Crossmaglen won their 46th senior championship title on Sunday and defender James Morgan admits that this one “feels a bit sweeter” given what happened over the last two years.
The Rangers lost the last two finals to Maghery and Clann Eireann. But got their hands back on the Gerry Fegan Cup on Sunday.
“It feels a bit sweeter this time after the last two years,” said Crossmaglen’s centre half back. I don’t think anything changed in our preparation over the past three years but today we came and took what we were after.
“Previously we were sitting waiting on it and today we put our hand up. Instead of coming with our hand out we had our hand up, particularly in the second half I felt like we went and got what we were looking for.”
Cross carried an eight-point lead into the interval, but Granemore rallied at the start of the second half.
The underdogs hit four on the trot, but Stephen Kernan’s men soon found their groove and began to dominate.
“Because of Granemore’s physicality, any time we came out slow with the ball and they trapped up, they were getting us turned over.
“We needed to move the ball a bit quicker and get runners from deep. The likes of Cian and some of the boys coming on to the ball at pace opened the thing up and then we started to pull away.
“Once we started to pull away, move space opened up and then that gave us confidence going forward every time.”
Injury and illness denied Morgan a chance to shine in their earlier rounds of the championship. But the 2009 All-Ireland winning minor has improved in the last two games.
“In the first half I wasn’t delighted with my performance, you need to be going with pace and aggression from the word go.
“That gets your second wind and then you can build into it. I think that’s what I brought differently to the last game (v Maghery) and then in the second half of today.
“I’m even going to have to look at my performance to see where I can train harder and I’m going to have to lift it again for the next game.”