Fibrus unveiled as Antrim GAA official sponsor

Fibrus has announced a new five-year sponsorship deal with Antrim GAA.

The hyperfast full fibre broadband provider said the company is proud to become the Saffron County’s official sponsor, supporting the Senior, U20 and U17 football and hurling teams.

Fibrus Co-Founders Dominic Kearns (Chief Executive) and Conal Henry (Chairperson), and all of its senior executives, were at a special event at the Hilton Hotel in Belfast on December 1 to publicly announce the deal.

The Belfast-based company teamed up with Antrim representatives to kick off the new sponsorship arrangement, including hurling legends Neil McManus, Conal Cunning and football stars Ryan Murray and Dermot McAleese.

Antrim stars Ryan Murray, Dermot McAleese, Neil McManus and Conal Cunning at the launch of the new Fibrus sponsored Antrim kit at Hilton Hotel, Belfast. Pic by John McIlwaine

Speaking at the launch, Kearns, a Saffron County native and an ex-Antrim player, got a bit emotional as he began to address the lareg crowd who attended the launch, say this was a very proud moment for a life time Antrim fan to be sponsoring his native county. Dominic went on to say that the move demonstrated Fibrus’ desire to give back to local communities.

“Fibrus is all about connecting communities and bringing people together – much like Antrim GAA,” he said.

“Indeed, sport has always been something which connects people across the board and – not unlike broadband – it is also a great unifier of communities.

“As Fibrus helps to level up rural and remote parts of the north by providing previously underserved areas with access to full fibre broadband, we stand beside Antrim GAA as it continues to serve communities off the pitch, while also striving for success on it.”

Kearns added: “And while Fibrus remains committed to building the critical 21st century infrastructure, we will also continue to focus on what we, as a company, can do for those in the society we serve.”

Antrim GAA County Chairperson Ciarán McCavana said they were delighted to welcome Fibrus on board as the primary sponsor.

Antrim chairman Ciaran McCavanna

“We are really looking forward to working with Fibrus over the next five years to begin with and look forward to seeing the teams in action wearing this fantastic new jersey,” McCavana said.

“The commercial relationship with Fibrus will help drive future success for Antrim GAA, both on and off the field.

“This funding will also further enhance the opportunities for our athletes to reach the next level as they constantly strive to improve.”

As part of the partnership, Fibrus’ name and logo will appear on the front of the new Antrim GAA senior, minor and under-20 team jerseys and also on all leisure wear. It can be purchased in stores and online from December 8.

Fibrus Chief Executive Dominic Kearns

This historic sponsorship deal will be vital in ensuring participation levels in Gaelic games continue to grow in Antrim. The funding will also ensure all teams from Senior to underage have access to the equipment, conditioning and nutrition needed to compete at the highest possible level.

Currently transforming digital infrastructure in the UK, Fibrus has invested over £500m to bring full fibre broadband to rural homes and businesses in towns and villages across Northern Ireland and Northern England. Already, 200,000 homes have been passed across Northern Ireland and Cumbria, and Fibrus is on target to pass 250,000 homes by March 2023.

Dominic Kearns shares a joke with Antrim Business Forum’s Tony Shivers (left) and Antrim hurling manager Darren Gleeson at Thursday’s launch at the Hilton Hotel, Belfast.

Johnnies retain Berringer Cup

South Antrim Berringer Cup Final 

St Johns 3-13-1-10 St Galls 

Kevin Herron reports from Corrigan Park 

A clinical first half helped St Johns on their way to clinch the Berringer Cup with a 3-13-1-10 win over St Galls at Corrigan Park on Sunday morning. 

It was the first Berringer Cup final since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic and on that occasion, St Johns rallied late to secure South Antrim’s prestigious honour against Davitt’s. 

The holders were in ascendancy in the early stages with Conor Hand, Conor Adams and Oisin McManus in amongst their early scorers. 

Niall Fallon hit two of his sides opening scores, but the Milltown side were 0-05-0-03 behind in the early stages. 

The opening goal of proceedings came courtesy of a quickly taken free from Adams that caught St Galls cold and gave his side a 1-05-0-03 advantage. 

Hand swung a lovely shot over the bar and Oisin McManus dropped another impressive shot between the posts. 

St Galls hit back when Aodh Mullan’s attempted point came off the large post and Niall Fallon swopped in and shot to the net to give his side a lifeline. 

