Back in the day - Rugged Crossmaglen win through to Croke decider - The Irish News, Feb 22 1999
McEntee goal seals return to Croke Park for Rangers
AIB All-Ireland Club Football Championship semi-finals: Crossmaglen 1-10 Eire Og 1-5; Ballina (Mayo) 0-8 Doonbeg (Clare) 0-4
AFTER a difficult first half, played out in ferocious conditions, Ulster’s top guns were looking for fresh, invigorating and inspiring ammunition to meet the potential onslaught from Eire Og on returning from the half-time break.
Crossmaglen’s challengers looked to have much to be encouraged about at the break.
They played good football, harassed and pressurized, should have had much more than a goal and a point to show for their efforts, while a saving point for Rangers was perhaps the two crucial quick free responses by McConville after Turley’s goal.
The pressure was intense, the atmosphere tremendous, the match a thriller as both sides went hell for leather at each other.
Then arrived Crossmaglen’s biggest hit of the day.
A superb break from midfield, John McEntee suddenly found himself in behind the opposition defence with only the goalkeeper to beat after a smart one-two with Cahal Short, and on the end of a smart pass from his brother Tony.
McEntee, with keeper John Kearns dangerously far off his line, lashed the ball as he fell backwards over the head of Kearns to the roof of the net.
It was a killer. Crossmaglen had gained the break they needed.
Crossmaglen now face first time finalists Ballina Stephenites for the All-Ireland title on March 17
Crossmaglen: P Hearty; M Caliss, D Murtagh, C Dooley; F Shields, F Bellow, J Fitzpatrick; J McEntee (Apt), 1-1, A Cunningham (0-4 all from frees); C Short, T McEntee, O McConville (0-5), (0-4 from frees); J McConville, G Cumiskey, C O’Neill.
Subs: G McShane (for Dooley) M Moley (for Comiskey).
Eire Og: J Kearns; B Hayden, A Corcoran, J Dooley; J Murphy (Capt), P Doyle, A Callinan; T Nolan (0-1), J Morrissey, B Carbery (0-1), G Ware, K Haughney, W Quinlan (0-1), L Turley (1-0), A Keating.
Subs: P Kingston (for B Hayden), J Hayden (0-2) (for Keating), H Brennan (for Nolan)
Referee: Michael Curley, Galway.
AIB man of the match: Oisin McConville
NHL Div 2: Wicklow 2-9 Derry 1-11
Last-gasp Wicklow snatch victory from luckless Derry men
AS Derry made their long journey home from Arklow last night, they must have felt “robbed”.
Wicklow snatched victory in this Division 2 clash by a point, scored with the last puck of the game.
Drama unfolded, as deep into injury time Wicklow were awarded a 65.
McGrath pointed and Wicklow had the two points.
A draw would have been a fairer result, Derry deserved at least a share of the spoils.
However, with three or four regulars missing they can certainly take heart from their performance, especially during the second half.
Derry: K Stevenson, A Hickey, N Mullan, B Ward, D Cassidy, B Kelly, C McCloskey, H Mullan (0-2), E McKeever, Gregory Biggs (0-2), D Doherty (0-1), Gary Biggs, G McGonagle (1-6), D Kelly.
Subs: D Kelly for A Hickey (20 mins), J Young for D Kelly (42 mins), D McCloskey for D Kearney (55 mins).
Wicklow: M Neary , L Byrne, D Moran, G Byrne, MJ O’Neill, MA O’Neill, S O’Loughlin, C O’Toole, T McGrath (0- 1), M Moran (0-2), D Curran, G Birmingham (0-2), T Collins (0-1), J O’Neill (1-2), S Coady (1-1).
Subs: J Berkery for MA O’Neill (10 mins), J Keogh for J Berkery (55 mins).
Referee: L Doyle (Wexford)