St Gall's 2-5 3-9 Crossmaglen

Crossmaglen dominated the clash of the last two All-Ireland kingpins in Sunday's Ulster Club SFC tie.

Jamie Clarke's goal helped Cross lead 1-2 to 0-0 and the robust and niggly nature of the game didn't deflect Cross as they led 1-5 to 0-2 at half-time.

Cross hit two goals straight after the restart from Aaron Cunningham and an Oisin McConville penalty.

Michael Pollock and Karl Stewart struck Gall's goals but a revival was never on and CJ McGourty was sent off late on.

The suspicion that the game could easily boil over after the controversy of last year's clash was borne out early on as Crossmaglen duo Paul McKeown and James Morgan plus St Gall's Kevin Niblock were all booked in the opening two minutes.

Off-the-ball stuff was happening all over the pitch and referee Joe McQuillan - whose appointment to the game had annoyed St Gall's manager Lenny Harbinson - was having his hands full.

Clarke's goal was the opening score as he superbly finished soccer style after rounding Gall's keeper Ronan Gallagher.

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Jamie Clarke expresses his delight after Crossmaglen's victory

Further David McKenna and Tony Kernan points extended Crossmaglen's lead before CJ McGourty notched St Gall's first score in the 19th minute.

Cross hit three of the remaining four first-half scores as they led by six at the break - just as they had at Newry 12 months ago.

By half-time, nine yellow cards had been handed out while Crossmaglen physio Gerard Nolan had even been ordered to the stands at one points as a number of mentors and other backroom staff got needlessly involved.

Cross had lost defender Paul Kernan because of a shoulder injury by that stage while Johnny Hanratty also had to be carried off because of suspected concussion in the second half.

Any slim prospect of a Gall's comeback vanished within two minutes of the restart as both Cunningham and sub McConville goaled.

The brilliant Clarke beat three challenges to set up Cunningham for his goal while McConville himself earned the penalty which he stroked past Gallagher.

At 12 points down, St Gall's were in danger of being routed but they outscored their opponents 2-3 to 0-4 during the remainder of the contest although Cross knew that they were already in the next round.

Darren O'Hare's lay-off set up Pollock for his goal while Stewart's strike cut Crossmaglen's lead to 3-7 to 2-3.

But a comeback was never on and a highly unsatisfactory day for St Gall's came to its inevitable conclusion as CJ McGourty was dismissed in injury-time after getting two yellow cards in as many minutes.

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