Re-vamped Armagh Football Leagues have proven to be a huge success
If the opening three rounds of the re-vamped Armagh Football Leagues are anything to go by then the altered format will have proven to be a huge success. Already there has been a marked improvement in entertainment value as the scoring ratio in matches has improved dramatically with a host of very high scoring matches being recorded. On top of the scoring the new system has evened things out in team terms which in turn have added belief that there is silverware and promotion to be won on a more level playing field.
I know that it is only April and foolish to be getting carried away by results but it is very refreshing to see teams who have struggled last year getting off to a flying start and the more prominent teams filling lesser roles at present and proving beatable. There is a long way to go in the leagues but clubs can build on their good starts or improve on their poor starts which can only make things more competitive and interesting as the year progresses leaving us with very competitive meaningful league football with something at stake in each match.
Following three rounds of the re-vamped Armagh Football Leagues there have been some surprises in all of the 5 leagues which are in operation.
Senior League Football A
The big news in the top division is two successive defeats for Crossmaglen Rangers who now lie 4 points behind one of their conquerors, Armagh Harps who lead the table on 6 points following a trio of victories. Defending league champions St Patrick’s, who lost their opening game will be buoyed by their 2-12 to 1-11 win at St Oliver Plunkett Park which gives them 4 points, the same amount as Pearse Og but the city side have only 2 games played. Maghery have also lost two of their opening 3 games and join Rangers and Sarsfields (2 games played) on the 2 point mark. Pointless following their opening two games, Wolfe Tone and Ballymacnab share the basement spot.
Senior League Football B
No 100% records left in this division with a trio on 4 points leading the way. Dromintee maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign with their second draw in a high scoring encounter 1-17 to 3-11 away to Grange who were picking up their first point in their second game played. Joining Dromintee on 4 points is Madden who lost away to Clann Eireann (also on 4 points). Forkhill notched their first points bursting the Annaghmore winning start with a 1-11 to 0-10 home win. Following a draw and a loss Granemore picked up their first win a 1-12 to 0-7 win over Tir na nOg who were losing for the second time, leaving them as the only team yet to register a league point.
Intermediate Football League A
The South Armagh mini-league, only 2 Lurgan teams involved, has already a distinctive look about it as there are 3 teams with maximum points, 2 teams pointless and the other 3 teams with one win apiece. Silverbridge, Killeavy and Culloville are the table toppers. Whitecross and Mullaghbawn are the table propers with St Peter’s, St Paul’s and Carrickcruppen the bit in the middle with 2 points each.
Intermediate Football League B
Two wins from two starts leaves Shane O’Neill’s as the only unbeaten team in the division thus far. The leaders picked up their second win with a 0-10 to 0-7 home win over main rivals Clan Na Gael who were suffering their first loss in 3 outings. A 0-14 to 0-11 win for Tullysaran over Corrinshego gives them 4 points with the losers at the foot of the table still seeking their first point along with Eire Og who have lost their first two games. Middletown, Derrynoose and An Port Mor all have a 50% record with one win each from 2 games played.
Junior Football league
This Junior Division is already showing that this could be the most interesting of all, given the results in so far. Dorsey Emmet’s, Lissummon and St Michael’s are the joint table toppers following 3 wins each in their opening games. Keady had a whopping 5-13 to 0-3 win over pointless Crossmaglen Rangers to take their tally to 5 points. With 2 wins out of 2 for Ballyhegan they are very much involved at the top end of the table. Clonmore, St Patrick’s and Pearse Og all have picked up 3 points with Collegeland on 2 points. Killeavy and Belleek have drawn one game for a point leaving Crossmaglen Rangers, Clady, O’Hanlon’s still looking to get off the mark.