Ulster Senior Football Championship

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Ulster Senior Football Championship
Current season or competition:
2014 Ulster Senior Football Championship
Ulster GAA.svg
Irish Craobh Peile Uladh
Code Gaelic football
Founded 1888
Region Ulster (GAA)
Trophy Anglo-Celt Cup
No. of teams 9 (2014)
Title holders Donegal (8th title)
First winner Monaghan (15 titles)
Most titles Cavan (37 titles)
Sponsors Vodafone
Ulster Bank
Toyota

The Ulster Senior Football Championship is a GAA competition for Gaelic football teams at inter-county level within the Irish province of Ulster. Organised by the Ulster Council, the competition takes place during the summer months. All nine counties within the Provincial Council participate. It is regarded as the most competitive of the four provincial football championships, and the hardest to win.[1][2] Cavan are the most successful team in Ulster Championship history, having won the competition on 37 occasions. Fermanagh remain the only team not to have won an Ulster title. The Ulster Senior Football Championship celebrated its 125th year in 2013.[3]

For many decades, winning the Ulster Senior Football Championship was considered as much as a team from Ulster could hope for, as the other provinces were usually much stronger and more competitive. In particular, before 1990, only Cavan in 1933, 1935, 1947, 1948 and 1952, and Down in 1960, 1961 and 1968, had won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship title. In the 1990s however, a significant sea change took place, as the Ulster Champions won the All-Ireland in four consecutive years from 1991–1994. Since then Ulster has produced more All-Ireland winning teams than any other province.[4]

Nowadays the Ulster Senior Football Championship is considered one of the toughest provinces to compete in, and Ulster teams have gained considerable dominance on the All-Ireland scene, having won three All-Irelands from four in the early 2000s, including in 2003 when for the first time ever, the All-Ireland football final was competed for by two teams from one province – Ulster. The Ulster football final is played in July, normally at St. Tiernach's Park in Clones; however, from 2004 until 2006, it was staged at Croke Park in Dublin. The 2007 final—contested by Monaghan and Tyrone—marked a return to Clones, with Tyrone emerging victorious.

In the 2000s, Armagh became a dominant force in Ulster, winning six titles in seven years between 1999 and 2006. However, they have since been usurped—since being defeated by Down in the 2010 Championship, Donegal have won consecutive Ulster titles from the preliminary round (a feat achieved by no other county) and have added the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship to this in 2012.

Teams[edit]

The Ulster championship is contested by the nine traditional counties in the Irish province of Ulster. Ulster comprises the six counties of Northern Ireland as well as Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland.

Team Colours Sponsor Manager Captain Most recent success
All-Ireland Provincial
Antrim Antrim colours.PNG Saffron and white Creagh Concrete Liam Bradley Aodhán Gallagher
1951
Armagh Armagh colours.PNG Orange and white Rainbow Communications Kieran McGeeney Ciaran McKeever
2002
2008
Cavan Laois colours.PNG Royal blue and white Kingspan Group Terry Hyland Alan Clarke
1952
1997
Derry Cork colours.PNG Red and white Specialist Joinery Group Brian McIver Mark Lynch
1993
1998
Donegal Donegal colours.jpg Gold and green Donegal Creameries Rory Gallagher Michael Murphy
2012
2014
Down Down colours.PNG Red and black Canal Court Hotel Jim McCorry Mark Poland
1994
1994
Fermanagh Limerick colours.PNG Green and white Tracey Concrete Peter McGrath Eoin Donnelly
Monaghan Waterford colours.PNG White and blue Investec Malachy O'Rourke Conor McManus
2013
Tyrone Derry colours.PNG White and Red McAleer & Rushe Mickey Harte Seán Cavanagh
2008
2010

Format[edit]

Current format[edit]

The Ulster Senior Football Championship is run on a knock-out basis in which once a team loses they are eliminated from the competition, and so compete in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship qualifier series. The Ulster Senior Football Championship winner enters the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship at the quarter-final stage.

Historic format[edit]

Before the introduction of the qualifier series in 2001, the winner of the Ulster Senior Football Championship would compete, along with the other three provincial winners, in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-finals, with the two winners competing in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final.

