2023 End of Year Review – Division 2A

As preparations are well underway for next season, we take a look back at how the Division 2A teams fared in 2023.

Carrickcruppen

It wasn’t a stellar year for Carrickcruppen, who finished in the bottom half of the Division 2A table.

In the championship, they saw off Forkhill in the first round but lost to both Derrynoose and St Paul’s.

Their season came to an end in the playoff round of the championship as they fell to Pearse Og by ten-points.

Cruppen have a great age profile and a number of their players have Intermediate Championship medals from 2021, so they’ll hope to come back stronger next year.

Photo Credit: Chris Totton

Culloville

Culloville enjoyed a tremendous 2023 as they earned promotion back to the senior ranks of Armagh club football.

They earned promotion by capturing the Division 2A league title, but they failed to build on that in the championship.

They were knocked out by eventual finalists St Paul’s at the quarter-final stage and injuries hampered their chances.

The Blues did win the u21 Intermediate Championship this season and will hope to build on that success next season.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Pearse Og

Following last year’s relegation from the senior ranks, the Ogs held their own in Division 2A this season.

They finished fourth in the table, guaranteeing a top seed place in the Intermediate Championship draw.

Garreth Thornton’s side reached the last four of the championship but lost to Cullyhanna by five in the end.

The Ogs are in a period of transition but have a number of noteworthy players that will be keen to step up over the next few seasons.

Photo Credit: John Merry

St Patrick’s

The Armagh only club that are still going strong, Cullyhanna have enjoyed perhaps the best season in the clubs history.

They dominated the Intermediate Championship, just as many predicted they would before a ball was kicked.

But they pushed on to land the clubs first ever Ulster title after a pulsating encounter with Cavan’s Ballyhaise.

It’s on to the All-Ireland series now for Stephen Reel’s side and they face a Johnny Doyle inspired Allenwood in the semi-final.

Photo Credit: John Merry

St Paul’s

It was another year of heartache for St Paul’s as they lost their third Intermediate final in four season.

Cullyhanna, as they’d done right throughout the championship, just proved much too strong on the day.

The Lurgan men remain one of the big hitters in the Intermediate Championship and will have a big say again next year.

Armagh legend Ronan Clarke is back for another season in charge, and they’ll be eyeing up championship glory.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Tir na nOg

Tir na nOg ended up suffering relegation in 2023 and they’ll ply their trade in Division 2B next season.

A final round win over Carrickcruppen wasn’t enough to save their bacon as they were relegated on score difference.

They had a decent championship run as they topped their group with three wins over Whitecross, Annaghmore and Pearse Og.

Keady ended their journey in the last eight and Tir na nOg will be eyeing up promotion in the 2024 season.

Tullysaran

Tullysaran just clung onto their Division 2A status by the skin of their teeth, staying up due to their superior score difference.

The championship proved difficult for them as they won just once in the group stages, against Middletown.

Their season was eventually ended by Derrynoose in the playoffs, with three points the difference between the teams.

Tullysaran will have a new management team in place for 2024 with Stephen Ferguson replacing John Devine and Davy Harte.

Photo Credit: Richiespics

Wolfe Tones

The Tones suffered relegation from Division 2A, finishing bottom of the table with six points from 14 games.

They did turn things around come championship time however and ended up topping their group.

After two ding-dong battles with Pearse Ogs, Wolfe Tones crashed out of the championship but could and arguable should have won the first day out.

Peter Nugent is back in charge for a third successive season and they’ll be eager to earn promotion.

Photo Credit: Chris Totton