Ulster Senior Hurling Championship
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|
|Ulster GAA Hurling Senior Championship|
|Current season or competition:
2016 Ulster Senior Hurling Championship
|Irish||Craobh Iomána Uladh|
|Trophy||Liam Harvey Cup|
|No. of teams||5|
|Title holders||Antrim (55th title)|
|Most titles||Antrim (55 titles)|
|Motto||Nothing beats being there|
|Official website||Official website|
The Ulster GAA Hurling Senior Championship, known simply as the Ulster Championship, is an annual inter-county hurling competition organised by the Ulster Council of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). It is one of the three provincial hurling tournaments in Ireland and the most prestigious inter-county hurling competition in Ulster. The championship has been awarded every year since 1901.
The final, usually held on the second Sunday in July, serves as the culmination of a series of games played during the summer months, and the results determine which county's team receives the Liam Harvey Cup. The championship has always been played on a straight knockout basis whereby once a team loses they are eliminated from the championship.
The Ulster Championship was formerly an integral part of the wider GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship. The winners of the Ulster final, unlike their counterparts in the Leinster and Munster Championships, play no part in the All-Ireland series of games.
Five teams currently participate in the Ulster Championship.
The title has been won at least once by five Ulster counties, all of which have won the title more than once. The all-time record-holders Antrim, who have won the competition 55 times. Antrim are also the current champions.
Standing of the Ulster Championship
While the Munster Hurling Championship and the Leinster Hurling Championship are generally held in very high regard, and have produced the vast majority of recent All-Ireland Hurling Champions, the Ulster Championship has not been regarded historically as of a similar standard, and the Ulster champions have entered the All-Ireland Hurling Championship at an earlier round than the Munster and Leinster champions.
This is due to a number of factors, one of which is the dominance of Gaelic football in eight of the nine counties of Ulster. An Ulster team has never won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, although Antrim were finalists in 1943 and 1989. Antrim have dominated the Ulster Championship throughout its existence, winning the title 55 times to date.
While below the standard of Leinster and Munster hurling, the Ulster championship has been generally of a higher standard than the now discontinued Connacht Senior Hurling Championship. However Galway, by far the strongest team in Connacht, have historically performed much better than any Ulster team, with several All-Ireland titles, and generally recognised as one of the major powers in the sport.
The Ulster Hurling Championship is run on a knock-out basis in which once a team loses they are eliminated from the competition.
2008 marked the first tournament since the resumption of the championship to feature all the Ulster counties, with the addition of London bringing the total to ten. The stronger teams (Antrim, Down, Derry, Armagh) have received byes to the later stages to prevent mismatches. Ulster was the only one of the four provinces where all counties entered the Senior Hurling Championship.
In October 2008, Westmeath, made an application for admission to the 2009 Ulster Senior Hurling Championship. This followed the acceptance of Antrim and Galway into the 2009 Leinster Senior Hurling Championship a few weeks early. Westmeath County Hurling Board chairman Billy Foley explained the reason for applying to enter the Ulster Championship were the fact that Westmeath aren't allowed entry to the Leinster Championship at present and having won the Christy Ring Cup twice, found it "extremely difficult to motivate our players" for that particular competition any more. The Ulster Council confirmed their CCCC would discuss the proposal at a meeting on 18 October. However despite early optimism that they would be allowed entry, their application was turned down as the 2009 draw had already been made. The Ulster Council however said they would consider granting Westmeath entry in 2010, if they make a formal application.
|Antrim||55||1900, 1901, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1907, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1916, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015|
|Derry||4||1902, 1908, 2000, 2001|
|Down||4||1941, 1992, 1995, 1997|
|Donegal||3||1906, 1923, 1932|
The following teams have featured in Ulster Senior Hurling Championship Finals, but have yet to record a victory.
|Cavan||5||1908, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1936|
Antrim's historic domination (only 3 finals have not featured the county; 1908, 1934 and 2001) has led over time to periods of uncompetitive competitions, and the championship was not played at all between 1950 and 1988. However, there have been periods when this domination has made way for periods of intense rivalry, notably between Antrim and Monaghan in the 1910s, between Antrim and Down in the 1990s, and between Antrim and Derry in the early 2000s
The 2001 Championship was unique in terms of being the only final since the reactivation of the Championship in 1988 which did not feature Antrim, as Derry defeated Down at Casement Park. Equally of note, Antrim have won every final since (albeit one on replay), their longest period of continuous success since 1988.
