GAA Football

St Enda's to get Antrim SFC up and running against St Mary's, Aghagallon

St Enda's reach the final of the All-Ireland Club Intermediate Football Championship earlier this month Picture by Séamus Loughran


ST ENDA'S reward for their recent heroics at intermediate level is a preliminary round tie with St Mary's, Aghagallon in the 2019 Antrim Senior Football Championship.

The Glengormley club, managed by Frank Fitzsimons, reached this year's All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Championship final after capturing the Antrim and Ulster titles, the first championship crowns in the club's history.

Although they went down to star-studded Kerry outfit Kilcummin in the final earlier this month, the Hightown men will be relishing the battle to come at senior level in Antrim. St Mary's will have home advantage in the preliminary tie.

Lámh Dhearg, senior champions in 2017, begin their campaign with a home fixture against St Mary's, Ahoghill, while last year's beaten intermediate finalists Gort na Móna will take on O'Donovan Rossa.

Seeded champions Cargin lie in wait for the winners of the all-Belfast clash of the Gorts and Rossa, while beaten senior finalists Kickham's, Creggan will take on either Lámh Dhearg or St Mary's, Ahoghill. St Gall's and St John's are the two other seeded clubs assured of a quarter-final spot.

Both St Gall's and St John's, meanwhile, have been drawn along with beaten 2018 finalists Loughiel Shamrocks in Group Two of the Antrim Senior Hurling Championship. St Gall's enjoyed a thrilling run to the semi-finals of the All-Ireland Club Intermediate Hurling Championship, where they lost to Oranmore of Galway, and they will be confident when going toe-to-toe with their north Antrim rivals having also secured All-County Division One hurling for this season.

Reigning champions Rúairí Óg, Cushendall share Group One with Cúchullain's, Dunloy and the winner of the preliminary round battle between O'Donovan Rossa and Ballycastle.

Who plays who in the semi-finals once qualification from the group stage is settled will be decided by an open draw.

Antrim SFC preliminary round (Dates & times TBC): St Mary's, Aghagallon v St Enda's; first round: Lámh Dhearg v St Mary's, Ahoghill; Aghagallon/St Enda's v St Theresa's; Gort na Móna v O'Donovan Rossa; Casement's, Portglenone v St Bríd.

Antrim SHC preliminary round (Dates & times TBC): O'Donovan Rossa v McQuillan's, Ballycastle; Group One: Rúairí Óg, Cushendall; Cúchullain's, Dunloy; winner of preliminary round; Group Two: St Gall's; St John's; Loughiel Shamrocks

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