Clonmore will have mixed emotions when they look back on their 2019 season as they achieved their ultimate target of gaining entry into next year’s Intermediate Championship, but did so without experiencing Championship glory. Their form throughout the league was top notch, but they just couldn’t produce it in the latter rounds of the championship.
In the league, they went on a 17 game unbeaten run, gaining maximum points across all their games to sit top of the table with 34 points and comfortably wrap up the league before the campaign had come to an end. Losses against Collegeland and Killeavy IIs in the last two rounds were the only dents in their record.
This set them up perfectly for the upcoming championship where they topped their group with two wins from two, seeing off Clady and Lissummon but their season came to an abrupt ending when they faced Forkhill in the quarter final, losing out 3-12 to 0-6 to disappointingly crash out of the Junior Championship.
Pushed Clonmore to their pin of their collars, but in the end it was Belleek’s two losses to the league champions that decided who finished on top at the end of the campaign. One of the ‘in form’ teams, an early exit in the championship means that Belleek will once again have to battle for promotion in 2020.
15 wins from 18 games was an awesome return with only Clonmore (twice) and Collegeland gaining points from Belleek. They completed their first task of gaining promotion from the Junior League but with the Championship winners heading up with Clonmore, Belleek weren’t safe just yet.
They gained wins over Newtown and St Patrick’s IIs in Group 2 of the championship while their draw against Killeavy IIs was enough to see them through to the play offs, where they beat Lissummon with ease. Next up was Derrynoose, who held a 6 point lead at the final whistle to dump Belleek out of the Championship at the quarter final stages, meaning they will once again spend next year in the Junior division.
A great year for Derrynoose that eventually ended in misery, they came so close to winning the Junior Championship and will hope to build on their progress in 2020. They showed great league form but it was when championship season came calling that they really started to show their quality.
They picked up 10 wins across their 19 games during the league, which saw them finish behind Clonmore and Belleek in third place. Close losses to Forkhill and Lissummon as well as a home draw to Collegeland may be where Derrynoose will feel they could have gained a few extra points to push further up the table.
Easy victories over Mullabrack, Corrinshego and Redmond O’Hanlon’s saw Derrynoose enter the quarter final stages without much fuss. Massive wins over Belleek and Forkhill allowed them to enter their first Junior Championship Final in 15 years but they just fell short and will look to go one better next season.
2019 will be a year remembered fondly by the people of Collegeland as they successfully gained promotion to Division 2B after a fantastic Championship run. A solid league campaign didn’t reflect what was to come in the business end of the season and Collegeland slipped under the radar to be crowned Junior Champions.
With Clonmore pulling away in the league and Belleek following closely in second, Collegeland done well to secure the 4th spot in the league table, finishing just two points ahead of Killeavy IIs. They struggled early on, picking up two points from their first three games, but they regained composure to see out a good league.
A win and a loss in their group meant they finished bottom of the table on score difference as they finished level on points with both Forkhill and Dorsey. They overcame Corrinshego, Killeavy IIs and Dorsey to reach the final and put in a complete performance to see out a 1-12 to 1-9 win over Derrynoose and lift the Sean Quinn Cup.
Some strong performances in the league allowed Killeavy to head to the championship in good stead and the South Armagh men also enjoyed a good championship run. An extra win in the league would have saw them break into the top four as they finished just two points behind Collegeland.
Out of their 18 league games, Killeavy came out on top on 11 occasions, losing 6 times along with having one draw, with their most impressive victories coming against Forkhill, Collegeland and Clonmore on the final day of the season, while they also ran Belleek and Dorsey pretty close.
Drew into a group with Belleek, St Patrick’s and Newtown, Killeavy came through the group unbeaten, winning twice along with one draw sending them straight through to the quarter finals by topping the group. They ran into an ‘in form’ Collegeland side that came out on top by six on their way to winning the Championship.
Corrinshego struggled in both the league and championship this season and will look to improve in 2020. They lost more games than they won throughout their league campaign, but still managed to come 6th in the table, 4 points behind Killeavy IIs while two wins in the championship was as good as it got.
Early wins over Mullabrack, O’Hanlon’s and Newtown gave Corrinshego a powerful start to their league campaign, but they would only go on to win five of their remaining 16 games, suffering 10 loses and one draw, with big losing margins coming against Killeavy, Belleek, Clonmore and Derrynoose.
They would suffer a further defeat to Derrynoose in round three of the Championship although wins over O’Hanlon’s and Mullabrack allowed the Thomas Davis club to enter the next round. They faced eventual Champions Collegeland and just fell short, losing out by 7, 1-15 to 2-5.
Inconsistency was Clady’s main downfall in the 2019 season. They got off to a fabulous start to the league campaign but began to drift around the middle of the league, when they could have pushed on and finished further up the league. They did have a good run in the championship however, reaching the play offs.
Only Clonmore took points off Clady in the opening six rounds of the league, with wins coming against Newtown, O’Hanlon’s, St Pat’s, Dorsey and Corrinshego. They would only go on to win three of their remaining 13 games however, losing 10 of those matches to finish in 6th place.
