Crossmaglen primed for provincial campaign

Crossmaglen are back competing in the Ulster Championship and they kickstart their campaign on Saturday evening.

Stephen Kernan’s men take on Monaghan champions Ballybay, with a quarter final spot against All-Ireland champions Kilcoo the prize for the winner.

No team has won as many Ulster titles as Crossmaglen, who sit top of the roll of honour with 11. But they haven’t featured in the competition since 2019.

That year they were defeated by then Monaghan winners Clontibret, but it’s a new Cross team this time around.

A huge number of their players picked up their first Armagh Senior Championship medal just two weeks ago.

Photo Credit: John Merry


The youngsters have been hugely influential this season in guiding the Rangers back to the promised land.

Ronan Fitzpatrick, Caolan Finnegan and Thomas Duffy all had outstanding campaign. The likes of Miceal Murray, Tony O’Callaghan and Dara O’Callaghan all won their first as well.

A few of the regulars like Aaron Kernan, Stephen Morris and Callum Cumiskey have been in super form as well.

They now face a Ballybay side, led by Kilcoo native Jerome Johnston, who claimed their first championship title in ten years.

Photo Credit: John Merry


Johnston’s side boast a huge amount of intercounty talent and will be a tough nut to crack for Crossmaglen.

The Wylie brothers, Drew and Ryan, are the main men in defence. They’ll likely hope to snuff out the scoring threat of Jamie Clarke and Cian McConville.

Dessie Ward gave a man of the match performance against Scotstown in the Monaghan decider, scoring 1-3.

But will he be detailed to derail Crossmaglen’s most inspirational figure Rian O’Neill around the centre of the park?

Photo Credit: Richiespics

Up front, Monaghan legend Paul Finlay is still doing the business at 39 years of age, while Thomas Kerr along the McGuinness brothers Chris and Shane offer plenty of help.

Crossmaglen hit form at the right time and played some scintillating football to claim their 46th Armagh crown.

They’ll carry that confidence and momentum into Saturday night and will be targeting their first win in Ulster since 2018.

Photo Credit: John Merry