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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 20 April, 2018


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Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of Saturday’s second All-Ireland club semi-final.

Throw-in between Crossmaglen and Castlebar has been pushed back to 6.30pm. Why? Because of the brilliant drama unfolding between Clonmel and Ballyboden who have just finished at 0-10 apiece.

Extra time is being played now in Portlaoise – follow the action here now >

What an absolute belter of a semi-final — and after all of that, Ballyboden have booked their place in the All-Ireland club senior football final.

They’ll play either Castlebar Mitchels or Crossmaglen Rangers in the decider on St Patrick’s Day.

LATE CHANGE: Stephen Keane starts at wing-forward for Castlebar in place of Aidan Walsh.

3 mins — Crossmaglen 0-2 Castlebar: Cross have absolutely bolted from the traps here and Jamie Clarke shakes Tom Cunniffe with a twist and a turn before pointing.

It’s all over in Portlaoise where Ballyboden have booked their place in the final with a five-point over Clonmel in a stonking semi-final.

Will it be Crossmaglen or Castlebar who join them on St Patrick’s Day? The national anthems are being played in Breffni Park and we’re just about ready to go.

1 mins — Crossmaglen 0-1 Castlebar 0-0: Stephen Kernan opens the scoring for the Ulster men.

7 mins — Crossmaglen 0-3 Castlebar 0-1: It has been an absolutely rip-roaring start to this game and Castlebar are on the mark, Neil Douglas pointing a short free.

4 mins — Crossmaglen 0-3 Castlebar 0-0: Richie Feeney fouls James Morgan and Tony Kernan points the free.

5 mins — LET OFF FOR CASTLEBAR! Tom Cunniffe slips as he goes to contest a ball against Jamie Clarke, but Clarke drags his shot just wide of Rory Byrne’s post.

9 mins – My word! Eoghan O’Reilly stands over a straightforward 21m free but somehow manages to drag it wide. Wow.

8 mins — Crossmaglen 0-4 Castlebar 0-1: Now it’s Oisin O’Neill’s chance to get in on the act. Cross have been a joy to watch in these opening eight minutes.

13 mins – Cross are putting serious pressure on the ball and although Castlebar do well to work the ball through the hands and make space for Ger McDonagh to shoot, his effort drops short into Paul Hearty’s hands.

14 mins — Crossmaglen 0-4 Castlebar 0-2: Paddy Durkan comes up from the back to point for Castlebar. For all of Cross’s early dominance, they’re only two points up.

18 mins — Crossmaglen 0-5 Castlebar 0-2: Beautiful play by Crossmaglen and it ends in a score. Jamie Clarke fields the ball perfectly and pops it off to Callum Cumiskey who points.

19 mins — Crossmaglen 0-6 Castlebar 0-2: Jamie Clarke looks to have a yard or two on a hesitant Tom Cunniffe at the moment and again, he has space to get his shot off and point.

16 mins – Tony Kernan’s effort drops short and though Jamie Clarke does remarkably well to retrieve it before it goes out of play, and then to retain possession, he’s penalised for overcarrying.

17 mins – Aaron Kernan tries to fizz over a score but it tails away to the right and wide.

20 mins — Crossmaglen 0-7 Castlebar 0-2: A rapid treble from Cross as they stretch into a five-point lead, Tony Kernan pointing a simple free.

22 mins — Crossmaglen 0-7 Castlebar 0-3: Castlebar win a free in front of the posts and it gives Neil Douglas an easy opportunity to cut their deficit to four.

24 mins — Crossmaglen 0-8 Castlebar 0-3: Jamie Clarke is taking Tom Cunniffe to the cleaners in this first half. He adds another for Cross.

25 mins — GREAT CHANCE! So close for Castlebar, and a great save from Paul Hearty. Neil Douglas slips as he claims possession but does really well to bounce back to his feet and hit the target. Hearty dives to his left and gets a strong hand to push it away.

28 mins — Crossmaglen 0-8 Castlebar 0-4: Douglas points another free and, considering how impressive Cross have been in this first half, Castlebar aren’t all that far behind.

30 mins – Douglas does really well to carve out a chance when it looks like a lost cause for Castlebar, but he rattles the right upright with his shot and it bounces away harmlessly.

