Crossmaglen vs Killeavy Preview

Crossmaglen face familiar territory this evening as they head to the Athletic Grounds, knowing they are just sixty minutes from reaching yet another county final.

Killeavy are the newbies, with no recent experience of getting to this stage, having not reached the last four since 1988.

In that time, Crossmaglen have dominated the club scene in the county and Stephen Kernan is currently building another side capable of controlling Armagh football.

Check out our preview of the game on this weeks podcast show!

They have breezed through to the semi-finals without reaching top gear, seeing off two South Armagh rivals in Silverbridge and Mullaghbawn.

They face another close contact this weekend in Killeavy, a new and improved side than the one we have come to know in recent years.

The hope throughout the county is that Killeavy can give the Rangers a game. Nothing else is expected from Neil Coulter’s men.

Silverbridge contested for ten minutes, Mullaghbawn slight longer. Can Killeavy give us a close opening half?

There is no pressure whatsoever on the Killeavy shoulders and this of course could play right into their hands as they plan to upset the odds.

There’s no doubting the talent they hold in their ranks and they have displayed their ability in their two championship games so far this season.

Caolan McConville will offer his side an attacking threat on the edge of the square.

They showed great grit and determination to shake off Grange after 80 minutes of action, earning a 2-15 to 0-13 win.

Armagh Harps offered little challenge in the last eight as Killeavy defeated the 2017 county champs with eight points to spare.

The question is, with they continue their more open brand of football that has got them to this stage, or will they revert to a defensive style of play?

They will of course look to limit the influence of Crossmaglen’s deadly forward line but must also get enough scores at the other end to win the game.

Killeavy have so many versatile players and so many different. Conor O’Neill can literally line out anywhere and fulfil any job around the field.

James Donnelly is their leader around the middle but don’t be surprised to see him picking up one of the O’Neill brothers.

Check out our predicted teams and match ups for today’s semi final clash!

Ciaron O’Hanlon has been struggling with a hamstring injury and his availability is crucial to his side having a chance.

The key for Killeavy will be in how well they cope with the quality Crossmaglen hold in their ranks.

The forward line is incredible and it’s the two O’Neill’s, Rian and Oisin, who are the leaders in attack.

James Morgan is their general in defence while Aaron Kernan remains one of the classiest players in the county.

Stephen Kernan is in the process of developing another all-conquering team and will be keen to secure is first title in the bainisteoir bib. He must get to the final first of course.

If Killeavy are to cause a huge shock, they will need Cross to have an off day and hope lady luck shines favourable upon them.

But how often do Crossmaglen have an off day?

The Rangers as always go in as huge favourites and the result shouldn’t be any different than the form book would suggest.

Prediction: Crossmaglen

Rian O’Neill continues to be one of the best forwards in the county.