A POWERFUL display of slick football saw Glen clinch a three-in-a-row of Ulster titles at Creggan on Saturday afternoon.
With Crossmaglen building up an early head of steam in the previous rounds, a strong start was an important factor in Glen’s success.
The Derry champions went in 0-7 to 0-6 ahead at half-time but such was their dominance, Glen should have been further ahead.
Livewire attacker Tiarnan Flanagan had an early goal attempt saved by full-back Shane Farrelly and blazed over the bar after nine minutes with a goal for the taking. Glen were rampant and were awarded a 10th minute penalty which saw Crossmaglen ‘keeper black-carded.
Replacement ‘keeper Jamie McEvoy’s first involvement was to save Conor Convery’s penalty. For the remainder of the half it was point for point. Rian O’Neill, Miceal McCabe were on target for Cross. Danny Tallon and two Conor Convery points put Glen ahead at half time.
With Rian O’Neill at full forward, Crossmaglen took a more direct approach to the second half. Rory O’Connor hammered home a goal in the second minute to put Cross ahead.
Glen didn’t panic and Danny Tallon hit back instantly with a point. In the fifth minute Jack Doherty’s long ball was caught by Tallon who held off his marker and found the corner of the net.
With Tallon and Flanagan in fine form, Glen began to take control again. Midway through the half Tallon cut in along the endline and was fouled and Glen were awarded their second penalty of the game. Tallon stepped forward to drill this kick to the back of the net.
Five minutes later Crossmaglen got back into contention, with Rory O’Connor powering clear of the cover to crack home a second goal and with 10 minutes to go, Cross trailed by two points.
In the closing stages Crossmaglen bombarded the Glen defence with long ball and missed six chances in a row that could have changed the game. Still the O’Neill brothers – Rian and Oisin, grabbed two scores to set up a grandstand finish, 2-12 to 2-11 with a minute to go.
Cathal Mulholland made a vital late interception, broke through the tackles, and kicked the ball forward to Conor Convery who was fouled. Stevie O’Hara notched over a close range free to clinch the title.
Glen: Callum Mullan-Young, Tommy Mullan, Oisin Hegarty, Oran McGill, Aidan Hughes (0-1), Cathal Mulholland, Declan McCusker, Conor McDevitt, Jack Doherty, Cahir McCabe, Conor Convery (0-3, 1f), Danny Tallon (2-2, 1 pen), Conal Darragh, Tiarnan Flanagan, Paul Gunning (0-4, 3f).
Subs: Stevie O’Hara (0-2, 1f) for C Darragh (34), Conal Darragh for P Gunning (58).
Crossmaglen: Tiernan McConville, Aaron Smylie, Shane Farrelly, Johnny McKeever, Aidan Rushe, Paudie Stuttard, Stephen Morris, Rian O’Neill (0-3, 1 ‘45’), Oisin O’Neill (0-3). Daniel Cunningham, Cathal McNamee, Callum Kieran, Miceal McCabe (0-3, 2f), Coilin O’Connor, Rory O’Connor (2-1).
Subs: Jamie McEvoy for T McConville (11), Shane McConville for C McNamee (HT), Tomas Hughes for D Cunningham (38), Cormac Donnelly for C Kieran (56).
Full coverage in Tuesday's County Derry Post.
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