Crossmaglen secure third championship crown

Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) 3-9 Kilcoo (Down) 1-9

Early goals from Oisin McConville and Aaron Kernan helped Crossmaglen secure their third successive AIB Ulster Club Senior Football Championship crown this afternoon.

Cross stalwart McConville - winning his tenth Ulster medal - knocked home a fourth minute penalty and Aaron Kernan added a second as Down champions Kilcoo fell 2-0 to 0-0 behind.

McConville netted after Gerard McEvoy tripped the advancing Stephen Kernan. The latter’s brother weighed in with his goal barely a minute later.

McConville added a point to his tally and Cross also had points in the opening half hour from Tony and Stephen Kernan, Kyle Carragher and Aaron Cunningham.

Kilcoo hit two points before half-time through Darragh O’Hanlon and Paul Devlin, reducing the arrears to 2-6 to 0-3 at the break.

The Mourne men strung together three successive points at the start of the second period, rallying impressively in their first provincial final appearance.

Anthony Devlin’s 41st-minute goal, created by Conor Laverty’s flicked pass over his head, added further momentum to their comeback bid.

Cross’ advantage was cut to three points shortly afterwards courtesy of an O’Hanlon free and they looked under pressure as Michael McNamee saw red for a striking offence.

However, the defending champions showed their mettle once again as points from Martin Ahern and McConville steadied the ship.

Kyle Brennan bagged their third goal to give them enough of a cushion to see out the result.

The ever-influential McConville provided the assist for Brennan’s fisted finish into an empty net, with Kilcoo noticeably tiring.

The Armagh kingpins finished the game with 13 players on the pitch after a second yellow card for star forward Jamie Clarke, who was well marshalled throughout.

Today’s triumph means the record-breaking Crossmaglen club have won six of the last seven Ulster titles.

They advance to meet Roscommon side St. Brigid’s in a mouth-watering All-Ireland semi-final.

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