Paul McGirr trophy for Crossmaglen Rangers

December 2, 2012

Paul McGirr Ulster 16 Club Championship Tournament Crossmaglen Rangers 1-18 Watty Glen, Maghera 1-5

Crossmaglen Rangers captured their first ever Paul McGirr Ulster U16 title with an emphatic 1-18 to 1-5 win over Watty Glen, Maghera, the Derry champions and in doing so became the first Armagh club to lift the trophy which is in its eleventh year. Played in the memory of former Dromore and Tyrone minor Paul Mc Girr who died so tragically playing for Tyrone, all proceeds from the tournament go to ‘The Spirit of Paul Mc Girr’ Fund which does such wonderful work for the needy in Lusaka, Zambia.

Having accounted for the holders St Enda’s, Glengormley 1-12 to 0-4 in the semi-final Crossmaglen faced the title favourites 2010 champions Watty Glen, Maghera, led by Conor Glass, who were expected to provide a much sterner test for this well drilled Rangers team under the guidance of Cathal Short and Tim Gregory.

From the outset the eventual Man of the Match Oisin O’Neill stamped his authority on proceedings firing over the opening score from a free. Ace attacker Michael McCabe added two more minors before Glass got the first of his three opening half points 15 minutes in. O’Neill and McCabe extended the Cross lead before Eoin Keenan was brought down for a penalty. Oisin stepped up to convert with aplomb to help the Armagh champions into a 1-9 to 0-4 half-time lead. Rangers began the second half like the first with Aaron Smilie and Ruari O’Neill adding to the scoreboard with points. The wilting Derry champions were handed a lifeline as Oran Magill availed of a rare defensive lapse to poach a goal. Cross responded instantly as McCabe and Rian O’Neill with 2 points apiece quashed any thoughts of a comeback.Glen were denied another way back into the match when Rangers goalkeeper Jamie McEvoy superbly saved a penalty kick, With Johnny McKeever and Stephen Morris tormenting the Glen defence the all-round cohesion and fluency of Crossmaglen Rangers proved too much for the Maghera boys.