Aidan Nugent (Cullyhanna)
I think if it’s a good day then it will be an open game of football, it could go down to the wire but Crossmaglen’s ‘know how’ could get them over the line. Either way I wouldn’t be surprised if it swung the Nab’s way too.
Peter Carragher (Silverbridge)
Nab will take great belief into the game on Sunday having run Cross close in the group fixture after an awful start. However having played Cross in the quarter final and seeing how organised they are across the middle, I can see them getting on top of the Nabs kick outs which are vital to their game plan, like they did in the second half of last year’s final. Nab need big scores from the Grugan’s and McParland but Cross have subs like Tony Kernan and Kyle Carragher able to come on with added experience and push them across the line along with Hughes, Morris, Aaron Kernan, Rian O’Neill and Cian McConville, Cross by 6+
Sean Sutton (Pearse Ogs)
I feel the Nab have gotten a lot stronger since last year’s final, their big players like Gavin McParland and the Grugan brothers have really stood up this year. The loss for Ballymacnab in last year’s final will leave them hungrier than ever but I’m not sure if they are experienced enough to handle the likes of Rian O’Neill at the back. I see Cross coming out narrow winners.
Joe McElroy (Armagh Harps)
In a world where Cross appear to be motoring serenely on towards their previous dominance after their win vs Maghery, it’s always hard to gin up much broadly-held enthusiasm, there are whispers that Ballymacnab’s best chance has already come and gone last year with a near flawless performance form Jack Grugan. Ballymacnab will not be fazed by this, strong performances from Gavin McParland, Ryan Kennedy and the Grugan brothers will be a serious obstacle for Crossmaglen. Matchups will be critical, key players on both sides may be neutralised by their counterparts, history is in favour of Crossmaglen and their record in finals speaks for itself. Ballymacnab will have only gained experience from their final last year; they will hope to emulate their first half performance for the full 60 minutes to get over the line.
Ben Hughes (Killeavy)
I see Crossmaglen winning the game handy enough. It shouldn’t be all that different from when these teams met in last year’s final. I think Cross will win with a few points to spare.
Conor Martin (Dromintee)
I can see the Nab learning from last year, being in another final you’d imagine they’ll be more relaxed and confident on Sunday, with a lot depending on how much ball the inside men get on. That said, Cross’ physicality around the middle and there bench and experience should be enough to get them over the line. Cross by 3.
Eamon McGeown (Sarsfields)
Having played both teams this year in the group stages, I can see this final being a very close encounter! Being a repeat of last year’s final, it will be interesting to see what Ballymacnab have learned about Cross and how they approach the game. Big games will be needed from Rory Grugan and Gavin McParland if they are to have a chance. Cross have a blend of experience with Aaron Kernan and youth in the O’Neill’s and Cian McConville making them a formidable force. Both teams have their ways to hurt the other so as a neutral we are in for a cracker.
Ross Finn (Granemore)
I see this year’s final being an open free flowing game; however, I do think Ballymacnab will have learned from last year’s final and from their recent group game and they will have worked a lot on defence to prevent Cross from getting early ball in and going up the middle of their defence. The game will start slow but it will open up as the game progresses and I think that Crossmaglen will come out on top and will win by 2 points with goals having a significant impact on the game.
Ciaran Rafferty (Madden)
I don’t think it’s as one sided as what the odds are saying. Thinking back to last year and the game earlier this year, the Nab were right in the game but maybe sloppiness cost them in the latter stages. Cross have a number of top class players with the O’Neill’s and Aaron Kernan but I think if the Nab can learn from their earlier Championship game with Cross and not let them get off to a quick start and the Grugan’s and Gavin McParland have big performances then they are in with a chance of causing an upset.