2023 End of Year Review – Division 2B

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

Annaghmore

Annaghmore earned promotion to Division 2A following a league campaign where they won seven of their 14 games.

It follows their relegation to Division 2B in the 2022 season, so Annaghmore bounced back brilliantly.

In the championship, they won one game (against Whitecross), lost one (vs Tir na nOg) and drew one (vs Pearse Og) in the group stages.

Keady ended their season in the playoffs and Annaghmore will hope to retain their place in Division 2A in 2024.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

Belleek

Belleek have made huge strides over the last number of years, since winning the Junior Championship in 2021.

For the second season in succession, they finished third in Division 2B and will once again be pushing for promotion.

They will perhaps feel hard done by in the way their championship ended. They were right in the game against Culloville, but the Blues finished stronger.

Belleek will be eyeing up another decent league campaign and will have promotion in the back of their minds.

Photo Credit: Belleek

Cross II

Crossmaglen IIs retained their place in Division 2B, finishing 5th in the table with six wins from 14 outings.

The championship didn’t really get off the ground for the Rangers, who lost all three group games.

With Rico Kelly called up to the senior squad, they were always going to struggle against Keady, Culloville and Wolfe Tones.

Still, Crossmaglen are a solid outfit at this level, and they’ll continue to bleed through players next year.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

Derrynoose

2023 was a stunning season for Derrynoose following their Junior Championship triumph last year.

They lost just four games in the league and finished in the top four, four-points off Annaghmore who were promoted.

They also enjoyed a good run in the championship, reaching the last eight. Cullyhanna proved too strong in the quarter-final, however.

Paul Hagan is back in charge for the upcoming season and Derrynoose will hope for another decent league campaign.

Photo Credit: Derrynoose

Forkhill

Forkhill were relegated back down to the Junior Championship after finishing seventh in the Division 2B table.

Minus county men Stephen Sheridan and Jemar Hall, Forkhill won six of their 14 games in the league.

Things didn’t fare out much better in the championship as they exited via the group stages having lost all their games.

Now back down at Junior level, Forkhill will be one of the big hitters next year and will be targeting silverware.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

Keady

2023 proved to be a spectacular year for this young Keady group as they won the Division 2B league title.

Simon McGeary’s side lost just two games in the entire league campaign on their way to securing promotion.

They reached the last four of the championship having earned some big victories, but St Paul’s, and in particular Andrew Murnin, proved difficult to deal with.

McGeary will once again lead Keady into the new year, and they will be hoping for another memorable campaign.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Middletown

Things were always going to be tough for Middletown in Division 2B, and they suffered relegation to 3A.

Middletown struggled throughout the entire league campaign, gathering up just two-points from 14 games.

They championship didn’t go much better as they lost to Tullysaran, Cullyhanna and Belleek in the group stages.

Now that they’re back down to the Junior Championship, they’ll be eyeing up some silverware in 2024.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

Whitecross

Whitecross held onto their Division 2B status by the skin of their teeth, surviving by a single point in the end.

They won six of their 14 games and drew one as well, which was enough to see them keep their head above the relegation zone.

Whitecross exited the championship at the first hurdle. They lost all their group games to Tir na nOg, Pearse Og and Annaghmore.

Phelim McGuinness is back for another season in the hotseat and staying in the division will be the main goal.

Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps