Posts by thesaffrongael

Photographer and GAA writer who has been covering hurling, football and camogie for almost forty years

Antrim Cup Hurling Development Day 2018

On Saturday 21st April Antrim Coaching and Games hosted the annual Antrim Cup Hurling Development Day. Development teams from Kilkenny, Carlow and Meath were given a warm welcome to Antrim and played in keenly contested games across three venues in Belfast.

The U14 section was hosted at Queens University Malone Playing Fields. Teams competing were Kilkenny, Carlow 1 & 2, Meath 1 & 2, Antrim Slemish and Antrim Casement. Around 150 young hurlers got the opportunity to pull on their county jersey and pit themselves against other counties. The skill levels on show were certainly of a high standard across the counties and the games were played in very good spirits.

The U15 section was played at St Agnes GAC Pitch, Woodlands were Antrim U15s took on Meath U15s. This was a tough, physical game for both teams with plenty of learning that help both teams as they build for their cross provincial and national blitzes later in the year.

At Coláiste Feirste, Sportlann, Falls Road, Antrim U16s took on Meath U16s and Antrim U17s took on Kilkenny U16. With a big year ahead for all the teams involved in this section players and managements will take plenty encouragement from team and individual performances.

Antrim GAA Coaching and Games would like to thank the referees for officiating the games, Queens Sport Upper Malone, Colaiste Feirste and St Agnes GAC for the use of facilities and of course a huge thank you to the visiting counties from Kilkenny, Meath and Carlow we will hopefully see these counties visiting Antrim again in the near future.

Pics by Sean Paul McKillop

Diarmuid Frazer Memorial Tournament at Lamh Dhearg GAC


Lamh Dhearg GAAC Belfast will hold the annual Diarmuid Frazer Memorial Tournament in memory of their past player Diarmuid Frazer who tragically passed away in March 2014. He was a beautiful character who was part of the club’s fundamentals programme along with his twin brother Cormac. Cormac is currently playing U12 for Lamh Dhearg, whilst elder brother John James is part of the U14 set up.

This Saturday will see a celebration of Diarmuid’s life and the club urge as many of their members as possible to drop in with your families to the club to savour the day.

From 10am there will be 12 teams competing for 3 trophies, the Diarmuid Frazer Cup, Shield and Plate.

As well as this, the day will be a fun packed day for families, with activities on going in their 3g pitch, in the clubrooms and all around the club. Lamh Dhearg will also have a visit from the Fire Brigade and a BBQ! There will be lots of prizes on offer!

Please take the opportunity to call in and remember a beautiful young character who’s short life will be celebrated on Saturday.

Four goal Churchill leads the St Gall’s charge

All County Under 16 Hurling League – Division 2

St Gall’s 9-10 Shane O’Neill’s 3-13

Goals made the diffence at Milltown on Monday night when St Gall’s hosted Glenarm in the All County Under 16 Hurling League which the home side won by 9-10 to 3-13. St Gall’s opening goal came from corner forward Odhran O’Chuilian and while Glenarm came back with a series of good points and a goal Sean Murphy Lopez got St Gall’s second and though Daniel Bunting got their third they still trailed by a point at the break as Glenarm made good use of the wind.

After the change of ends wind assisted St Gall’s hit their stride and the goals came at regular intervals. Churchill got his second goal and Dara Delaney (2), Sean Murphy Lopez and Churchill knocked over points. Churchill was a key figure during the second half as he added three more goals while Bunting got his second in an impressive win.

Jack Doherty, Chris Lundy, Malachi McCloskey, Dubhaltach Wilson, Fergus Donnelly, Connla McCarthy, Niall Murtagh, Brendan Murtagh, Adam Churchill, Sean Murray Lopez, Dara Delaney, Dan Churchill, Aodh Mullan, Darragh Bunting, Odhran O’Chulain.

Subs – Sean Stewart, Conall McCabe, James Sloan.

Reserve semi finals down for decision


The semi finals of both the senior reserve competitions are down for decision tonight (Wednesday) with both the penultimate rounds of both the ‘Cup’ and ‘Shield’ events scheduled.


Reserve Cup all games at 7.15 pm

Erin’s Own Cargin v St John’s

Cargin are favoured by home advantage in this one as the holders of the reserve Cup play hosts to their old rivals as the Johnnies pay a visit to Toome.

The Erin’s Own men with a selection which included a useful blend of youth and experience within their ranks opened in defence of their title secured last term when they accounted for tonight’s opponents in the decider, with a good win over the visiting Rossa men.

They breasted the finish line with a 3-19 to 3-05 win in that one and Damien Cassidy’s side will be hoping for a retention of such positivity when St. John’s visit tonight.

St John’s did catch the eye with their opening win gained at the expense of St Gall’s.

The Corrigan men having gained a 2-08 to 1-07 victory at Corrigan underlined their strength in depth and they may well travel to the South West in confidence.

This does look likely to be a keenly fought affair which may well be close but ground advantage may well play a part with the nod just given to Cargin to make another Cup final.


Creggan v Casement’s

This all South West affair sees Kickham’s Creggan and Casement’s come face to face with the former’s Staffordstown road arena the venue.

Casement’s were last to qualify and their assignment against Lamh Dhearg was delayed for a week and in the event the wait certainly did nothing to curb the enthusiasm of Jude Donnelly’s men as they returned from that trip to Hannahstown with passage to the next round secured in eye catching fashion with a 4-18 to 4-07 victory.

That was an excellent return for the Bannsider’s and they will take the road up to Creggan with confidence.

Creggan were also impressive in their win over Moneyglass to secure passage to the semis.

Kevin Madden’s charges have been working hard in their pre-season activity and they really looked in good shape in the opening round performance which saw them gain passage over their neighbours with a 5-06 to 1-02 winning scoreline.

Another close one in prospect which could go either way but although Creggan will enjoy the benefits of home turf Casement’s are more than capable of causing upset.


Reserve Shield all games at 7.15 pm


St Mary’s Rasharkin v St Paul’s


Rasharkin have really hit the ground running this term and the Dreen men will look to continue in such confidence in 2018.

The St Mary’s side have really impressed thus far in the Shield event and after proving 2-14 to 1-11 winners over the visiting St Enda’s in the first round they followed up in the quarter final with a 1-11 to 1-04 win at the expense of Glenavy both from a division above.

They certainly are in the mood at present and the St Mary’s men will look forward to the visit of St. Paul’s.

St Paul’s started with a win at Gort na Mona, 1-11 to 0-11 and arguably found further improvement next time when they secured a 0-09 to 0-08 victory over Aldergrove.

St Paul’s do look in form at present with a good minor side set to bolster the senior ranks and they will travel to the South West looking to continue on the trail of the Shield.

Rasharkin have looked very good thus far in the reserve competition and if they can retain such positivity they can claim a berth in the final.



All Saint’s Ballymena v St Brigid’s

Ballymena got to this stage last year before losing to Glenavy and results gained in the competition to date would strongly suggest that they hope to go a step further this time.

They started with a trip to Dunloy and made progress with a 3-16 to 2-09 win over the Cuchullian’s and moved onward through the next phase when the proved as 4-17 to 0-05 winners over St Comgall’s.

St Brigid’s have looked the team to beat however in this competition opening with a 2-18 to 0-08 victory over Aghagallon and they continued in the next phase by virtue of a 6-07 to 0-10 win over St Mary’s Ahoghill.

Back to back stylish wins have ensured the South Belfast side have gained passage to the semis and they will travel down the M2 intent on further progress.

Another close one is in prospect and St. Brigid’s will start as favourites but they will be tested by a young and skilful All Saints side.