Crossmaglen Rangers edge out Coalisland


AIB Ulster Club SFC Quarter-Final


By Orla Bannon at the Athletic Grounds

Rian and Oisin O'Neill scored six points from play in the last quarter to help Crossmaglen win a bad-tempered 13-a-side Ulster club SFC clash against Coalisland.

Both teams had two players sent off after a dour battle in the Athletic Grounds.

Tyrone champions Coalisland had two players sent-off in the first-half with defender Eoghan Hampsey getting a straight red.

Cross led 0-6 to 0-5 at the break having played poorly in the opening half and then had Johnny Hanratty and Callum Cumiskey dismissed both for picking up second yellows.

But the good stuff from Cross came in the last 15 minutes with brothers Rian and Oisin O'Neill kicking six points from play between them in the crucial final quarter.

Substitute Cian McConville made an impact up front and drew a superb save from Peter Donnelly, who also denied Hanratty from point-blank range in the build-up to his sending off for a tackle on Niall Kerr.

Paddy McNeice hit 0-8 from frees and Coalisland only managed two points from play, but they hung in.

The sides were level seven times until Cross' quality finally came through.

The first half was scrappy with the teams giving the ball away far too easily. It was littered with stoppages for fouls and cards in a game that featured 10 yellows and four reds.

Brian Toner was the first to go, picking up two yellows, the first for dissent after just seven minutes and the second for a late challenge.

Straight after he picked up a second yellow 17 minutes later, Coalisland were still reeling when defender Eoghan Hampsey got a straight red leaving Coalisland down to 13 men.

Cross led 0-6 to 0-5 at the break with the veteran Michael McNamee, Johnny McKeever and Stephen Morris with points from play. Rian O'Neill nailed 0-3 from dead balls with the aid of a strong wind.

Bailey Leonard's superb point was Coalisland's only score from play in a poor first half. Ex-Tyrone forward Paddy McNeice hit four frees to keep them right in touch and they carved out a decent goal chance early in the second half which Rico Kelly cleared off the line.

Callum Cumiskey went for an infringement five minutes after the restart.

Peter Donnelly came off his line quickly to deny McConville and when he also blocked Hanratty's shot, the Cross player was sent off leaving it 13-a-side before Cross' late rally set up a semi-final against either Gaoth Dobhair or Cargin.

Scorers for Crossmaglen Rangers: Rian O'Neill 0-7 2fs, 1 '45', Oisin O'Neill 0-2, Michael McNamee 0-1, Johnny McKeever 0-1, Stephen Morris 0-1.

Scorers for Coalisland: Paddy McNeice 0-8 8fs, Bailey Leonard 0-1, Stephen McNally 0-1.

CROSSMAGLEN RANGERS: Jamie McEvoy, Rico Kelly, Alan Farrelly, Garvan Carragher; Aaron Kernan, James Morgan, Paul Hughes; Stephen Morris, Oisin O'Neill; Johnny McKeever, Rian O'Neill, Padraig Stuttard; Michael McNamee, Johnny Hanratty, Kyle Carragher

Subs: Callum Cumiskey for Stuttard 6, Cian McConville for McNamee HT, Tony Kernan for McKeever 45.

COALISLAND NA FIANNA: Peter Donnelly; Daniel Fee, Padraig Hampsey, Eoghan Hampsey; Michael McKernan, Stephen McNally, Niall Kerr; Jason Carberry, Plunkett Kane; Peter Herron, Cormac O'Hagan, Brian Toner; Bailey Leonard, Paddy McNiece, Peter McGahan

Subs: Tiernan Quinn for McGahan 45, Cathaoir Quinn for Leonard 53

REFEREE: Martin McNally Monaghan.

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