AIB Ulster GAA Football Championship Semi-Finals: Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh) v Errigal Ciarán (Tyrone), St Tiernach’s Park, Clones, 2.15pm
Crossmaglen are aiming to become the first side in the history of club football to record three All-Ireland club titles in-a-row and, they way in which they went about dismantling Donegal’s St. Eunan’s side last Sunday, will cause this weekend’s opponents Errigal Ciarán some sleepless nights ahead of Sunday’s Ulster semi-final.
The Tyrone champions came through what is a hugely competitive Tyrone club championship and the two Harte’s, Davy and Mickey, are central to the teams cause. They overcame Dromore in the county final for their first county title in six years and had 17 points to spare over Cavan champions Mullahoran in an Ulster club preliminary round.
The faced a tough task in the quarter-final, in Derry kinpings Ballinaderry, but came through with a point to spare. Errigal’s star in the making Tommy Canavan – yes, a nephew of the great Peter – hit a late point from a free after Ballinaderry came from five points down to almost snatch a draw. The young Canavan hit five points in total for his team to see them through to the next round and he’s sure to make his mark against Crossmaglen.
Cross’ fired three goals past St Eunan’s to castaway any doubt the Armagh men would struggle against the Donegal champions who battled hard but, ultimately, could not match Crossmaglens ruthlessness in front of the posts.
The nine-times Ulster champions will, as they always do, take some stopping. Their hunger, commitment and drive for success is as fresh as its always been.
They have never beaten Errigal – the Tyrone men are the only Ulster side to hold an unbeaten record against Rangers – but are raging hot favourites to make yet another Ulster final appearance.