Ulster Senior Football Championship

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Ulster Senior Football Championship
Current season or competition:
2015 Ulster Senior Football Championship
Ulster GAA.svg
Irish Comórtas Peile Sinsear Uladh
Code Gaelic football
Founded 1888
Region Ulster (GAA)
Trophy Anglo-Celt Cup
No. of teams 9 (2014)
Title holders Monaghan (16th title)
First winner Monaghan (16 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 Province of Ulster is located to the north of the island of Ireland.
The counties of Ulster are distinguishable in the green.

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
2015
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 Londonderry 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: 15,000 Capacity: 37,000 Capacity: 18,500 Capacity: 16,000
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
The Anglo-Celt Cup, which is awarded to the Ulster champions

Team progress since 2001[edit]

Below is a record of each county's performance since the introduction of the qualifier system to the All-Ireland Series in 2001.

Key
Winner
Final
Semi Final
Quarter Final
Qualifier Rounds 1-4 / Tommy Murphy Cup
Championship 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Antrim Q2 Q1 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q1 TM TM Q4 Q1 Q3 Q3 Q1 Q2
Armagh Q3 W F QF SF QF Q1 QF Q1 Q3 Q3 Q1 Q3 QF
Cavan Q4 Q1 Q2 Q2 Q4 Q1 Q1 Q1 Q2 Q2 Q1 Q2 QF Q2
Derry SF Q3 Q2 SF Q3 Q3 QF Q1 Q3 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q3 Q1
Donegal Q2 QF SF Q4 Q2 QF Q3 Q2 QF Q1 SF W QF F
Down Q1 Q1 Q4 Q2 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q3 Q3 F Q4 QF Q2 Q3
Fermanagh Q1 Q3 QF SF Q1 Q4 Q2 Q3 Q1 Q2 Q1 Q1 Q2 Q1
Monaghan Q2 Q1 Q2 Q1 Q4 Q2 QF Q4 Q2 Q4 Q1 Q2 QF QF
Tyrone QF Q4 W QF W Q2 QF W SF QF QF Q3 SF Q2

Top winners[edit]

  • A golden background denotes years the Ulster Champions won the All-Ireland as well.
Team Wins Years won
1 Cavan 37 1891, 1904 1905, 1915, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1969, 1997
2 Monaghan 16 1888, 1906, 1914, 1916, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1938, 1979, 1985, 1988, 2013, 2015
3 Armagh 14 1890, 1903, 1950, 1953, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008
4 Tyrone 13 1956, 1957, 1973, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010
5 Down 12 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1971, 1978, 1981, 1991, 1994
6 Antrim 9 1901-02, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1946, 1951
7 Donegal 8 1972, 1974, 1983, 1990, 1992, 2011, 2012, 2014
8 Derry 7 1958, 1970, 1975, 1976, 1987, 1993, 1998
9 Fermanagh 0

Roll of honour[edit]

