Crossmaglen vs Silverbridge Preview

Will this weekend be third time lucky for Silverbridge? The Harps are up against their neighbours Crossmaglen in the championship for the third year running.

The previous two don’t offer much hope for Saturday evenings semi-final. 11-points separated the sides in 2019 while eight was the difference last season.

On both occasions the Rangers were the superior side and deserved their victories. Although the scorelines suggest the gap is closing.

Cross are the in-form team in the county at the minute and favourites to retain the Gerry Fegan trophy.

With Maghery and Armagh Harps gone, the Crossmaglen players are the only ones remaining with championship medals in their pockets.

Silverbridge are in the last four on merit however as they have overcome two big challenges to get here.

They downed the league champions Dromintee in the first round before coming from six behind to see off Cullyhanna.

Their whirlwind quarter final victory over St Pat’s was perhaps one of the most entertaining games of the championship.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

Goal threat

Kevin Franklin’s men hit the net four times to reach the semi-finals. They are currently the top goal scorers in the competition.

They’ll need to take their chances this evening if they are to cause an upset and Sean Rock, Jamie Martin, Eoin Reel and Paraic Keating can certainly cause the Cross defence headaches.

Crossmaglen have come from the preliminary round, getting past Clan na Gael, Madden and Killeavy on their journey to the last four.

Stephen Kernan can call upon the O’Neill brothers Oisin and Rian along with their younger cousin Cian McConville. The trio have looked unstoppable at times.

Add in the likes of Aaron Kernan, James Morgan and Stephen Morris, and it’s hard to see how Silverbridge will withstand the black and amber wave for sixty minutes.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Match ups

Jarly Og Burns and Paddy Reel may go toe-to-toe with the O’Neill brothers. While Jack McArdle looks best placed to shut down McConville.

Peter Carragher’s physical battle with Morris could also be worth watching out for as the two teams fight for primary possession.

If the ‘bridge can get enough quality ball into their attackers, they can cause problems. But it’s hard to look back Crossmaglen reaching the final for a fourth consecutive year.