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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 April 2007, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
Drama as Cross win fourth title
Skipper Oisin McConville holds the Andy Merrigan Cup aloft after Crossmaglen's win at Portlaoise
Skipper Oisin McConville holds aloft the Andy Merrigan Cup
Crossmaglen Rangers won the All-Ireland club title for the fourth time but controversy surrounded their five-point win over Dr Croke's at Portlaoise.

With the sides level in the second half, Cross half-forward John McEntee was allowed to stay on the pitch despite getting two yellow cards.

Cross won the match 0-13 to 1-5 with star farward Oisin McConville landing six points.

Dr Croke's have indicated they will not be appealing the outcome of the game.

Crossmaglen raced into a three-point lead inside the opening three minutes with John Murtagh, McConville and Martin Ahern on target.

But Dr Croke's hit back with five unanswered points, three scored by Colm Coooper and the other two from Kieran O'Leary.

Rangers responded with Aaron Kernan converting a free and then his brother Stephen, an early replacement for the injured Michael McNamee, landed the levelling score from play.

Two more frees from McConville put the Armagh club seven points to five up at half-time.

Aaron Kernan got the first point of the second period with a fine score from play.

Dr Croke's, now three down, took over to enjoy a spell of domination. They dramatically equalised when Cooper set up Maloney to net from close-range.

The Kerry side then got a penalty as Maloney was bundled over but Cooper's kick was saved by keeper Paul Hearty.

There was yet more drama as John McEntee was booked but the referee did not realise it was a second yellow and failed to dismiss the Rangers half-forward.

McConville then stretched Crossmaglen's lead but the Ulster side were reduced to 14 men when John Donaldson's foul on Eoin Brosnan brought him his second yellow card.

Dr Croke's then lost a man as Ambrose O'Donovan picked up his second yellow of the afternoon.

Frees from Aaron Kernan and Oisin McConville (2) saw Crossmaglen extend their advantage to five points but there could well be an inquiry into McEntee's two yellow cards.

  • Crossmaglen captain Oisin McConville:

    "It is an unbelievable feeling. We thought we might not get back here and a lot of hard work has gone into doing it.

    "We played well in that we were tough in the tackle and were a bit tighter on them and we took our chances when they came our way.

    "Big Hearty pulled off a save, which he does, and the rest is history.

    "We left Croke Park after the first match feeling we were better than Dr Croke's. We knew if we performed we would get there."



    SEE ALSO
    Murtagh expects result to stand
    01 Apr 07 |  Gaelic Games
    All-Ireland club final photos
    01 Apr 07 |  Photo Galleries


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