Antrim league heads for the play-offs

By Michael McMullan

IT’S a case of seven into four doesn’t go as the Antrim Senior Football League heads for a finale in the coming weeks.

In a change this season, the top four go into semi-finals with the winners facing off in a decider.

Cargin are top of the pile on score difference from St Brigid’s as it stands with the final round of games down for decision on Wednesday, July 3.

Both are guaranteed a place in the semi-finals despite having an additional game in hand.

Cargin are home to Rossa on Friday night (7pm) while St Brigid’s outstanding game with reigning champions Portglenone was called off due to a bereavement and yet to be refixed.

John McKeever’s side, in seventh place, can still mathematically book one of the other two semi-final spots but need victories over already qualified St Brigid’s and an out of contention Lamh Dhearg.

There are other factors to come into play. They need Cargin to beat third placed Tír na nÓg on Wednesday and Aldergrove to turn over fourth placed Creggan.

Creggan beat Portglenone earlier in the league so would have them on head to head should that situation arise.

All Saints and St Gall’s, currently outside the top four, are level on 19 points.

The Ballymena men take on Aghagallon who can’t qualify while St Gall’s face Ahoghill who are also mathematically out of the race.

Following Antrim’s Tailteann Cup exit to Laois on Sunday, the county players will now all be fully available for club duty as teams begin their championship preparations.

Cargin are aiming for a third successive title and an eighth in 10 seasons.

They are paired in a group with Rossa Tír na nOg and St Brigid’s.

There is a mouth-watering look to Group Four with two qualifying for the quarter-finals from Aghagallon, St Brigid’s, St Gall’s and Creggan.

The Antrim champions will have a chance to look at their opponents after being drawn against the winners of the preliminary round between the winners of Donegal or Tyrone.

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