Armagh kingpins Crossmaglen will play Dublin’s Kilmacud Crokes in the All-Ireland club final on St Patrick’s Day after coming through their semi-finals on Saturday.
All Ireland Club SFC Semi-Final:
Crossmaglen Rangers 4-12 Dromcollogher Broadford 0-6
Dromcollogher Broadford’s dream run in the All-Ireland club championship came to a sobering halt against Crossmaglen Rangers in a one-sided semi-final at Pearse Park on Saturday afternoon.
Cross, who have won a remarkable 13 Armagh county titles in a row, showed little mercy on the Limerick champions, kicking into gear in the second half to secure a final berth against Kilmacud Crokes.
Crossmaglen led by 2-6 to 0-4 at the break, and despite playing into a stiff breeze in the second half, they managed two further goals from Tony Kernan to kill the game off as a contest.
Dromcollogher-Broadford, who had beaten Nemo Rangers in the Munster semi-final, never looked like causing another upset, especially when John Murphy and Jamie Clarke scored 1-1 apiece in the first half.
Oisin McConville chipped in with three points, while Stephen Kernan was the other Cross man on the scoresheet in the opening 35 minutes. Patrick Donnelly, Gerry McCarthy, Ray Lynch and Michael Reidy kept the underdogs in touch.
There were brief thoughts of a Dromcollogher-Broadford revival after the break when Lynch grabbed his second point of the game. However, Clarke won back possession to set up Tony Kernan, who fired home the first of his two goals.
It got worse for the Limerick men minutes later when Tony Kernan intercepted a loose pass and drove the ball past Eamonn Scollard. It all but ended the game as a contest and Cross went on to increase their lead, winning out by 18 points in the end.
All Ireland Club SFC Semi-Final:
Kilmacud Crokes 2-11 Corofin 0-11
Kilmacud Crokes set up a mouth-watering All-Ireland club final clash with Crossmaglen after a flattering six-point win over Galway champions Corofin at Mullingar on Saturday.
Mark Vaughan pitched in with 1-6 of Crokes’ total while Pat Burke also impressed with 1-2.
However, the winning margin failed to tell the true tale of what was a close contest as Corofin’s hopes were dealt a cruel blow just after the break when their inter-county full-back, Kieran Fitzgerald, was carried off with a shoulder injury.
The Galway side absorbed that blow, and playing into a stiff breeze outscored their opponents 0-6 to 0-2 over the next 17 minutes to level the game midway through the second half.
But Crokes, demonstrating the tenacity that helped them to the Dublin crown, struck back with 1-4 in seven remarkable minutes. Mark Vaughan hit 1-2 of his impressive haul in that period, while Brian Kavanagh and Burke also got in on the act to secure the win.
Crokes assumed control early on when Burke crashed home a great goal after Adrian Morrissey, the Wexford attacker, had set him up superbly.
Morrissey, back with Crokes after a two-year hiatus in Hong Kong, was causing all sorts of panic in the Corofin defence with his pace and clever use of the ball.
Vaughan was also in fine form from placed balls, his three first-half points the difference between the sides at the break after Shane Monaghan’s injury-time score for Corofin.
However, Crokes’ late burst put paid to the Galway champions’ hopes and they will meet Crossmaglen in Croke Park on March 17.