Antrim and Sligo to renew old rivalry

Antrim v Sligo

Antrim and Sligo have been regular rivals over the past eleven years going back to 2009 when the two sides met in the Division 4 final at Pearse Park Longford which Sligo won by 1-12 to 1-10. The sides finished level at the top of Division 4 on 14 points each, the Saffrons topping the Division on score difference. Antrim won their meeting in the league proper at Casement Park by 1-11 to 0-9 but the Connacht men turned the table in the league final. By the way Antrim’s top score in both games was a young Lamh Dhearg player called Paddy Cunningham.

The following year was a similar pattern. With both teams promoted to Division 3 Liam Bradley’s side once again finished top of the league table, again beating Sligo on score difference and once again coming out on top in the league proper at Casement with a 1-12 to 0-14 win. In the Div 3 decided at Croke Park Sligo once again turned the tables, this time with a more emphatic 0-19 to 1-11 win. Paddy Cunningham was again the Saffrons top scorer in both games with 1-5 at Casement and 0-6 in Croker

 The two teams who went up to Division 2 together in 2011 came back down together at the end of the season, Antrim finishing bottom of the pile with just one win against Meath while Sligo won the game between the two teams by 2-18 to 1-11 in Casement and also got a draw against Donegal in Ballybofey.

The following year 2012 they were down in Division 3 together again, this time both finishing out of the top places – Antrim finishing third while Sligo were down in 5th. They met in the first game of the season at Casement Park (they seemed to have home advantage in the majority of their meetings) with Antrim coming out on top by 0-13 to 0-12.

Sligo gained revenge in Division 3 in 2013, this time in Markievicz Park, where the men in white and black won by 1-12 to 0-13. Antrim were relegated, despite winning their first game of the campaign against Cavan by 1-14 to 2-8. Sligo managed to avoid the drop by a single point so in 2014 there was no meeting between the sides for the first time in six years. The next time they met was in 2017, Antrim now back in Division 3 after topping the Division 4 table ahead of Louth the previous season, but losing out to the Wee County in the final in Croke Park. The Saffrons’ stay in Division 3 would be brief, despite beating Sligo by 0-11 to 1-7 in Corrigan Park. Sligo survived the 2018 season in Division 3 but were relegated last season and so on Sunday the two old rivals will renew a battle that has gone on for over a decade

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