In what is a triumph for the Antrim CCC, all four Antrim ACHL divisions head for the final furlong with plenty to play for at both ends after the penultimate round throws up a few shocks. Will Hunting may yet be called on to explain the permutations.
Champions Dunloy’s perfect league record came undone in Corrigan Park, with hosts St John’s defeating the Cúchullain’s 1-17 to 2-12 while runners-up Loughgiel Shamrocks comfortably defeated Ruairí Óg 1-22 to 0-11. Take these results with a rather large pinch of salt though, as there will have been plenty of shadow play with the personnel.
Rossa have undergone a revival this year and they recorded a 1-17 to 2-14 draw at home to Ballycran this evening. Incredibly though, only their visitors St Joseph are free from relegation play-off worries as Ballygalget defeated St Gall’s 3-14 to 3-06 this evening.
The result confirms the Milltown Row men’s relegation and leaves a three-way skirmish to avoid the play-off position, with Rossa travelling to the Ards Peninsula and Ballycastle hosting St Gall’s next Tuesday.
In the top half of Division 2, Sarsfields kept their title hopes alive with a hard-fought 3-19 to 3-13 win over Creggan. Naomh Éanna lead the race by two points heading into the final round of fixtures. With the head-to-head at one apiece, the Paddies lead the head-to-head scoring by nine points.
They’ll need to win in the Bear Pit over Carey and hope that Dungannon can secure the points in Hightown to pip Naomh Éanna to the title.
Cloney Gaels flexed their goal-scoring credentials once again this evening, hitting five as they saw off Glen Rovers 5-23 to 3-16. They have now notched a very healthy 318 points in this year's league. The Armoy men’s defeat means that Tír na nÓg are now safe, despite their 1-16 to 1-08 defeat in Glenariffe.
Gort na Móna suffered their second defeat of the season as they went down 1-18 to 1-14 against Carryduff at Páirc Mhic Ionnrachtaigh, while St Paul’s 1-20 to 0-16 win in Cushendun moves them into 2nd place.*
St Paul’s go into the final game at home to Gort na Móna knowing that a win by more than seven points would be enough to secure the Division 3 title in what will be a showdown on the Shaw’s.
*Table not updated on website at time of writing.
In the bottom half, Rasharkin recorded a 2-21 to 0-13 win over Cúchullain’s Armagh at Dreen, while Glenarm defeated Na Magha 4-18 to 0-13 in Feystown. The Derry men could in theory still catch Cúchullain’s in their three remaining games, but it would be a big ask.
Naomh Colum Cille recorded a comprehensive victory over Ardoyne in Division 4 this evening, winning on a scoreline of 5-18 to 0-04. A tough trip for the Kickham’s men in midweek.
All eyes will be on that title-deciding clash next Tuesday evening as Naomh Treasa host Ballymena on the Glen Road. As Con Magees and St Teresa's have one win apiece in the head-to-head, it will come down to head-to-head score difference should they see off All Saints'.
The Belfast men are ahead in that particular statistic by three points (4-20 to 1-26) and will take the title under those circumstances.
Incredibly, Con Magees are involved in this scenario for a second year in a row, having taken the 2018 Division 3 Football title by a single head-to-head point difference.
Charge up the phones and the calculators for next Tuesday evening.