Armoy Camogie Club awards evening

Armoy Camogie Club held their awards dinner in the Scenic Inn on Friday night where they celebrated their Junior Camogie Shield final win earlier in the year.

Una Forsythe, Emma Huey and Ciara Devlin at the Armoy Camogie Club dinner.
Aisling Faloona, Lucia McCormick, Justine O’Hagan, Niamh Butler and Orlagh McAlinden at the Armoy Camogie Club dinner

Camogs top the bill at the Loughgiel awards dinner

Loughgiel Shamrocks celebrated a great season at the annual awards dinner in Tullyglass Hotel on Friday evening with a vast array of trophies on show. The hurlers were celebrating success with the McMullan Cup, The Minor Championship, The Under 20 Championship and Senior Reserve Championship but topping the bill were the Camogs who only last weekend won back the Ulster Senior Camogie title

Under 17 County Champions Lougiel who received their medals at the club dinner in Tullyglass Hotel.
The Loughgiel Senior Reserve team who won the Countess of Antrim Cup and Reserve Championship were honoured the Loughgiel Shamrocks awards dinner in the Tullyglass Hotel.
Club treasurer Jack McNaughton with his five nieces who were part of the Loughigel team who won the Ulster Senior Camogie title. L-R, Una McNaughton, Lucia McNaughton, Katie Lynn, Maria Lynn and Annie Lynn

Glenann and St Olcan’s, Armoy are winners at the North Antrim Indoor camogie sevens at CPC

Glenann Primary School won Section A of the Cross & Passion College Cunmann na mBunscol indoor Sevens Camogie tournament, which upper 6th students in the school organised in the college’s Sports Hall.

The competition was run on a league basis with each team having six games, which were 5 minutes long. Glenann got off to a great start with a convincing 5-2 win over St Anne’s Corkey, and followed it up with a 4-1 win over Gaelscoil An Chaistil

St John’s Carnlough interrupted the flow when they drew 1-1 with the winners but Glenann bounced back in the next game and beat St Patrick’s & St Brigid’s Ballycastle 4-1. Their penultimate game against St Joseph’s Dunloy was draw 2-2 before finishing the day with a 3-1 win over St Patrick’s Loughgiel.

St Olcan’s PS Armoy who won the B section of the North Antrim Cumann na mBunscol Camogie sevens at Cross & Passion College.

In the B competition St Olcan’s PS Armoy came out on top and their captain Amy Scott received the trophy on behalf of her team from CPC principal Mrs Duffy.

A big shout out the CPC students who organised the event so well. Everything ran like clockwork all day long.

The Cross & Passion students who organised the Cumann na mBunscol tournament.

2 Million, and still counting, for the Saffron Gael

When we launched the Saffron Gael back in 2017 we had no idea if it would be successful or indeed how successful it was going to be. We both had covered Gaelic games regularly for two weekly newspapers but when those papers folded within weeks of each other we were left with something of a dilemma.

As lifelong followers and supporters of Gaelic games in Antrim we felt we had played our part in helping to promote our national games, particularly within the county and suddenly that promotion opportunity had been removed from us.

After a short discussion we decided that the best way to continue and indeed improve Gaelic coverage within the county was a dedicated website and so the ‘Saffron Gael’ was born.

Within days a number of photographers and reporters had expressed their interest in helping us out and five years later most of them are still on board despite receiving little financial reward. These men and woman, like ourselves are primarily Antrim GAA supporters and without them it would not have been possible to carry the level of coverage we carry daily.

Dunloy v Loughgiel in the Under 21 Hurling final in Armoy on Monday 29th May is the first game the Saffron Gael covered

So then the question was, is there a demand for the ‘Saffron Gael’? The site was launched in June 2017 and in the first year we had 724,728 views and we published 904 reports. In 2017 we had only published for the final 7 months of the year so would we increase our readership in 2018?

Indeed we did and in our first full calendar year the number of hits on the stie increased to 1,373,793 and we published 1,577 posts. In 2019 it increased again to 1,638,846 while publised 1,520 reports.

During Covid the amount of Gaelic games, as in other sports decreased because of restrictions but we were determined to keep going and by publishing alternative articles on club histories and individual profiles on clubs and players we maintained our readership.

Cargin v Creggan in the 2018 final in Ahoghill was one of the lowest scoring championship we have covered in our time, but it was exciting to the last. Cargin won by a point but Creggan showed they were on the way up

2020 saw us record 1,617,956 views, slightly down from the previous year but never the less amazing given the pandemic we were all in.

