In The Irish News on Mar 18 1997: Fantastic Crossmaglen crowned new All-Ireland kings, while Patrician, Carrickmacross and St Pat's Dungannon claim Ulster school honours

NO CHANCE ... Crossmaglen captain Jim McConville leaves a Knockmore defender in his wake during the Armagh club’s All-Ireland Club Football final win at Croke Park

AIB All-Ireland Club Football Final in Croke Park

Crossmaglen (Armagh) ....................2-13 Knockmore (Mayo) ..........................0-11

THE dream didn’t die.

A fantastic first, Crossmaglen’s arrival as the new All-Ireland kings of club football was emphatic.

A lucky break, the nighmarish gaffe all goalkeeper’s dread, set them on their way after eight minutes.

There was no looking back, Oisin McConville scoring 1-7 as rampant Rangers crushed errorprone Knockmore with a classic performance at Croke Park.

A record championship attendance of 34,852 were treated to a terrific display of creative running football as Cross displayed an ever-tightening iron grip on the game to hit the finishing post eight points clear.

Knockmore, limited in ideas, forced for the majority of the contest to play off the back foot under frenzied pressure, gave possession away like confetti with wayward passing.

Crossmaglen enjoyed the mother of all parties, and it is a stunning victory which will live long in the memory of the parish and Armagh.


CROSSMAGLEN goalkeeper Jarlath McConville last night hailed his brother Oisin as a footballing genius – even though the burley net-minder reckoned that Donal Murtagh was man-of-the-match.

The youngest of the three footballing McConvilles earned the player-of-the-contest honour after grabbing 1-7 in Cross’s historic 2-13 to 0-11 success over Mayo champions Knockmore.

“I tell you Oisin is a genius” said the goalkeeper.

“He has done things this year that you wouldn’t think was possible. I’ve seen good players playing and in a good team Oisin will always shine.”

The Crossmaglen net-minder admitted that he had more than a tinge of sympathy for his opposite number Pat Reape.

The Knockmore goalkeeper disastrously fumbled a first-half lob from Oisin McConville into his own net.

“As a goalkeeper, my heart went out to the chap to tell you the truth, because that could have been me at the other end.’’ said Jarlath.


JOE KERNAN entered the dressing room beaming like a lighthouse, and amid the raucus whoops of victory called for quiet.

Throwing his arms around the tall, bespectacled figure he boomed:

“This man has won it all but he had to come to Cross to get his hands on one of these.”

The man was Colm O’Rourke, “one of these” was the Andy Merrigan Cup.

If O’Rourke thought that he had nothing more to achieve, a wistful grin on the former Meath star’s face bespoke a change of mind.

But for the team and people of Crossmaglen, this was the all, the everything, and it was theirs.


GLORY DAY... Crossmaglen captain Jim McConville holds aloft the AIB All-Ireland Club Trophy


Crossmaglen: Jarlath McConville; M Califf, D Murtagh, P McKeown; J Fitzpatrick, F Bellew, G McShane (0-1); J McEntee (0- 1), A Cunningham (0-2); C Short, T McEntee, O McConville (1-7); Jim McConville (capt, 1-1), G Cummiskey, C O’Neill.

Sub: M Moley (0-1) for J McEntee (55 mins).

Knockmore: P Reape; F Sweeney, C Naughton, T Bourke; G O’Hora, P Butler, J Davis; K Staunton (capt.), D Dempsey; D Sweeney (0-1), P Cawley, S Sweeney (0-1); K O’Neill (0-5), P Brogan (0-3), R Dempsey.

Subs: T Holmes for R Dempsey (half-time), H Langan for O’Hora (52 mins). Booked: P McKeown (Crossmaglen), C Naughton, K O’Neill (Knockmore).

Referee: Brian White (Wexford).

Attendance: 34,852 (new All-Ireland Club Finals record)


McLarnon Cup final at Casement Park

Patrician High School, Carrickmacross........ 0-13 St Michael’s Grammar School, Lurgan........... 1-9

PATRICIAN High School won their first ever McLarnon Cup with a one-point victory over hot favourites St Michael’s, Lurgan.

Lurgan had led all the way until seven minutes from time when wing-half-back Ray Lennon popped up with the equaliser for Carrickmacross.

And a point in the 57th minute from corner-forward Stephen Conlon was enough to give the Monaghan side an historic win - few could have begrudged this victory to a school of only 400 pupils with no football pitch or changing rooms.

Patrician High School Carrickmacross: G Sheenhan, F McMahon, P McKenna (capt), N Swimnburne, R Lennon (0-1), D Connolly, B Daly, J Kiernan (0-1), E Hoey (0-1), P Cassidy, J McDaid (0-5), P Swinburne (0-2), L Byrne, P Rafferty (0-1), S Conlon (0-2)

Subs: R O’Donnell on for P Cassidy (40min)

St Michael’s Grammer School Lurgan: A Hamill, N Tipping, M Bailey, M Lavery, J McKeaveney, R Lavery (0- 1), P Hamill, J McGeown, G Murphy, N Heaney (0-1), S Scullion (0-5), P Bailey, M Lavery (1-0), N McStravick (0-1), J Donnelly (0-1)

Subs: C McAlinden for P Bailey (55min) Referee: G O Loinsigh


MacRory Cup Final at Casement Park 

St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon.......... 2-9 St Patrick’s Grammar School, Armagh... 1-10

MARTIN EARLY’S superb individual scoring spree of 1-7 helped St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon to land their second MacRory Cup title against 13-man St Patrick's Grammar School,  Armagh yesterday.

This was a game which, will be remembered for all the right reasons – despite two sendings-off in the second half.

Played at a frenetic pace, the game glistened with some superb fielding and free-taking as well as the ability of players on both sides to take scores from play.

Dungannon led from start to finish and when Armagh threatened to put on the pressure with several spirited comebacks, the Tyrone side had the ability to step up a gear and pull ahead again.

Although Dungannon’s Brian McGuigan shone in the semi-final win over St Pat’s Maghera, it was Early who ran the show yesterday.

His fisted goal after only two minutes gave the Tyrone side a dream start and his relentless accuracy with the boot was a joy to watch, earning him the Iggy Jones Memorial Trophy for the man of the match. Things momentarily threatened to boil over midway through the second half when a nasty edge cre

St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon: S Donaghy, C Gourley, P McGurk (capt), C O’Hagan, J McGeough, C McGeown, G Hetherington, C Martin, J Quinn, D Somervile, B McGuigan (0-1), K Coary (0-1), M Rea, R Thornton (1-0), M Early (1-7)

Subs: B Early for Hetherington (47min), N Quinn for M Rea (51min), W Lyons for McGeough (59min)

St Patrick’s GS, Armagh: R Kelly, K McElvanna, L Conlon, T Dougan, D McAuley, C McAnallen, P Jordan, J Toal (0-1), D Turley, M Donnelly (0-1), P McKeever (0-3), P McCormack (1- 0), S Kelly, B Gordon, P Holmes (0-5)

Subs: M Rush for Turley (48min) Referee: Pat McEneaney (Monaghan)

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