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Breffni Park to host Garrycastle v Cross' rematch

Story by Kevin O'Neill

Wednesday, 21st March, 2012 5:33pm

Breffni Park to host Garrycastle v Cross' rematch

KINGSPAN Breffni Park in Cavan has been officially announced as the venue for Garrycastle's AIB All-Ireland Club SFC final replay against Crossmaglen Rangers.

The replay is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 31 (5pm). Extra-time will be played in the event of another draw. At the time of going to press, no referee had been confirmed for the rematch. The replay will be screened 'live on TG4.

A replay was forced after the side's played out a thrilling 1-12 (Garrycastle) to 0-15 draw at Croke Park last Saturday.

Although the choice of an Ulster venue for the replay could be perceived as some advantage to Crossmaglen, Garrycastle officials this week said they have no difficulty with the replay been staged in the Breffni County.

"To be honest, we don't really mind where we play the replay," said Garrycastle GAA chairman John Henson.

"We were just waiting for confirmation of a venue, and knew it wouldn't be Croke Park. We know where we have to go now, and the players will have no problem with that.

"Wherever an All-Ireland final is played, it's an honour for Garrycastle to be involved. We don't have any input into where the game is played, so there's no point getting involved in anything, we just take it as it comes and move onto the next game," he added,

However, defending champions Crossmaglen might be considered happier than their Athlone opponents with the choice of venue, but Garrycastle's journey to the venue should be fairly similar in length to their Armagh counterparts.

A draw was forced in last weekend's final when Crossmaglen, trailing by four points at half-time, made a strong second half fightback, culminating in an equalising point by David McKenna with four minutes remaining.

Garrycastle had produced an excellent first-half display, with Patrick Mulvihill scoring a splendid goal in the 21st minute.

The Athlone side looked on course for a momentous victory when they went five points up in the second half. However, Crossmaglen showed in the second period why they're nine-time Ulster and five-time All-Ireland champions, to force a replay next Saturday week.

At this point in time, Garrycastle are reporting no new injury worries in the wake of last Saturday's game.

However, Rory McGowan, who appeared as a substitute last weekend, will miss out due to a pre-planned medical procedure.

There were some reports that Garrycastle's Paul Dillon and Crossmaglen's Aaron Cunningham could face retrospective punishment after their involvement in separate incidents during last weekend's drawn game. However, because both were booked at the time by referee Rory Hickey, it's unlikely that they will receive any extra punishment.