Deadline getting near for Ulster teams in camogie championships

By Niall Gartland

ANTRIM can still avoid a place in the relegation play-offs, but they’ll need to get their skates on as they have nothing to show for their efforts with only two games remaining.

Realistically, it’s a big ask to get the better of Waterford this Saturday, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities and they’ll be hopeful of producing a good account of themselves on home soil.

More likely, their group stage campaign will hinge on their final day clash against Limerick on the last weekend of June, the only other team yet to pick up a positive result after three rounds of fixtures.

Down are in similar peril in the opposition group in the All-Ireland Senior Championship round robin. Shorn of some of their very best players this year – Niamh Mallon has transferred to Galway, Catherine McGourty and Sara Louise Graffin have retired – they have struggled to make their mark in the championship but this weekend’s opponents Wexford haven’t been tearing it up (they sit second from the bottom) so they’ll quietly fancy their chances of pulling off an upset, even if it’s unlikely.

Derry, meanwhile, are in the happy position of having secured their senior status with two rounds remaining so they have two free hits to round off the group stages against Kilkenny and Waterford.

At Intermediate level, Antrim Seconds haven’t been going well – not only do they sit dead last, but they’ve shipped three heavy beatings. They won the All-Ireland Intermediate title only three years ago but this is a very different team in terms of personnel and with two group stages remaining it’s a fairly safe bet that they’ll end up in the relegation play-offs. That said, they’ve actually played pretty well given they’re a somewhat weakened force this year and they’ll be hopeful of maintaining their senior status one way or the other.

In the Junior ranks, Armagh are in a healthy position, sitting second in the table and it would be a considerable upset if they don’t overcome Wicklow on Saturday. They should finish in the top three at the very least when all is done and dusted in the group and will progress to the knock-outs of the All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship.

Tyrone did extremely well in the league and also won the Ulster Junior Championship, but they’ve lost both their matches to date. They should pick up their first win of the campaign when they take on Down Seconds in a repeat of their earlier meeting in the provincial final.

If Tyrone finish outside the top three, and they still have two matches left to play, they’ll be pitted in the Nancy Murray Cup competition, which they won in 2022. Finally, Cavan are struggling and it’ll be a big ask for them to overcome Roscommon this weekend.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW