2023 End of Year Review – Division 1B

As preparations are well underway for next season, we take a look back at how the Division 1B teams fared in 2023.

Clan na Gael

2023 proved to be a season that Clan na Gael will remember fondly for a long time as they ended their wait for a championship final appearance.

They put in one of the best displays of the season to see off rivals Clann Eireann in the semi-final.

They ultimately lost to Crossmaglen but given their ag profile, the Clans will be contenders for the next few years.

The main objective for Ronan McMahon’s side will be to earn promotion to Division 1A next season.

Photo Credit: Richiespics

Dromintee

Dromintee will have been delighted with their league form this season as they earned promotion to the top tier.

They had a chance to win the Division 1B league title on the final day of the campaign but lost out to Silverbridge.

Injuries really hampered their progress in the championship. They crashed out at the hands of Clan na Gael in the playoff round.

Kieran Quinn remains in charge for the upcoming campaign, and they will be keen to test themselves at the top table.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

Grange

2023 proved to be a very difficult year for Grange, who suffered relegation to Division 2A in the league.

Minus a number of key players, Chris Rafferty’s men never really got up and running in the league campaign.

An injury to Ethan Rafferty dented any hopes of their fortunes turning around once they entered championship season.

Grange will look to bounce right back up to senior football when they compete in Division 2A next season.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Maghery

Maghery held their own in Division 1B but will be disappointed at how early they exited the championship.

The two-time Senior Championship winners didn’t make it out of the group after their round three loss to Dromintee.

2024 looks like a year of transition for Maghery, with a few of the more experience heads stepping away.

They have a new management team in place and still have enough quality battle for promotion in the league.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

Sarsfields

Sarsfields finished comfortably above the relegation zone in Division 1B, gathering 14 points from their 14 games.

They earned one win in the championship, overcoming Mullaghbawn with a terrific second half comeback.

The High Moss men excited the competition at the playoff stage however, losing out heavily to Ballymacnab.

Former Armagh minor boss Brendan Hughes is back in charge for next season, and they’ll be aiming to retain their senior status.

Photo Credit: Chris Totton

Shane O’Neill’s

After winning the Intermediate Championship in 2022, Shane O’Neill’s struggled with the step up to senior level.

Emigration, injuries and county commitments really hindered their season and didn’t give them a fair crack in the league.

They finished second from bottom in Division 1B and failed to pick up a single point in their championship group.

Former Crossmaglen attacker Johnny Murtagh has taking over as manager for the upcoming 2024 season.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

Silverbridge

2023 was a great year for a young Silverbridge side as they earned promotion to the top tier with the league title.

They earned silverware on the final day of the league campaign, defeating Dromintee in the last round.

They had some great performances in the championship as well, with their win over the Harps really standing out.

Silverbridge reached the final eight of the Senior Championship but were knocked out by Division 1A winners Clann Eireann.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

St Peter’s

St Peter’s were perhaps the surprise package in Division 1B this season, having just been promoted from 2A.

The Lurgan men defied the odds by finishing third in the table, winning eight of their 14 outings.

They reached the playoff round of the championship but lost to Armagh Harps. Aaron Findon, who was out injured, was a huge loss to St Peter’s.

Ex-Antrim boss Frank Fitzsimmons is back in charge for another season, and they’ll once again hope for another good league campaign.

Photo Credit: Chris Totton