Crossmaglen 3-15 Maghery 1-6
The played with a power, a purpose and intensity that we simply haven’t seen from them at all this season.
But when it mattered, Cross turned on the style to make it to their fifth championship decider in a row.
Whatever could go wrong for Maghery, went wrong. That was showcased as early as the opening minute of the match.
A back pass from Stephen Cusack should have easily found it’s way to the keeper, but Eamon Cusack lost his footing and the ball rolled into the Maghery night.
While that score was fortunate for Cross, the rest were outstanding, and they hammered on their early advantage.
Jamie Clarke was proving that class is permanent on the edge of the square as the Rangers raced into a 1-8 to 0-0 lead after 16 minutes.
Oisin Cushnahan (2f) and Kevin Robinson replied for Maghery with nine the difference at the break. 1-9 to 0-3.
It was more of the same after the turnaround. Clarke chipped in with his third of the evening while Cian McConville grabbed a brace.
Maghery reverted to their long ball into the square that has worked so well against Cross in the past and it paid off.
Ronan Lappin swung his left foot at a loose ball and directed it into the bottom corner to narrow the gap back to nine.
Aidan Forker traded scores with Fitzpatrick and McConville before Rian O’Neill fired over a free.
Fitzpatrick rattled home a goal, as did McConville to bring the scoring to a close for the evening and leave the margin at 15 at full time.
It was an awesome display from Stephen Kernan’s men, who go in search of their first championship crown since 2019.