Ballinderry aiming to upset Crossmaglen in Ulster

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Ballinderry aiming to upset Crossmaglen in Ulster

Post  LeeRain on Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:06 am

Jamie Clarke and Enda Muldoon Jamie Clarke battles with Enda Muldoon in the 2008 Ulster Club Final

Crossmaglen's semi-final clash with Ballinderry is the pick of Sunday's games in the Ulster Club Football Championship (1430 GMT).

All-Ireland champions Cross will be strong favourites but Ballinderry will still fancy their chances of causing an upset at Casement Park.

Crossmaglen will be without the injured Paul Kernan.

In the quarter-finals, Roslea face Burren at Enniskillen with Glenswilly tackling Latton at Ballybofey.

Crossmaglen looked in ominously impressive form as they easily accounted for 2010 All-Ireland champions St Gall's in the last round.

The Cross management played down their performance after the game but the reality is that they produced impressive football to account for the team that most pundits would regard as their main rivals in Ulster.

Cross won 3-9 to 2-5 but the margin seriously flattered the Antrim champions.

Cross have won all their Ulster battles with Ballinderry over the past decade but the games have invariably been tight affairs.

The Armagh side edged a 0-5 to 0-3 victory in the 2006 decider amid terrible weather conditions and needed a replay to overcome the Shamrocks in the final two years later.

However, the arrivals of talents such as Jamie Clarke, Aaron Cunningham and Francis Hanratty means that Cross are probably an even more fluent side than the Rangers outfit that picked up All-Ireland titles during the noughties.
Michael Murphy battles with Stephen Black in the Donegal SFC final Michael Murphy has been in brilliant form for Glenswilly in recent matches

Crossmaglen now seem capable of racking up the big scores safe in the knowledge that they can revert to a more physical brand of football when required.

Ballinderry will rely on experienced men Kevin McGuckin, Enda Muldoon, Conleith Gilligan and Raymond Wilkinson while Aaron Devlin, Michael McIver and Ryan Bell also played crucial roles in the narrow win over Dromore.

Brendan McKeown could replace injured Paul Kernan in the Cross defence while Stephen Kernan may switch to take over from the concussed Johnny Hanratty in midfield.

The key to Sunday's clash at Ballybofey will be whether Latton are able to contain Glenswilly and Donegal star Michael Murphy.

Murphy starred in the Donegal final win over St Michael's and then hit the last-minute penalty in the Ulster first round win over Cavan Gaels.

Latton will include Monaghan players past and present Owen Lennon, Bernard O'Brien and Stephen Fitzpatrick.

Burren will be strong favourites to advance from their quarter-final against Roslea at Brewster Park.

Donal O'Hare hit 1-5 for Burren in the comfortable Down Final win over Clonduff while other influential players for the Mourne outfit are Kevin McKernan and Gerard McCartan.

Roslea's hopes haven't been helped by the news that Fermanagh player James Sherry will miss out after suffering a facial injury in the county league final against Devenish last weekend.

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