Ogs and Cross triumph
10 September 2007
Armagh SFC semi-finals
By Joe McManus
Pearse Og 0-10 Maghery1-6
Pearse Og dominated for long periods and were never headed, but this rather mediocre semi-final tie at Davitt Park, Lurgan on Saturday evening went right to the wire. The city side were the better footballing outfit, but Maghery had the star man in tall midfielder James Lavery who played the shirt off his back.
Pearse Og introduced their Allstar Ronan Clarke early in the second half, but it was his younger brother, Sean, who made the greater impact when he was sprang from the bench.
Maghery, who failed to score for almost 40 minutes, will rue a first half penalty miss, Conor Forker’s 12th minute effort rising over the bar and Stefan Forker right at the death, missed a free which would have earned a replay. But it was a fortuitous goal 11 minutes into the second half that threw the Lough Shoremen a lifeline.
A long range shot from Eamon Robinson was held by ’keeper Ciaran McKinney who was adjudged by the umpire to have stepped over the line.
The goal opened up twice in first half for Ogs’ full-forward Sean Moore, but all he could manage was a point. Ogs consolidated their 0-4 to 0-2 interval lead with points from the impressive Gregory Loughran and Pauric Duffy (free) and, entering the final quarter, were 0-8 to 1-2 in control. They had the knack of negating a Maghery score with a rapid response.
However, the vanquished had the best of closing 10 minutes, excellent scores from play by David Lavery, substitute Eamon Cusack and James Lavery (0-2) making it a one-point game.
Pearse Og: C Rafferty (0-1), G Loughran (0-3, two frees), B Gordon (0-2), S Moore (0-2), Pauric Duffy (0-2, both frees).
Maghery: S Cusack (0-1), J Lavery (0-2), E Robinson (1-0), D Lavery (0-1), C Forker (0-1), Eamon Cusack (0-1)
Crossmaglen R 2-16 C’cruppin 1-10
All-Ireland champions Crossmaglen had it put up to them for three quarters of this hard hitting absorbing tie at Silverbridge yesterday evening. But, like a prize racehorse, their sprint to the line was awesome.
Peter Loughran scored all but three points of the losers’ total. His goal just before the interval had the underdogs 1-5 to 0-6 in the lead, yet it was the champions who went in ahead, substitute Johnny Murtagh’s dash along the side line setting up a cracking goal for John McEntee leaving it 1-7 to 1-5 at the break.
Early points were traded by the brilliant Loughran and Oisin McConville on the resumption and, by the 42nd minute, it was still up for grabs after a James Loughran point made it 1-10 to 1-8. But the final quarter belonged to Crossmaglen. Points from John McEntee, Murtagh and Stephen Clarke pushed them 1-13 to 1-8 ahead and when sub Cathal Short rattled home their second goal, the game was up.
Points from Aaron Kernan (free), Murtagh and Kyle Carragher opened up a 10-point gap. On the blow, Peter Loughran rounded it off with another stylish point.
“We conceded 1-10 and this is something we will have to look at. But I knew we had the quality players to finish and they certainly did the job”.
Crossmaglen Rangers: A Kernan (0-2, 1 free); B McKeown (0-1); S Clarke (0-1); M McNamee (0-1); J McEntee (1-2); R Kelly (0-2); O McConville (0-4, 0-3 frees), J Murtagh (0-2), C Short (1-0), K Carragher (0-1).
Carrickcruppin: J Loughran (0-1); P Keenan (0-2); P Loughran (1-7, 0-3 frees);