The Football Leagues nears completion with only a couple of rounds remaining in the first and second divisions, with a couple of re-fixes required in the second grade but nothing is settled yet to determine the winners and losers.
Division Three requires a few rounds to conclude the programme but in contrast to the goings on in division on and two the situation at the top has been determined as Sarsfield’s will collect the silverware as league champions and the Paddies will be accompanied on the upward trail to division two fare in 2018 by O’ Donnell’s.
In Division One a couple of rounds remain in section A to decide the destination of the Eddie Fitzsimmons Memorial Trophy, and three sides remain as contenders. At present the Division One champions Erin’s Own Cargin lead the way but just a point ahead of their parish rivals Creggan who are shadowed by third placed St Gall’s who are just a point further back. Cargin look favourites at present as the Toome men will play hosts to Aghagallon in the penultimate round before concluding with an away trip to Lamh Dhearg. The Toome men enjoy a healthy ‘score difference’ advantage over both Creggan and St Gall’s so if they remain unbeaten they are favourites to take silverware
Creggan appear to have a couple of difficult assignments as they must travel to Corrigan Park on the 2nd August to cross swords with the Johnnies and Kevin Madden’s men will conclude their programme on 13th August back in Belfast meeting up with St Gall’s at their Milltown abode. St Gall’s having taken a full return of points from their visit to Toome on their visit to the Shore road venue last week are certainly in contention for a rare league title will travel to Hannahstown for their next outing before playing hosts to Kickham’s Creggan eleven days later. The Milltown Blues will be looking for things to go their way prior to this one and this 13th August affair could well prove to be a league decider. However if Cargin win their home game against Aghagallon on Wednesday evening they are home and hosed.
In the B section the fight to avoid relegation and the downward trail to second division fare 2018 would seem to involve Aldergrove 8pts, Ahoghill 8pts, and St Paul’s on 7 points. The Aldergrove men would appear to have and advantage with a game in hand over their rivals but nothing can be taken for granted. The St James’s outfit will meet up with the present occupier of bottom slot as they travel to Shaw’s road to meet up with St Paul’s on 2nd August with the destination of the points vitally important, and they will be on the road again to O’ Cahan Park and a meeting with Casements five days later on August 7th. The Crumlin side will complete their league assignments on August 13th as they play hosts to Ahoghill which may well prove a hugely significant game.
St Mary’s Ahoghill, who do seem to be gaining in confidence of late, will hope they can maintain form that saw them earn a draw with the in-form St Teresa’s last time out as they look for points when Rossa visit Clooney on August 2nd. They will conclude with a trip up to Crumlin in their last game of the campaign when the outcome and the destination of the points could be decisive.
St Paul’s have struggled to make impact in their return to the top division this term and after a few years in exile they look in danger of a quick return to the second tier. However the Shaw’s Road side will not go down without a fight. Having earned three points from their latest assignments earned with an away victory at Ahoghill and a share of the spoils with Rossa they are in with a fighting chance of retaining status. The red and white hoops will look for a full return of points from their last couple of games as they play hosts to Aldergrove on August 2nd and complete with a trip to Portglenone on Aug 13th.