Would there be a limit to our readership, had our viewing figures peaked? The answer was no as we got back to something of normality in 2021 despite crowds still be limited at games.

In 2021 our viewing figures reached an amazing 1,919,010 and we felt that we had probably reached our peak where viewing figures were concerned but our readership continue to amaze us and as 2022 has progressed we had an inclination that we might surpass last year’s viewing figures.

We started to ask ourselves the question. Could we possibly reach 2,000,000 in 2022? We are pleased to tell you that that figured was reached earlier this month and at the time of publishing today we have had 2,047,193.

That number increases as we speak and we are delighted by the response from our readers. All this would not be possible of course without our dedicated team of photographers and reporters who give selflessly of their time to bring you photographs and reports.

We continue to thank those sponsors, advertisers and clubs who have made the financial contributions to keep the Saffron Gael afloat and growing by the year and we would ask our readership to support these sponsors wherever possible.

We appeal to those clubs who have not yet donated to the Saffron Gael to do so and the site remains open to new advertisers and sponsors to come on board if they wish to do so.

Tower fight back to keep unbeaten run

Ulster Colleges Senior Camogie

St Killian’s Garron Tower 4-7 Cross & Passion College 2-8

A storming second half by St Killian’s saw them fight back to beat Cross & Passion College in their final game the round robin qualifying at Pairc Mhuir Cushendall on Wednesday afternoon and sees the Garron Tower girls win all three games in this qualifying stage.

In a highly competitive game CPC appeared to be in control of the match when they went seven clear early in second half, Shannagh Heggarty getting a goal within a minute of the restart. The gap was still at seven entering the final quarter of the game, but St Killian’s finally found the scoring touch to score four more goals between then and the final whistle to end up winning by five.

St Killian’s centre back Abi McNeill breaks out of defence during the second half of Wednesday’s clash with CPC

Early points from Janey McIntosh and Shanaggh Heggarty put CPC two clear early on, but points from Monique of Boyle and Lara Haughey tied things up after nine minutes. Two more Shannagh Heggarty points from frees gave the advantage back to Cross & Passion and when Eimear McKinley grabbed a goal they held the upper and by half time they were a goal to the good as they led by 1-4 to 0-4.

When Heggarty got her team’s second goal within a minute of the restart they Ballycastle school appeared to be in a strong position. A point from a Lara Haughey free cut the gap back to five, but CPC came again with points from Heggarty and McIntosh to go seven clear.

CPC’s Aoibheann Donnelly in action during Wednesday’s clash with St Killian’s Garron Tower.

There was renewed hope for St Killian’s when they were awarded a penalty midway through the second half, but Orlaith McAlister’s shot was wide of the target and you felt it was going to be Garron Tower’s day. However all was to change soon afterwards when a Lara Haughey free was deflected to the CPC net, and when Haughey’s midfield partner Cara O’Boyle soloed through for goal number two a minute later it looked like anyone’s game. Aoibheann Donnelly pointed a free to put CPC two clear but two pointed frees by Orlaith McAlister squared things up with just five minutes left to play. In a tense finish Shanaggh Heggarty briefly put Cross & Passion back in front, but the Tower girls finished strongly with goals from Monique O’Boyle and substitute Eimear Butler sealed the win.

The teams are back in action after Christmas when the semi-finals a dow for decision. This result probably means the same two will meet again in the semis with St Louis Ballymena and St Pat’s Maghera in the other semi-final.

St Killian Cara O’Boyle in full flight during her team’s clash with CPC in Cushendall.

ST KILLIAN’S

Louise Mulholland, Una McAllister, Catherine O’Boyle, Eimear McMullan, Aisling Mulholland, Abi McNeill, Laura Black, Cara O’Boyle, Lara Haughey, Kady McNeill, Orlaith McAlister, Ellie Jo Butler, Orlaith McCurry, Monique O’Boyle, Niamh Graham.

Subs – Eimear Butler, Erin McCambridge, Rhianna Black

CROSS & PASSION COLLEGE

Erin O’Hara, Erin Connolly, Katie Glackin, Orla McIlroy, Dani McQuillan, Fay McIntosh, Noelle McAuley, Jamey McIntosh, Tara McAfee, Elen McIntosh, Aoibneann Donnelly, Shannagh Heggarty, Ciara Connolly, Eimear McKinley, Eobha McAlister.

Referee – Shane McDonnell