected their sixth title with a runaway replay win at Breffni Park, blowing Garrycastle away with an irresistible display of power football.
Francis Hanratty fired in two first-half goals, and the ageless Oisin McConville helped himself to a six points tally as the Rangers strode to another famous victory.
The Westmeath men never looked like troubling the defending champions as they slumped to a 15-point defeat.
Cross tackled like demons, deployed a supremely effective support game, and had the front men to do the essential damage on the scoreboard.
Dessie Dolan shot Garrycastle into an early lead, but Hanratty grabbed his first goal after just five minutes, finishing to the bottom corner after running on to Jamie Clarke’s superbly timed pass.
McConville added a point for the Armagh men, and further scores from Clarke and Tony Kernan had them ahead by 1-3 to 0-2.
Dolan thumped over a couple of excellent scores from play to kept the Westmeath men in touch, but they suffered another setback in the 18th minute when Hanratty, a late pre-match replacement, slotted home his second three-pointer.
The defending champions added further points through Johnny Hanratty and McConville (3) to take a 2-8 to 0-4 interval lead.
Garrycastle staged a brief revival in the early stages of the second half when they reduced the deficit to six points after Gary Dolan had collected a pass from brother Dessie to fire in a goal.
Substitute Conor Cosgrove slotted over a free, and the Westmeath men began to believe again, but their hopes were soon to be shattered by the resolve and passion that drives Crossmaglen Rangers.
They plugged all the holes at the back, and squeezed their opponents out of the game right to the end, restricting them to just two more points in the closing 34 minutes.
Aaron and Stephen Kernan were able to exploit gaps in the Westmeath defence to ping over points, and despite the efforts of Seanie O’Donoghue and David O’Shaughnessy to get things going in midfield, Garrycastle were fighting a losing battle.
McConville displayed his enduring class with two delightful points from play, and there were scores from Aaron Cunningham and goalscorer Hanratty.
Garryclastle almost got in for a goal, but Paddy Mulvihill fired his shot just wide, and with that late missed chance went their dream.
Crossmaglen maintained the tempo right to the finish, with sub Kyle Carragher and Aaron Kernan hitting late points to pile the misery on their opponents.
Crossmaglen scorers: F Hanratty 2-1, O McConville 0-6 (2f), S Kernan, A Kernan (2f) 0-3 each, A Cunningham 0-2, J Hanratty, T Kernan, J Clarke, K Carragher 0-1 each.
Garrycastle scorers: G Dolan 1-0, D Dolan 0-4 (2f), C Cosgrove 0-2 (2f), D O’Shaughnessy 0-1.
Crossmaglen: P Hearty, J Morgan, P Kernan, P McKeown, A Kernan, D O’Callaghan, S Finnegan, J Hanratty, D McKenna, T Kernan, K Brennan, A Cunningham, J Clarke, F Hanratty, O McConville.
Subs: M McNamee for F Hanratty, M Aherne for T Kernan, K Carragher for Cunningham, G Carragher for P Kernan, K Brenann for McConville
Garrycastle: C Mullin, M McCallon, J Gaffey, T McHugh, K Henson, D Harte, E Mulvihill, S O’Donoghue, D O’Shaughnessy, P Dillon, D Dolan, J Dolan, G Dolan, P Mulvihill, J Duignan.
Subs: A Fox for McHugh, A Browne for Duignan, C Cosgrove for Dillon, J O’Shaughnessy for E Mulvihill
Referee: M Duffy (Sligo).