Cross v Maghery – line ups & match ups

We’re sure to see two contrasting styles this evening as Maghery take on Crossmaglen in the senior semi-final.

The match ups that we are likely to see could be huge in deciding who makes it through to the showpiece.

Both teams have injury question marks heading into the game, but based on their last outings, we’ve taken a look at the possible starting line-up and match ups.

Maghery match ups

The big question for Maghery is, who marks Rian O’Neill? Maghery basically have two options, it’s either Aidan Forker or Ciaran Higgins.

Both went off injured against Ballymacnab, although Forker made a miraculous recovery to return for the second half.

Forker has never really been used as a man-marker for Maghery, but before picking up the injury he started the game picking up Rory Grugan.

Photo Credit: Richiespics

That may give us an indication that Forker is going to be their go-to man-marker. And if so, he’ll go on O’Neill.

That will free up Higgins (if fit) to retreat to the full back line and take on Jamie Clarke while Brendan Haveron on Cian McConville.

Gerard Campbell is likely to come in for the injured David Lavery and mark Dara O’Callaghan, with Eoin Scullion going to Caolan Finnegan.

Oisin Lappin could go to centre half back on Callum Cumiskey. Maghery will of course get plenty of bodies back, with Stephan Cusack providing cover.


The midfield match ups really work themselves out and there’s unlikely to be any real changes in this area.

Ben Crealey will wear 20 but as expected will start in midfield as he’ll line up against Stephen Morris.

Ronan Lappin is Crealey’s partner at centerfield and he’ll pick up youngster Ronan Fitzpatrick.

Cross will be wary of Lappin though, as he has a knack of scoring goals against them. They’ll surely have a plan if he moves into full forward.

Long ball tactic

Maghery have held the Indian sign over Crossmaglen over the last number of years and the long ball tactic has been a huge part of that.

Brian McIlmurray is in there and Ronan Lappin could always double up to create a twin tower effect.

Aidan Rushe started the Dromintee game while it was Alan Farrelly who played full back against Silverbridge.

Both may be needed at some stage, in an otherwise inexperienced full back line. The keeper Miceal Murray is still in his first season while Thomas Og Duffy is in his second.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Maghery will surely test out that Cross full back line, but they have goal threats on the ground as well.

Duffy will pick up Maghery’s top scorer Kevin Robinson, just as he did in the league with Rushe on McIlmurray.

James Morgan’s availability will be massive. The 2021 Club Player of the Year was substituted against both Silverbridge and Dromintee.

If he starts, does he mark Brian Fox? Or play a freer role by going to wing half back as both Stefan Forker and Oisin Cushnahan will drop deep.

Paul Hughes will be well aware of Forker’s scoring threat but will have a licence to bomb forward and attack at will.