30 mins – Blocked on the line! I think it was Ray O’Malley who was covering across to deny Johnny Murtagh Cross’s first goal. Crucial!

30+1 mins — Crossmaglen 0-8 Castlebar 0-5: Paddy Durkan cuts the gap to three and Castlebar are still very much in this game.

SECOND HALF: We’re back underway. Let’s hope the second half is as entertaining as the first.

33 mins — Crossmaglen 0-8 Castlebar 0-7: Perfect start for Castlebar as they open with two quick scores. Paddy Durkan gets another on the mark, and then Neil Lydon adds another to cut the deficit to the minimum.

34 mins — Crossmaglen 0-8 Castlebar 0-8: ALL SQUARE! Danny Kirby levels it up for Castlebar.

35 mins — BLACK CARD! Paul McKeown drags down Stephen Keane and he’s shown the line. Stephen Finnegan is on to replace him.

39 mins — Crossmaglen 0-9 Castlebar 0-9: All square again as Neil Douglas chips over a free.

37 mins — Crossmaglen 0-9 Castlebar 0-8: Tony Kernan runs in to the traffic and unselfishly sets up brother Stephen who taps over to send Cross back into the lead.

42 mins – Chance for Johnny Hanratty but he misses wide to the left. A couple of moments later, Oisin O’Neill misses to the right.

41 mins — Crossmaglen 0-10 Castlebar 0-10: Real end-to-end stuff now in Breffni Park as Cross stick their noses back in front but Castlebar respond immediately through Barry Moran.

44 mins — Crossmaglen 0-11 Castlebar 0-10: O’Neill makes amends immediately by swinging over a fine free from all of 40 metres.

45 mins – Ger McDonagh is shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Aaron Kernan. It sounds like the Crossmaglen crowd are expecting a black card, but for my money, Eddie Kinsella has got that one right.

Kernan dusts himself off… and misses the free.

52 mins — Castlebar 0-12 Crossmaglen 0-11: Martin Aherne brings down Cian Costello in front of the posts. It’s easy for Neil Douglas and for the first time this evening, Castlebar lead!

50 mins – Crossmaglen 0-11 Castlebar 0-11: Play is brought back for a Castlebar free which is just as well because Donie Newcombe’s shot was nowhere near the target.

Douglas points and we’re all square again. Are we heading for more extra time?

56 mins — Castlebar 0-12 Crossmaglen 0-12: Ray O’Malley tries to reach in and slap the ball away from Stephen Kernan, but only succeeds in giving away a free. Aaron Kernan points — ALL SQUARE AGAIN.

57 mins – Tony Kernan tries to shoot from distance on the run but it drops short and Rory Byrne plucks it from underneath his crossbar. Less than three to play.

54 mins — Oisin O’Neill hurries his shot and it’s wide. This has been an absolutely belting game of football and with just over five minutes left, it looks like we’re going to get a finish to match. Strap in.

58 mins — Castlebar 0-13 Crossmaglen 0-12: CASTLEBAR LEAD! The ball breaks to Barry Moran and he points. Just over two left.

60+1 mins – Neil Douglas has a chance to put Castlebar two up but Paul Hearty reaches up above his crossbar and does just enough to stop it from going over.

Douglas shown a black card. 90 seconds to play…

59 mins – Paul Hughes bursts forward from the back to try to make himself the Crossmaglen hero but his shot is wide. Time is running out…

60 mins – There will be three additional minutes…

60+5 mins – Stephen Kernan takes the ball into contact and it’s turned over. Is that Cross’s last chance?

Clash of heads between Ger McDonagh and Callum Cumiskey and there’s going to be even more additional time at the end of this once the players have been treated.

60+4 mins – Cross have the ball…

Castlebar wing-back Paddy Durkan is the man of the match — they’re off to Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day!

60+6 mins – It’s all boiling over in front of the dugouts. Will there be time for a last Cross attack once order is restored?

60+6 mins: Cross thump it long… but Castlebar come away with it and clear!

So there you have it — it will be Dublin v Mayo in the All-Ireland club senior football final. Ballyboden St Enda’s v Castlebar Mitchels on St Patrick’s Day in Croke Park: save the date.

About the author:

Niall Kelly