Gallery[edit]

Belfast, County Antrim Derry, County Derry Clones, County Monaghan Omagh, County Tyrone Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
Casement Park Celtic Park St. Tiernach's Park Healy Park Brewster Park
Capacity: 32,500 Capacity: 22,000 Capacity: 36,000 Capacity: 26,500 Capacity: 20,000
Roger Casement Park - geograph.org.uk - 443980.jpg Celtic Park, Derry, August 2009.JPG St. Tiernach's Park.JPG Healy Park, Omagh.jpg Brewster Park.jpg

Team crests[edit]

Armagh GAA Antrim GAA Cavan GAA Derry GAA Donegal GAA Down GAA Fermanagh GAA Monaghan GAA Tyrone GAA
Armaghcrest.png Antrim crest.png Cavannewcrest.jpg Derry gaa.png Donegalcrest.jpg Downnewcrest.jpg Fermanaghnewcrest.jpg Monaghancrest.jpg

This decade[edit]

2014 Championship[edit]

The Anglo-Celt Cup, which is awarded to the Ulster champions
Preliminary Round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Ulster final
 Tyrone
(R)
2-11
3-11
 
 Down
(R)
3-08
0-12
     Tyrone 0-14  
          Monaghan 1-12  
            Monaghan
(R)
0-14
1-18
 
            Armagh
(R)
0-14
1-13
 
          Armagh 1-12  
          Cavan 0-09  
            Monaghan 1-09
            Donegal 0-15
          Fermanagh 3-13  
          Antrim 2-18  
            Antrim 0-12  
            Donegal 3-16  
          Derry 0-11       
          Donegal 1-11       
      

2013 Championship[edit]

Preliminary Round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Ulster final
 Cavan 1-15  
 Armagh 1-11      Cavan 0-13  
          Fermanagh 0-11  
            Cavan 0-12  
            Monaghan 1-10  
          Antrim 0-06  
          Monaghan 0-11  
            Monaghan 0-13
            Donegal 0-07
          Tyrone 0-10  
          Donegal 2-10  
            Donegal 0-12  
            Down 0-09  
          Derry 1-15       
          Down 2-17       
      

2012 Championship[edit]

Preliminary round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 Cavan 1–10  
 Donegal 1–16      Donegal 2–13  
          Derry 0–09  
            Donegal 0–12  
            Tyrone 0–10  
          Tyrone 0–19  
          Armagh 1–13  
            Donegal 2–18
            Down 0–13
          Monaghan 1–12  
          Antrim 1–09  
            Monaghan 1–13  
            Down 1–14  
          Down 2–10       
          Fermanagh 1–08       
      

2011 Championship[edit]

  Preliminary round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                                     
        
   Armagh 1–15  
     Down 1–10  
      
        
   Armagh 1–11  
   Derry 3–14  
        
        
   Derry 1–18
     Fermanagh 1–10  
      
        
   Derry 0–08
   Donegal 1–11
        
        
   Tyrone 1–13
     Monaghan 1–11  
      
        
   Tyrone 0–09
   Donegal 2–06  
        
        
   Cavan 1–08
     Donegal 2–14  
 Donegal 1–10
 Antrim 0–07  

2010 Championship[edit]

  Preliminary round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                                     
        
   Antrim 1–13  
     Tyrone 2–14  
      
        
   Tyrone 0–14  
   Down 0–10  
        
        
   Donegal 2–10
     Down 1–15  
      
        
   Tyrone 1–14
   Monaghan 0–07
        
        
   Cavan 0–13
     Fermanagh 1–13  
      
        
   Fermanagh 2–08
   Monaghan 0–21  
        
        
   Monaghan 1–18
     Armagh 0–09  
 Derry 1–07
 Armagh 1–10  

Records and statistics[edit]

Broadcasters[edit]

In the late 90's, matches were broadcast in Northern Ireland by UTV before moving to BBC Northern Ireland.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ulster the hardest province to win - Harte". The Irish Times. 13 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Scott, Ronan (28 November 2008). "Ulster 'best' says Sean Og". Gaelic Life. p. 5. 
  3. ^ "Summer begins with the Ulster GAA Championships". 1 May 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 2013 marks the 125th Anniversary of the Ulster Football Championship and the Ulster Museum in Botanic Gardens was transformed into an exhibition of Ulster's finest memories over those 125 years. 
  4. ^ Moran, Seán (26 May 2013). "Donegal hoping to avoid being fifth All-Ireland champions in 20 years to fall at first hurdle in Ulster: Uneasy lies the head that wears the northern crown". The Irish Times. Retrieved 26 May 2013.