Any suggestion that Crossmaglen’s dominance on the Armagh Championship has dwindled may be slightly premature if the men in black and amber get their hands on the Gerry Fegan Cup tomorrow.
The Rangers have reached four consecutive senior finals, winning two of the previous three, with 2020 being the exception.
No doubt Cross have charged into 2021 with a renewed hunger, having just lost their first final since 1982.
They’ve blazed past all challengers so far this season, defeating Clan na Gael, Madden, Killeavy and Silverbridge.
They meet a fresh face in the decider with newbies Clann Eireann entering the biggest day of the year for the first time in 53 years.
The Lurgan lads deservingly pick up the mantle of top contenders having saw off Maghery and Ballymacnab, the two teams that have caused Cross the most trouble in recent years.
Clann Eireann have earned the right to dine at the top table once again. It’s a spot they claimed regularly throughout the 50s and 60s.
They featured in eight county finals across the two decades, picking up two senior titles along the way.
Each year they’ve played in the showpiece they have come up against a team that begins with the letter C.
They’ve beaten Clan na Gael (1954) and Crossmaglen (1963) but also lost to Carrickcruppen, Cross and Collegeland.
2021 will is the fifth time Clann Eireann and Crossmaglen will pair up in the final.
Stephen Kernan’s team currently hold the top two scorers throughout the entire championship in Rian O’Neill (3-16) and Cian McConville (0-22).
The duo, along with Oisin O’Neill, have accumulated 3-47 of their sides 4-63 across their four outings.
Tommy Coleman will know his match ups are crucial in Clann Eireann having a chance. The battles of Barry McCambridge and Shea Heffron against the O’Neill brothers could be worth the admission fee along.
Clann Eireann quality
Clann Eireann have enough quality to pose plenty of questions at the other end of the field.
Conor Turbitt lies just behind O’Neill and McConville in the scoring charts with 1-17 having played one game less.
Veteran Ryan Henderson along with Tiernan Kelly and Conor McConville have also enjoyed superb campaigns.
Clann Eireann have been waiting quite a while to make the breakthrough and no doubt will secure a senior crown with this current group.
Is this season a year too early? Or have the Lurgan men timed their rise perfectly? Sunday will reveal all the answers.