Sports

South West and North Antrim teams continue to dominate

Thursday, 29 December 2016

AT the end of another long season of Antrim hurling and football championships and leagues some interesting facts emerge, the most noticeable the domination of South West sides in football and North Antrim clubs in hurling.
Certainly the North Antrim domination in hurling has been there for many a long day but on the football front it has taken some time for the South West cream to come to the top.
Overall some 22 football clubs feature in the championships and leagues final round up while in hurling, again 22 is the magic number, although this does include four outsiders, two each from Down and Derry in either the winners or runners up league enclosures.
In football Cargin, St Gall's, Aghagallon, Dunloy, Glenravel, St Comgall's, Gortbnampna, Glenravel, Rossa, Aldergrove, Glenavy, St Brigid's Belfast, Moneyglass, Belfast Saffrons, Tir-na-nOg, St John's, Sarsfields, Sean Stinson's, Creggan, St Paul's, Ardoyne and Lisburn all featured as winners or runners up in the twenty three championship and league competitions.
The 22 similar competition in hurling saw Loughiel, Cushendall, Cloughmills, St Enda's, Hannastown, Cushendun, Davitts, St Agnes', Dunloy, Rossa, Loch mOr Dalcassians, St Patrick's North Antrim, Clooney Gaels, St Macnissi's, Tir-na-nOg, Armoy, St Teresa's, St Agnes', and St Paul's along with Ballygalget, Carryduff, Slaughtneil and Swatragh , end as winners or runners up.
The domination of the football championships by South West Antrim sides has been remarkable with a clean sweep of Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Under 21 and Minor all coming to the area. In addition the area also won four of the seven All County leagues including One and One Reserve, two and Minor.
Cargin are obviously the top dogs winning the senior championship and Reserve cup as well as clinching the Division 1 and Reserve league titles.
For St Mary's Aghagallon it has also been a year to remember. Crowned Intermediate and Under 21 champions they also won the Division 2 league title and were runners up in Division 1 of the Minor Football league.
Dunloy may not have broken any delph in the adult ranks but sent a clear warning out to all that they are the force of the future after their double success at Minor grade and an Under 16 crown. Their hurlers also won an Ulster crown and, assuming that this progress continues then they should dominate at under 21 level in both codes in the very near future.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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