They were drawn into a tough Championship group which was filled by Clonmore and Lissummon, meaning Clady would at least make the play offs. A win over Lissummon and a loss to Clonmore saw them finish 2nd but St Patrick’s proved a step too far in the play offs, winning by three in the end.
While they just missed out on a place in the top half of the Junior League table, Lissummon will be disappointed they didn’t come away with some silverware to show for their efforts this season, with Forkhill winning the Junior B trophy with a victory over Lissummon on the last day of the league.
They finished with six wins from their 13 outings, with wins over Collegeland, St Patrick’s, Mullabrack, Derrynoose Forkhill and Newtown while they also drew with Redmond O’Hanlon’s to gain their final tally of 13 points, just missing out on a trophy on the final day of the season.
They didn’t enjoy much luck in their Championship group either, losing both encounters against Clady and Clonmore but still made the play off round of the competition. Their poor form continued and it was Belleek who put an end to their season, with an impressive 4-15 to 1-9 victory.
As the league was split in the middle of the campaign, this allowed Forkhill to finish the year with some silverware, capturing the Junior B League title. This set them up well heading into the Championship where they experienced some success, but eventually lost out at the semi-final stages to Derrynoose.
They tasted defeat as often as they did victory in the league; losing 6 of their 13 games while seeing out 6 wins as well, drawing one of their games. Their biggest win of the season came in their final game of the league when they overcame Lissummon to capture the Junior B title.
They finished with 2 wins and 1 loss in Group 3 of the Championship and found themselves in the playoffs. A comfortable 16 point win over O’Hanlon’s saw them through to the next round where they were too strong for favourites Clonmore and won 3-12 to 0-6. Derrynoose proved to be a step too far however and Forkhill just missed out on a final appearance.
Not a great league campaign for Dorsey, who ended up in 10th position, after winning just 5 of their 13 league games this season. But they did turn it around come Championship with two promising displays in the group stages before crashing out in the semi final.
Two poor losses against Cullyhanna IIs and Belleek began their league campaign before a massive 4-23 to 2-7 victory over Mullabrack got them off the mark. Further wins over Newtown, Forkhill, Mullabrack and Lissummon saw them pick up their only points while they suffered several heavy defeats as well.
Collegeland were put to the sword in round one of the group, Dorsey winning 2-13 to 1-11 while giving a powerful display against Forkhill, although losing 4-10 to 2-12. They did top the group and dismissed St Pat’s in the quarter final to repeat their round one tie against Collegeland, this time in the semi final, but they couldn’t repeat the result and lost 2-8 to 0-9.
St Michael’s Newtown:
With only three wins under their belt throughout the duration of 2019, this year was a one to forget for St Michael’s Newtown. They struggled all season long, in both league and championship and failed to pick up any points in the group stages of the Junior Championship.
Looking back, one of their biggest results of the year came way back in April when St Michael’s secured a draw against eventual Junior Champions Collegeland. They would go on to gain further wins over Mullabrack (twice) and Redmond O’Hanlon’s to pick up their tally of 7 points.
In the Championship, they were drawn into a tough Group 2, with Killeavy IIs, Belleek and St Patrick’s IIs. Three games and three losses for Newtown and they crashed out of the Championship at the earliest exit, things can only improve for Newtown in 2020.
St Patrick’s Cullyhanna IIs:
Similar to the rest of the teams floating around the bottom of the Junior League, St Patrick’s IIs also experienced a challenging 2019 and will hope things can improve leading into next season. They were on the losing side 10 times in the league while their form did improve to make the Championship Quarter Finals.
A first round league win over Dorsey got Cullyhanna up and running while they gained victories over Redmond O’Hanlon’s and Mullabrack but lost all other games, including their reverse fixture against Mullabrack, where they handed the re-formed side their only win of the 2019 season.
A win over Newtown in the Championship guaranteed them a spot in the play offs which they saw off Clady to make the quarter finals, an unlikely situation given their league form. They ran Dorsey close but just lost out in the end, 2-6 to 1-12.
Finishing just above Mullabrack in the league, Redmond O’Hanlon’s saw out a difficult 2019 with just three victories all year, all coming against Mullabrack. Their league performances didn’t provide much promise for the championship and their form was replicated as they were beaten in three of their four games.
Heavy defeats to Derrynoose, Clady, Corrinshego and Collegeland got O’Hanlon’s off to a disastrous start to their league. Their poor form continued and they secured just two wins over Mullabrack while also drawing with Lissummon to pick up their only points of the campaign.
The Championship didn’t provide much joy either, losing two of their three group games with Mullabrack again on the losing side, to provide O’Hanlon’s with a path into the play offs. Forkhill proved much too strong and O’Hanlon’s saw their 2019 come to an end with a heavy 3-18 to 1-8 lead.
While the results section of the league table and championship group may not make for good reading, 2019 was never about results for Mullabrack as they reformed their men’s team this season and although they may have been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats, it was all about getting back on to the pitch.
They finished at the foot of the division and suffered a few big losses throughout the year but they also came away with one victory which was massive for the club. They defeated St Patrick’s IIs to gain the clubs first victory in years.
They may have lost all three of their Championship outings against Derrynoose, O’Hanlon’s and Corrinshego but they were still able to field a side this season, which was a success for Mullabrack.