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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 November 2007, 15:28 GMT
McConville inspires Cross triumph
Oisin McConville
Oisin McConville was at his brilliant best for Crossmaglen
Oisin McConville hit a brilliant 1-6 as Crossmaglen claimed a deserved 1-9 to 1-6 win over St Gall's in Sunday's AIB Ulster Club Football final at Newry.

The sides were level 0-3 apiece after 22 minutes but Aidan Gallagher then hit Gall's goal after a slick move.

However, two superb McConville points helped Cross level by half-time.

McConville finished off a great move to hammer in Cross' goal on 35 minutes and although, Gall's got to within two after 54 minutes, the holders held on.

Former Allstar McConville hit the opening score of the game in the second minute but Gall's responded well to hit the next two scores with Karl Stewart and the lively Kevin McGourty on target.

Michael McNamee and Aaron Kernan replied with two efforts from play to restore Crossmaglen's lead but Terry O'Neill levelled matters again after a brilliant pass by Kevin McGourty, who was doing well at midfield.

606: DEBATE

St Gall's prospects looked highly promising when Gallagher hammered the ball past Paul Hearty to the net on 22 minutes after a sweeping move involving Kevin Niblock and Karl Stewart.

But crucially, Crossmaglen responded almost immediately with Aaron Kernan firing over a great point from near the right touchline.

By the interval, the sides were level with McConville firing over two points including a glorious effort a minute into injury-time.

Crossmaglen continue to boss the contest in the minutes after the break and David McKenna's storming run upfield set up McConville's ultimately decisive goal on 35 minutes.

McKenna ran at the heart of the Gall's defence after soaring to win the ball in midfield and Michael McNamee and the increasingly influential John McEntee were also involved before McConville hammered the ball past Ronan Gallagher.

Conor 'CJ' McGourty
CJ McGourty came on as a second-half substitute

St Gall's manager Paul Duffin reacted to the goal by immediately introducing CJ McGourty for Karl Stewart but another great McConville point increased Crossmaglen's lead to four on 38 minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for Gall's after the previously impressive Sean Kelly had to depart the field because of injury.

At that stage, St Gall's were beginning to lose their composure with some silly challenges handing frees to Crossmaglen.

A CJ McGourty free left a kick of the ball between the sides again on 46 minutes only for McConville to respond with another thumping free from 45 metres.

Points from CJ and Kevin McGourty gave Gall's renewed hope by leaving only two in it after 54 minutes but McConville responded by firing over another towering score a minute later.

Crossmaglen missed chances to kill off the game and they had to endure a moment of anxiety in injury-time when Kevin Niblock stormed at the centre of their defence before losing possession.

Anything other than a Crossmaglen victory would not have been a reflection of the 65 minutes of action and they celebrated their sixth provincial title heartily after the final whistle.


Ulster Intermediate Football Club Championship Final
Ballinagh 2-11 2-3 Dunloy

Ulster Junior Football Club Championship Final
Aughnamullan 2-6 2-8 Rock



SEE ALSO
Cross tenacity delights McEntee
25 Nov 07 |  Gaelic Games


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