In The Irish News on Dec 7 1996: What went wrong for Crossmaglen against Bellaghy?

Joe Kernan was Crossmaglen manager in 1996 

MORE than one Armagh person has ventured the opinion that Crossmaglen didn’t perform to anything near their potential in last weekend’s drawn AIB Ulster Club final against Bellaghy.

The theory goes on to expound how the naive young Cross' bucks got sucked into a mass midfield mire by the wily south Derry men and furthers that Joe Kernan won’t let it happen again.

The piece de resistance from this pre-replay analysis is the contention that Oisin McConville will not have as quiet an outing second time round. It’s all eminently plausible stuff - particularly if you a Crossmaglen supporter.

Certainly, Bellaghy will be happy enough that most of post-draw analysis seems to have been concentrated on “what went wrong” for Crossmaglen.


A RESILIENT show gave Dunfanaghy’s Joe Harkin the National Intermediate Light Welter Championship title.

Trailing 3-0 going into the third round, Harkin fought his way back to a 7-5 triumph but his recovery was more due to a change in the tactics of his opponent Paul McCloskey.

In a more disciplined fashion McCloskey kept punching the seemingly slack defence of Harkin in the opening two rounds but it was only in the closing two that he walked his way into Harkin’s barrage of blows and consequently threw away the honours.


THE Tyrone players have turned down a dream sunshine trip to Tenerife so that they can concentrate on preparing for the defence of their Ulster Championship crown.

The squad was due to fly to the idyllic island on January 10, but instead they will be slogging it out on a training pitch somewhere in mid-Ulster.

The holiday had been arranged as a reward for the side’s Ulster triumph this year, but now the trip has been cancelled. It emerged yesterday that the decision was taken purely by the players, who felt their priorities must lie with a successful championship run.


THERE has been some confusion over the make-up of the Fermanagh team in the run-up to tomorrow’s All-Ireland B championship final replay against Longford (Carrick-on-Shannon 2pm). Local papers in the county carried reports during the week that the experienced pair Tommy Callaghan and Stephen Maguire were in the first 15.

However, officials have confirmed that Paul Courtney and Martin Green will start in the corner-back and corner-forward positions. Fermanagh must be odds on favourites to win tomorrow. They played well below what they’re capable of in the drawn game three weeks ago and still managed to get a draw.


DAVID Campese plays his last game in an Australian shirt against the Barbarians today and exits from the big time with major tributes from Rob Andrew, the player he criticised most in his controversial career.

Campo, with 101 caps and 64 tries, tagged England “boring” as, with Andrew at the heart, they ground their way to three Grand Slams and a World Cup final.

“Campo has got to be rated one of the all-time greats. His skills put him up there with three or four in modern times,” said Andrew.


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