Ulster Senior Football Championship

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Ulster Senior Football Championship
Current season or competition:
2014 Ulster Senior Football Championship
Flag of Ulster.svg
Irish Craobh Peile Uladh
Code Gaelic football
Founded 1888
Region Ulster (GAA)
Trophy Anglo-Celt Cup
No. of teams 9 (2014)
Title holders Monaghan (15th title)
First winner Monaghan
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.

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]

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  

2009 Championship[edit]

  Preliminary round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                                     
        
   Derry 1–10  
     Monaghan 0–10  
      
        
   Derry 0–07  
   Tyrone 0–15  
        
        
   Tyrone 2–10
     Armagh 1–10  
      
        
   Tyrone 1–18
   Antrim 0–15
        
        
   Donegal 0–12
     Antrim 1–10  
      
        
   Antrim 0–13
   Cavan 1–07  
        
        
   Cavan 0–13
     Fermanagh 1–09  
 Fermanagh 0–13
 Down 0–10  

2008 Championship[edit]

Preliminary round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
      
          Fermanagh 2–08  
          Monaghan 0–10  
            Fermanagh 1–11  
            Derry 1–09  
          Donegal 1–12  
          Derry 1–14  
            Fermanagh
(R)
1-11
0–08
            Armagh
(R)
2-08
1–11
          Tyrone 0–21  
          Down 1–19  
            Down 0–11  
 Antrim 1–14        Armagh 1–12  
 Cavan 1–19      Cavan 0–13       
          Armagh 0–17       
      

[1]

Records and statistics[edit]

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.