Year Winner Opponent
2015[5] Monaghan 0-11 Donegal 0-10
2014 Donegal 0-15 Monaghan 1-09
2013[7] Monaghan 0-13 Donegal 0-07
2012 Donegal 2-18 Down 0-13
2011 Donegal 1-11 Derry 0-08
2010 Tyrone 1–14 Monaghan 0-07
2009 Tyrone 1–18 Antrim 0–15
2008 Armagh 2-08, 1–11 Fermanagh 1–11, 0–08
2007 Tyrone 1–15 Monaghan 1–13
2006 Armagh 1-09 Donegal 0-09
2005 Armagh 2-08, 0–13 Tyrone 0–14, 0–11
2004 Armagh 3–15 Donegal 0–11
2003 Tyrone 1–17, 0–23 Down 4–08, 1–05
2002 Armagh 1–14 Donegal 1–10
2001 Tyrone 1–13 Cavan 1–11
2000 Armagh 1–12 Derry 1–11
1999 Armagh 3–12 Down 0–10
1998 Derry 1-07 Donegal 0-08
1997 Cavan 1–14 Derry 0–16
1996 Tyrone 1-09 Down 0–09
1995 Tyrone 2–13 Cavan 0–10
1994 Down 1–17 Tyrone 1–11
1993 Derry 0-08 Donegal 0-06
1992 Donegal 0–14 Derry 1-09
1991 Down 1–15 Donegal 0–10
1990 Donegal 0–15 Armagh 0–14
1989 Tyrone 0–11, 2–13 Donegal 0–11, 0–07
1988 Monaghan 1–10 Tyrone 0–11
1987 Derry 0–11 Armagh 0-09
1986 Tyrone 1–11 Down 0–10
1985 Monaghan 2-09 Derry 0-08
1984 Tyrone 0–15 Armagh 1-07
1983 Donegal 1–14 Cavan 1–11
1982 Armagh 0–10 Fermanagh 1-04
1981 Down 3–12 Armagh 1–10
1980 Armagh 4–10 Tyrone 4-07
1979 Monaghan 1–15 Donegal 0–11
1978 Down 2–19 Cavan 2–12
1977 Armagh 3–10 Derry 1-05
1976 Derry 1-08 0–22 Cavan 1-08 1–16
1975 Derry 1–16 Down 2–06
1974 Donegal 1–14, 3–09 Down 2–11, 1–12
1973 Tyrone 3–13 Down 1–11
1972 Donegal 2–13 Tyrone 1–11
1971 Down 4–15 Derry 4–11
1970 Derry 2–13 Antrim 1–12
1969 Cavan 2–13 Down 2–06
1968 Down 0–16 Cavan 1-08
1967 Cavan 2–12 Down 0–08
1966 Down 1–07 Donegal 0-08
1965 Down 3–05 Cavan 1-08
1964 Cavan 2–10 Down 1–10
1963 Down 2–11 Donegal 1-04
1962 Cavan 3-06 Down 0–05
1961 Down 2–10 Armagh 1–10
1960 Down 3–07 Cavan 1-08
1959 Down 2–16 Cavan 0-07
1958 Derry 1–11 Down 2–04
1957 Tyrone 1-09 Derry 0–10
1956 Tyrone 3-05 Cavan 0-04
1955 Cavan 0–11 Derry 0-08
1954 Cavan 2–10 Armagh 2-05
1953 Armagh 1-06 Cavan 0-05
1952 Cavan 1-08 Monaghan 0-08
1951 Antrim 1-07 Cavan 2-03
1950 Armagh 1–11 Cavan 1-07
1949 Cavan 1-07 Armagh 1-06
1948 Cavan 2–12 Antrim 2-04
1947 Cavan 3-04 Antrim 1-06
1946 Antrim 2-08 Cavan 1-07
1945 Cavan 4–10 Fermanagh 1-04
1944 Cavan 1-09 Monaghan 1-06
1943 Cavan 2-03 Monaghan 0-05
1942 Cavan 5–11 Down 1–03
1941 Cavan 3-09 Tyrone 0-05
1940 Cavan 4–10 Down 1–05
1939 Cavan 2-03, 2–03 * Armagh 1-03, 1–04
1938 Monaghan 2-05 Armagh 2-02
1937 Cavan 0–13 Armagh 0-03
1936 Cavan 1-07 Monaghan 0-07
1935 Cavan 2-06 Fermanagh 2-01
1934 Cavan 3-08 Armagh 0-02
1933 Cavan 6–13 Tyrone 1-02
1932 Cavan 2-04 Armagh 0-02
1931 Cavan 0-08 Armagh 2-01
1930 Monaghan 4-03 Cavan 1-05
1929 Monaghan 1-04, 1–10 Cavan 1-04, 0–07
1928 Cavan 2-06 Armagh 1-04
1927 Monaghan 3-05 Armagh 2-05
1926 Cavan 5-03 Antrim 0-06
1925 Cavan 2-03, 3–06 Antrim 3-00, 0–01
1924 Cavan 1-03, 2–03 Monaghan 0-06, 1–03
1923 Cavan 5–10 Monaghan 1-01
1922 Monaghan 2-03, 3–04 Cavan 2-03, 3–03
1921 Monaghan 2-02 Derry 1-01
1920 Cavan 4-06 Armagh 1-04
1919 Cavan 5-06 Antrim 0-02
1918 Cavan 3-02 Antrim 0-00
1917 Monaghan 4-02 Armagh 0-04
1916 Monaghan 2-03 Cavan 0-02
1915 Cavan 3-02 0-04 Monaghan 2-05 0-03
1914 Monaghan 2-04 Fermanagh 0-02
1913 Antrim 2-01 Monaghan 1-02
1912 Antrim 2-02 Armagh 0-01
1911 Antrim 2-08 Cavan 0-04
1910 Antrim 3-04 Cavan 0-01
1909 Antrim 1-09 Cavan 0-05
1908 Antrim 1-08 Cavan 0-04
1907 No championship
1906 Monaghan 2–10 Antrim 1-02
1905 Cavan 0-07 Monaghan 0-03
1904 Cavan 0-05, 0–05, 0–08 Armagh 0-05, 0–05, 0–04
1903 Armagh 2-02 Antrim 1-04
1901 - 1902 * Antrim 3-05 Armagh 2-05
1900 No championship
1899 No championship
1898 No championship
1897 No championship
1896 No championship
1895 No championship
1894 No championship
1893 No championship
1892 No championship
1891 Cavan 1–11 Armagh 0-00
1890 Armagh 2-08 Tyrone 1-02
1889 No championship
1888 Monaghan 0-02, 0–03 Cavan 0-02, 0–01
1887 No championship

