CROSSMAGLEN ADVANCED THROUGH to the Ulster senior club football championship semi-finals this evening, but were made to work hard for their place in the last four.
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The 11-time winners hit seven of the last 10 scores in Armagh to battle past Coalisland in a quarter-final tie which saw both sides reduced to 13 men.
Rian O’Neill scored seven points for Crossmaglen, who will now face the winners of Sunday’s quarter-final between Cargin and Gweedore in the semis.
The tone for a game played with an aggressive edge was set in the early exchanges as the referee allowed a number of big challenges go unpunished, before Coalisland had Brian Toner and Eoghan Hampsey sent off in quick succession.
With a two-man advantage, Crossmaglen were unable to pull clear and having led 0-6 to 0-5 at the break, found themselves behind in the second period when Callum Cumiskey and Johnny Hanratty saw red.
But the Armagh side weren’t to be denied in front of a crowd of 7,637 at the Athletic Grounds as brothers Rian and Oisin O’Neill produced a late salvo to tip the balance in their side’s favour.
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