Niall Fallon as he is about to pull the trigger and give St Galls hope

However, an Andy McGowan strike before the break ensured that St Johns were 2-09-1-03 ahead at the midway point and in pole position to claim the Berringer Cup come the games conclusion. 

A Conor Hand point extended the hosts advantage upon the game’s resumption, but Niall Fallon responded with a converted free. 

Adams took a pass on the loop and squeezed an effort over before converting a free shortly after. 

St Galls replied with three points on the spin, Aodh Mullan converted a free, Kieran McGourty was the recipient of a short free and played a role that saw a high shot from Mark Kelly drop over the bar. 

The resulting kick-out fell to Oran McIlhatton and he returned it over- despite their purple patch- the Milltown side still trailed 2-12-1-07.

Joe Garland and Conall McCabe traded points and a further Aodh Mullan free reduced arrears further heading into the final ten minutes. 

The insurance score for the Johnnies came courtesy of a Laughlin McCurdy goal that gave his side a 3-13-1-09 advantage. 

St Galls would register a further point before the conclusion, although it was merely scant consolation as the game was beyond doubt as the holders ensured the trophy would remain on the Whiterock Road for a further twelve months- three years after their last success. 

Con Magees Juvenile Awards

The Con Magees juvenile awards were held at the weekend, with the 6 to 12-year-olds attending on Friday night and the 13 to 17 year olds reciveing their awards on Saturday. Antrim defender Matthew Donnelly did the honours on Friday while on Saturday Antrim LGFA All Ireland winners Niamh Mulholland and Claire Emerson were joined by Cargin captain James Laverty, Glenravel footballers Eoin Hynds and Declan Traynor as they handed out the awards

Naomh Pól juvenile presentations

CLG Naomh Pól returned to their traditional juvenile presentations at the Devenish on Saturday afternoon for the first time post Covid. 

More than 500 children and adults came to a festive venue to celebrate the successes of their teams on the pitch in 2022. 

CLG Naomh Pól is in a very healthy state given the numbers in attendance, so much so they have to split the presentations in two parts through the day. 

The first session celebrated the wonderful young children from U6 – U10 in all five codes. 

The second session celebrated everything positive about the U11 – U16 groups in the club in all five codes. 

Our huge thanks must go to everyone that made the day’s possible – Juvenile Committee Sean Bradley, Pol Brennan, Bert Trowlen from Saffron Gael, as well as our special guests Aisling Reilly MLA, Gerard Walsh, Niamh Donnelly,  Colleen Patterson, Aine Tubridy, Emma Kelly, Stephen Rooney and Jack McAufield for making the occasion so special for all of our youngsters. 

Tierney inspires Emmet Og to victory

Ulster Ladies MFC Quarter-Final

Emmet Og 3-11 St. Ergnat’s 1-7

St. Ergnats, Moneyglass bowed out of the Ulster Minor ladies football championship when they were beaten by an excellent Emmet Og at the quarter-final stage today. Emmet Og manager Marty Fox admitted after the game that he had watched the Moneyglass senior ladies in their final two weeks ago and had clearly done his homework on the minor players who had featured in that game.

His hard work clearly paid off and his side now go forward to the semi-final after an impressive win over the Antrim champions who were expected to be challenging for honours this year.

There was little between the sides during the opening half with an injury time goal from Ciara O’Boyle leaving the Antrim champions trailing by a goal at half time and at this stage they looked in with a serious shout.

Three Maria O’Neill’s points and another from Aoife Kelly accounted for the rest of the Moneyglass total with Emmet Og replying with goals from Mairead Cusack and Dearbhla Quigley and the superb Sarah Tierney accounting for all four of their first half points.

Tierney continued to weave her magic during the second half as she added a further six points and a goal from the same player in the 21st minute brought her personal tally to 1-10 for the evening and killed off the challenge of the St. Ergnat’s girls despite fighting performances from Aoife Kelly, Maria O’Neill, Molly McCoy, Sarah O’Neill, Niamh Neeson and Cliona Griffin, Ciara O’Boyle and Ciara Scullin.

Nicole Cassidy and Katie McCloskey accounted for the Moneyglass points in the second half but the St. Ergnat’s were forced to concede in the end to an Emmet Og team who were inspired by Sarah Tierney.