Dunloy, Ballymena

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Old Rivals Renew Acquaintance in Antrim

Updated: Sep 21, 2019

The decisive score last year as St Gall's and Cargin collided. They'll meet again this weekend.

A big footballing weekend beckons in Antrim as the championships reach the final four. There is a meeting of old rivals St Gall’s and Cargin in the SFC, while Naomh Pádraig are looking to reach their third JFC final in a row.

As if that wasn’t enough, there is a bonus hurling match on Sunday afternoon as St John’s and Cushendall resume their never-ending saga.

A whirlwind tour with several predictions no doubt to be proven wrong.

Friday 20th September

The Devenish Antrim JFC Semi-Final

Naomh Pádraig Lisburn v Cardinal O’Donnell’s GAC



St Pat’s bid to reach their third Antrim JFC final in as many years as they take on Whiterock Road side O’Donnell’s at Woodlands. The Lisburn men saw off a stubborn Laochra Loch Lao in the opening round before dismissing Na Piarsaigh in the Quarter-Final with 17 points to spare.

O’Donnell’s opened their campaign with a facile victory over Mitchell’s and will face a much tougher task this time out. Momentum and form however is with St Pat’s.

Verdict: Naomh Pádraig

Saturday 21st September

The Devenish JFC Semi-Final

Kickham's Ardoyne v Mac Uilín Ballycastle

Erin's Own Cargin


Ballycastle have produced two stunning results in the championship so far, seeing off St Malachy's in Rasharkin on a darkening evening and then defeating St Agnes in a controlled performance just a fortnight ago.

The Town, who were without a league win all season, did manage to secure the Junior Feis, but their opponents tomorrow will be strong favourites.

Arodyne have just secured promotion to Division 2 for 2020 with a play-off victory over St Mary's Rasharkin and their free-scoring play has caught the eye, Cormac Mullan in particular creating headlines.

Will the McQuillan's fairytale continue or will Kickham's seal their passage to the final?

Verdict: Ardoyne.

Larkin Cassidy Solicitors Antrim IFC Semi-Final

Con Magee’s Glenravel v St Ergnat’s Moneyglass



After their impressive victory over Dunloy, many people have installed Moneyglass as the favourites to lift the IFC and St Ergnat’s followed up that success with a five-point win over Randalstown.

Their opponents Con Magee’s entered the fray a fortnight ago and produced a late burst to inflict defeat on Sarsfield’s with a late Aiden O’Donnell free seeing them over the line.

Glenravel had a solid season following their promotion to Division 2, but with St Ergnat’s smarting from missing out on promotion to Division 1 against Ahoghill, that may give them an edge on their opponents.

Verdict: Moneyglass

Northern Switchgear Antrim SFC Semi-Final

Casement’s Portglenone v Lámh Dhearg



2017 champions Lámh Dhearg were unseeded for this year’s championship and had to battle their way past Ahoghill in the first round and last year’s finalists Creggan in the last eight. They come to the home of the vanquished for the Semi-Final.

Their opponents Portglenone have not had a straightforward path to this stage either. Having overcome St Brigid’s in the opening round they met St John’s in Ahoghill, where a late Conall Delargy point spared them the blushes of blowing a lead.

In the replay at Spórtlann na hÉireann in mid-week, the Bannsiders’ speed and agility prospered and they took the spoils to set up this tough encounter.

Both sides have a reputation for hard, fast football and are perennial diners at the top table. Will Lámh Dhearg’s recent title pedigree see them through or will Casement’s young guns shoot them down?

Verdict: Draw

Sunday 22nd September

Bath Shack Antrim SHC Semi-Final Replay

Ruairí Óg v Naomh Eoin



The Inseparables. A draw last year and a narrow Cushendall win were the two instalments of this series and the two sides return to the scene of the 2018 stalemate for this replay.

Ruairí Óg, having taken the early initiative, left it late to secure the draw with a late Fergus McCambridge point that had been overturned from the wide given by the umpire.

Such is the ferocity with which these teams fight for every ball, this could go the extra mile once again. Could it finally be the Johnnies’ year?

Verdict: … Naomh Eoin after extra time.

Larkin Cassidy Solicitors Antrim IFC Semi-Final

Naomh Séamas Aldergrove v Naomh Pól

Corrigan Park


With promotion from Division 3 already secured, St Paul’s entered championship action with a three-point win over Glenavy at the Quarter-Final stage. The Shaw’s Road men have been used to hitting big scores in league action and are capable of finding the target with ease.

Their opponents Aldergrove had a more tumultuous last eight encounter, producing a stunning comeback to see off All Saints’ Ballymena by 2 points.

Naomh Séamas finished top of the bottom half in Division 2 and will be confident their experience at that level will give them a slight edge over Naomh Pól.

Verdict: Naomh Séamas

Northern Switchgear Antrim SFC Semi-Final

Naomh Gall v Erin’s Own Cargin

Corrigan Park


Antrim’s main event this weekend is a repeat of last season’s epic Semi-Final in which a late Tomás McCann bullet through a massed St Gall’s goal-line secured their final place.

Cargin clinched the Division 1 title from neighbours Creggan this season and Damien Cassidy’s side are looking to retain their SFC title.

St Gall’s had pushed Cargin at the top of Division 1 early in the season but tailed off a little towards the end. A win over Aghagallon in the Quarter-Final secured their place in the last four.

These teams have a healthy rivalry and always produce competitive encounters with no shortage of talking points.

Verdict: Cargin