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Review - Antrim ACFL Division 3

Updated: Dec 19, 2018

The tightest of photo finishes at the top of Antrim's Division 3 saw four teams jostling for position deep into the autumn months, with Con Magee's clinching the title by a single point on head-to-head score difference over Naomh Pádraig of Lisburn.

Meanwhile at the bottom it was a tough season for the league's newest club, Laochra Loch Lao, but the debutants did manage to record a win and a draw to ensure they had something to show from their maiden season.

1st - Con Magee's Glenravel - 30pts

Honours: Antrim Junior Football champions

A fine season for Con Magees saw them claim top spot in Division 3 - just. The Junior champions have their point-scoring aptitude to thank for clinching the league title as they recorded the highest total in all four leagues with 262.

At the summit it all came down to score difference between the top two, with both beating each other to finish level on both points and head-to-head. Winning the head-to-head score difference, it was Con Magees by a nose, a Conleth O'Loan consolation goal in their last league encounter ultimately seeing them home.

2nd - Naomh Pádraig Lisburn - 30pts

The ramifications of their games with Con Magee's saw heartbreak as far as the title was concerned, but St Patrick's will look back on the season with some satisfaction. They boasted the tightest defence in Division 3, conceding only 13 goals throughout the season and were in the top four for points scored.

Having been developing their players for a number of years, the young side will embrace the challenge of Division 2 football next season and with Josh McMullan, Tomás Fay and Francis McMeel in their ranks, they'll be confident of making an impact.

3rd - Kickham's Ardoyne - 28pts

Ranked 2nd in terms of goals conceded in the league, Ardoyne were another side who were well in the reckoning until the final rounds of the league, defeat to eventual champions Con Magee's seeing them miss out on promotion.

The Kickham's also ranked 2nd for points scored, with Aidan and Ciaran McNeill leading the line in confident fashion, seeing the Ardoyne men with the highest score difference in all four leagues.

4th - Naomh Comhghall - 25pts

The county's top goalscorers with 56 goals, Naomh Comhghall were also in contention for promotion late into their league campaign. The Antrim men boasted a formidable forward unit, with Miles Devine and Conor McAuley leading the charge.

St Comhghall's also ranked 4th in the county for points scored, but ranked slightly below their Division 3 rivals defensively, which contributed to them finishing 4th in a highly competitive league.

5th - St Malachy's - 21pts

Finishing in 5th place, the South Belfast side were nine points off eventual winners Con Magee's, ranking 5th in both goals and points scored in Division 3, but ranked 6th for goals and points conceded.

Led by Anthony Dobbin, the Market side will look to regroup for another tilt at promotion in 2019, and on this year's showing they aren't a million miles away.

6th - Na Piarsaigh - 17pts

With an eye for goal, the North Belfast side finished as the second highest goalscorers in all three Antrim leagues, and in Liam Deegan they have a corner forward with a keen eye for a score and the composure to convert dead balls consistently.

Defensively, Na Piarsaigh will need to improve if they are to mount a promotion challenge, ranking second from bottom for goals conceded, a gap they will need to plug for 2019.

7th - Mac Uilín Ballycastle - 10pts

The McQuillan's footballers struggled to find the net throughout the course of the season, netting the second lowest amount of goals with 18, while they also had the unfortunate accolade of the lowest amount of points at 107.

Defensively, they ranked fifth from bottom in terms of scores conceded and this allowed them a 7th place finish above their rivals at the bottom. Mark Higgins proved reliable from placed balls while the lively TT Butler was a miss for them during their championship encounter with Ardoyne.

8th - Éire Óg Derriaghy - 9pts

The Derriaghy men had the honour of being represented in the Underdogs programme, with Conor McKenna making the panel for the TG4 show. In league action, they ranked fourth from bottom for overall scored and second from bottom for overall scores conceded.

Éire Óg picked up enough points from those around them to ensure they finished above St Agnes' and Laochra Loch Lao at the bottom.

9th - St Agnes' - 6pts

Despite reaching a JFC Semi-Final where Ronan Carroll was in fine form, the Aggies had a tough season, tasting victory only three times and finishing second from bottom.

Actually finishing fourth and third from bottom in many of the key rankings, it was their misfortune in taking on the teams around them that saw them finish 9th overall.

10th - Laochra Loch Lao - 3pts

B'é seo an chéad uair riamh a chuir Laochra Loch Lao isteach ar shraitheanna Aontroma agus ba dhoilligh an séasúr a bhí acu. Agus Seán Óg Mac Corraidh á stiúradh i lár na páirce, bhí na Laochra abálta cluiche amháin a bhaint in éadán Mhic Uilín, agus chríochnaigh siad ar chomhscór in éadán na bPiarsach.

Faraor, bhí an chosaint is measa sa tsraith acu, ag géilleadh 409 cúilín san iomlán. Beidh cuid mhór foghlama déanta ag na Laochra agus cuideoidh an taithí seo acu sa bhliain 2019.

#AntrimACFL #UnitUpdates

Unsure about how they finished above the bottom division? Take a look at Division 1 and Division 2.