Crossmaglen II vs Derrynoose Preview

One year can make some difference in Gaelic football, as both Derrynoose and Crossmaglen will understand.

Last August, the pair clashed in the quarter final of the Junior championship and 13-points separated them after 60 minutes.

Derrynoose obliterated their opponents, with Conor McNally proving unmarkable up front.

The game was essentially over by the first half water break, as Cross crashed out of the competition.

Cross’ key men

This time around, it’s Cross who are the favourites to come through and carry a heavy favourites tag into the contest.

Gareth O’Neill’s side saw off Eire Og in the last round, storming to victory with a strong second half display.

The introduction of Rico Kelly, Colin O’Connor and Johnny McKeever to the Junior setup has been massive for Cross.

They are now Junior league winners and the favourites to land to ultimate prize of championship glory.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Underdog tag

Derrynoose won’t mind heading into the game under no pressure but know the mammoth test in front of them.

Brian Hamilton’s team hasn’t set the world alight with their wins over Newtown and Killeavy. But have done enough to reach the last four.

Star man McNally only came on in their three-point quarter final win over Killeavy. The 2019 Junior Player of the Year is likely to see more game time this weekend.

Peter McKearney remains out through injury and Derrynoose will look to Davy McCreesh, Pearse Lennon and Paddy Quinn for leadership.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Quinn could be task with a man-marking role. He’ll likely shadow the ageless Paul McKeown, who was superb against Eire Og.

Shane McConville and Eoin Keenan are superb free takers, while Orin McKeown is a hard-working half back.

The Rangers deserve to head into the game as favourites, but Derrynoose have the edge on recent championship experience and a tight contest is to be expected.