Notes:

  • 1939 game abandoned – replay ordered
  • 1907 No official final result in records
  • 1901-1902 championship was played over two seasons and only counts as one Ulster Title
  • 1900 Antrim were to have represented Ulster but gave walkover to Galway.
  • 1892–1900 No championship. Cavan played in Leinster Senior Football Championship in 1895.
  • 1891 Cavan Slashers, (Cavan) v Armagh Harps, (Armagh) game Abandoned Smithboro Co Monaghan game replayed Cavan 1-11 Armagh 0-00
  • 1890 Armagh Harps, (Armagh) v Owen Roe O'Neill's (Tyrone)
  • 1889 No Ulster championship
  • 1888 Ulster Senior Football Championship Inniskeen Grattans of (Monaghan) v Maghera McGinns of (Cavan) game went to a Replay
  • 1887 No Ulster championship

Scoring records[edit]

On 9 July 2006, Oisín McConville became the record point scorer in the history of the Ulster Senior Football Championship in that year's final at Croke Park.[8]

All-time top Ulster scorers[edit]

As of 3 June 2008 according to the BBC.[9]

Rank Player County Tally Total score Championship years
1 Oisín McConville Armagh 11–197 230 1997–2008
2 Peter Canavan Tyrone 9–191 218 1989–2005
3 Paddy Bradley Derry 13–170 209 2000–present
4 Paddy Doherty Down 15–159 204 1954–1971
5 Peter Donohoe Cavan 17–133 184 1945–1955
6 Seán O'Neill Down 17–125 176 1959–1975
7 Charlie Gallagher Cavan 10–142 172 1955–1969
8 Steven McDonnell Armagh 15–111 156 2000–2011
9 Seán O'Connell Derry 11–118 151 1957–1975
10 Ronan Carolan Cavan 2–138 144 1987-1998

Notes:

  • Includes Ulster Championship, All-Ireland Championship and Qualifiers.

All-time top Ulster goalscorers[edit]

As of 15 June 2008, according to the Sunday Tribune.[10]

Rank Player County Number of goals Championship years
1= Steven McDonnell Armagh 17 1999–2011
1= Peter Donohoe Cavan 17 1945–1955
1= Seán O'Neill Down 17 1959–1975
4 Paddy Doherty Down 15 1954–1971
5= Paddy Bradley Derry 13 2000–present
5= Ger Houlahan Armagh 13 1984–2000
5= James McCartan Sr Down 13 1958–1967
5= Brendan Coulter * Down 13 2000–
9= Joe Stafford Cavan 12 1943–1949
9= Enda Muldoon Derry 12 1997–present
9= Jason Reilly Cavan 12 1997–2008
12= Seán O'Connell Derry 11 1957–1975
12= PT Treacy Fermanagh 11 1960–1973
12= Oisín McConville Armagh 11 1997–2008

Notes:

  • Includes Ulster Championship, All-Ireland Championship and Qualifiers.
  • Since the records have been done Brendan Coulter has become the top goal scorer with 18.

Ulster top scorers by year[edit]

* Scores only include Ulster Championship. All-Ireland Championship and Qualifiers are not included.

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. 
  5. ^ "Ominous signs as Donegal make it three from four". Irish Examiner. 19 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ominous signs as Donegal make it three from four". Irish Examiner. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Relentless Monaghan turntables on Donegal". Irish Examiner. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Donegal 0-09 1-09 Armagh". BBC Sport (BBC). 9 July 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2006. 
  9. ^ "Ulster's hot-shots". BBC Online. 2008-06-03. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  10. ^ Shannon, Kieran; Leo McGeough (2008-06-15). "When Sunday Comes – Stevie from Killeavy: Ulster's top predator". Sunday Tribune. 
  11. ^ "Ulster GAA". http://ulster.gaa.ie/landofthegiants/features/roll-of-honour/. 
  12. ^ "Ulster GAA". http://ulster.gaa.ie/landofthegiants/features/roll-of-honour/.