Familiar Face

December 10, 2012

When lifting the Seamus McFerran Cup for the third year in a row Crossmaglen Rangers captain David McKenna said “it was two down and one to go” as the Armagh champions remained on course for another piece of history, their quest for a third All-Ireland club title in a row.

There is a familiar face in the form of Connacht champions St Brigid’s providing the semi-final opposition on either Feb 12 or 13. The Roscommon champions, who themselves were completing a three in –a—row of Connacht titles, will be facing the defending champions for the third time in this competition.

In 2007 at a similar stage as their upcoming meeting Rangers triumphed in Mullingar, 1-11 to 0-11, with Mickey McNamee scoring the all important goal which separated the sides at the long whistle. In the March 17 2011 All-Ireland final, a goal once again was the winning margin for Cross, 2-11 to 1-11, with Jamie Clarke and Aaron Cunningham goaling for Cross and Eamon Sheehy replying for St Brigid’s. With only a kick of the ball between the sides on their last two meetings, the champions know what a hard task awaits them in a couple of months.

In the other semi-final newly crowned Ballymun Kickhams, 0-11 to 0-8 winner over Portlaois, saw the Dublin side capture their first Provincial title at the expense of the provinces most successful club who have 7 titles to their credit. Ballymun will have to wait a week to see who they will face in their first semi as Munster champions Dr Crokes are in London next weekend taking on Tir Chonaill Gaels. It would be one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition were the Kerry outfit to croak it at Ruislip.

So, two of the remaining five have been there and worn the t-shirt. The bookies have it that on the day Hawkeye technology is to be unveiled in Croke Park it will be the duo that have donned the aforementioned  Dr Crokes and Crossmaglen Rangers  who will contest the final.