Dunloy continue to make the running at the top of Division 1 of the All County Hurling League and their convincing win over parish neighbours Clougmills brings their points tally to 14 and maintains their unbeaten run. Cushendall are three behind on 11 points but the Ruairis do have a game in hand. They played out a real thriller with Ballygalget on Sunday down in the Ards Peninsula, squeezing home by two points on a scoreline of 2-23 to 4-15. Loughgiel are also on 11 points, but they have played a game more than Cushendall. The Shamrocks had a runaway win over Ballycastle on Sunday against a McQuillan’s side who appear to be in free fall. Nobody would be surprised to see them losing to Loughgiel but to lose by 25 points is a worrying development and the threat of relegation is beginning to loom over them, something that seemed unimaginable before the start of the campaign .
Down neighbours Ballycran and Ballygalget are 4th and 5th in the table though the St Joseph’s side are in a much stronger position with 10 points from 7 games while Ballygalget have 6 points from 8 games. Ballycran had a fight on their hands at Shaw’s Road on Sunday against Rossa but they got over the line with a 1-16 to 2-5 victory. Rossa are down in the relegation zone with just four points and their meeting with Ballycastle in the league will be as important as their championship clash later in the season.
Portaferry and St John’s continue to set the pace in Division 2. The Ards men are still unbeaten with full points from their 8 games so far, one of which was against the Johnnies who have 12 points from 7 games. Both were winners on Sunday with Portaferry having to work harder than expected to overcome Carey Faughs while St John’s were also in North Antrim where they beat Armoy by 3-19 to 3-11.
Glenariff and Tir na nOg are on 8 points apiece with 4 wins and 4 draws to their credit. While the Oisin’s wins have been fairly evenly spaced throughout the season the men from Randalstown have turned their season completely on its head with 3 wins from their last 3 games against Armoy, St Gall’s and Glenariff whom they beat at Whitehill on Sunday. St Gall’s, who have lost their last three games, are on 6 points as are Carey Faughs and both have played the full 8 matches so far. Cloney Gaels and Glen Rovers share the relegation places with 3 points apiece. The Ahoghill men had comprehensive 5-22 to 4-14 win over St Gall’s on Sunday, a welcome victory indeed considering their lowly position and they will be hoping to scramble a few more wins in the coming weeks if they can reproduce Sunday’s form. Armoy have put together some good displays during the season, but they are finding the wins hard to come by and they must improve if they are to get away from the foot of the table
Carryduff top the combined Division 3 & 4 on 15 points but they have played more games than most of the others and Sarsfields look handily placed on 13 points with 3 games in hand as do Dungannon Eoghan Rua who have 12 points with 3 in hand. Emmets Cushendun are still up in 4th place, despite shipping a real beating from St Enda’s on Sunday, while Rasharkin are the surprise packets in many ways as they sit in 5th with 11 points from their 8 games.
6th placed St Enda’s will be hoping that Sunday’s big win over Cushendun will set them on a bit of a run as they sit above Gort na Mona, St Paul’s and Lamh Dhearg who all have 8 points. Creggan, Glenarm and St Teresa’s are all on 7 points but most punters would have expected the Kickhams to be challenging much nearer the top of the table. Na Magha, Con Magees and Bredagh are all on 6 points, though the Glenravel men have played more games than the other two while Naomh Colum Cille and Loch Mór Dál gCais are still searching from their win.