By Shaun Casey
THERE’S a rich history and tradition attached to the famed black and amber jersey of Crossmaglen that the football team has created and maintained over the course of the last three decades, but now it’s the camogs that are strutting their stuff on the national stage.
Paul Monaghan’s side conquered Ulster in impressive fashion, hammering Kill by 26-points and now their focus has shifted towards the All-Ireland series.
They head to Coralstown Kinnegad GAA club in County Westmeath this Saturday afternoon where they’ll battle it out with Roscommon Gaels for a spot in the decider.
“There’s nearly an expectation now,” said Crossmaglen captain Ríona McConville on the tradition within the Rangers club.
“We’ve seen the boys down through the years and their success and that’s nearly a boost for us because now we can do it as well.
“It’s a big step for camogie in the club because it’s what the town is talking about especially now that the boys have wrapped up for the year. It’s just a new thing for everyone in the club to focus on.”
Crossmaglen are in bonus territory at this stage as they set out at the start of the season with eyes on an Armagh title, but as the days and weeks have rolled on, their objectives and targets keep moving.
“There’s a great buzz,” added McConville. “You start at the start of the year and your goal is to win the Armagh championship and now we find ourselves in an All-Ireland semi-final.
“It’s a big step for the camogs in Cross. The buzz around the town and the buzz around the camp is great at the minute. Anything after Armagh has really been bonus territory.
“You have the goal of Armagh and then these new opportunities pop up and every week the team is just getting a new step and a new goal and we’re here now and that’s what our next goal is, an All-Ireland.
“We’re enjoying the journey, it’s new territory for all of us. I don’t think there’s anyone in our team that has got to an All-Ireland semi-final with the club before and we’re focusing on ourselves. It’s just a stepping stone now to get to the final.”
The Crossmaglen full-back admits that her side are facing into the unknown when they take on the Roscommon champions this weekend, but focusing on themselves and their own gameplan has worked well for them throughout the season.
“We don’t know anything about them at all,” continued McConville. “It was the same going into our Ulster final, we didn’t know anything about them either but that’s been a gameplan of ours from our first championship game, we just focus on ourselves.
“That’s been working in our favour so far, so we’ll probably just continue to do that.
“It’s what we’ve been told from the start of the year, we know our strengths and we know how we can play when we work well.”