Ulster Championship moments
- Down 2-16 - 0-11 Antrim (12 July 1992 at Casement Park) – An historic day for Down who claimed a first provincial title since 1941. Victory would have been more decisive but for a tally of 13 wides in the first half. While Antrim lacked an attacking ace, Down's Gerard McGrattan was their candidate for man of the match. Goalkeeper Noel Keith also brought off some remarkable saves, most notably from a Ciaran Barr shot in the first half.
- Derry 4-8 - 0-19 Antrim (9 July 2000 at Casement Park) – An historic day for Derry who secured the Ulster title for the first time in 92 years. Dual player Kieran McKeever got the opening goal for Derry, while Gary Biggs and Ollie Collins scored Derry's other two goals to give Derry an eight-point interval lead. A replay looked likely after John O'Dwyer's late goal levelled the scores minutes from time, however, it was Collins again scoring from a free to gain the winning point, and the title for Derry.
- Derry 1-17 - 3-10 Down (15 July 2001 at Casement Park) – A first for Derry as they retain the Ulster title for the only time in their history. It was the first final not to feature Antrim since 1934. A point from John O'Dwyer won the match for Derry in one of the best Ulster finals in years with both teams playing excellent hurling. Despite dominating the play in the second half, Down only managed to score three points while Geoffrey McGonagle produced a brilliant performance for Derry with a tally of 1-8.
- Antrim 2-20 - 1-14 New York (22 October 2006 at Canton Field) – For the first and only time in the history of the championships, the Ulster final was played at Canton Field in Boston. This was to facilitate some of the New York team who were unable to travel to Ireland due to their immigration status. After shocking Derry in the semi-final, New York failed to pull of a similar trick in the final. A tally of 1-7 for Johnny McIntosh helped Antrim to a fifth successive championship.
Statistics and records
The most successful team of each decade, judged by number of Ulster Senior Hurling Championship titles, is as follows:
- 1900s: 7 for Antrim (1900-01-03-04-05-07-09)
- 1910s: 4 for Antrim (1910-11-13-16)
- 1920s: 6 for Antrim (1934-25-26-27-28-29)
- 1930s: 9 for Antrim (1930-31-33-34-35-36-37-38-39)
- 1940s: 8 for Antrim (1940-43-44-45-46-47-48-49)
- 1980s: 1 for Antrim (1989)
- 1990s: 7 for Antrim (1990-91-93-94-96-98-99)
- 2000s: 8 for Antrim (2002-03-04-05-06-07-08-09)
- 2010s: 6 for Antrim (2010-11-12-13-14-15)
The most one sided Ulster finals:
- 38 points – 1930: Antrim 10-4 (44) – (6) 2-0 Down
- 35 points – 1906: Donegal 5-21 (36) – (1) 0-1 Antrim
- 29 points – 1901: Antrim 0-41 (41) – (12) 0-12 Derry
- 27 points – 1935: Antrim 7-9 (30) – (3) 0-3 Cavan
- 26 points – 2007: Antrim 2-24 (30) – (4) 0-4 Down
3 teams of the 4 who have won the Ulster championship have ever successfully defended the title. These are:
- Antrim on 42 attempts out of 54 (1901, 1904, 1905, 1910, 1911, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
- Derry on 1 attempts out of 4 (2001)
- Monaghan on 1 attempts out of 2 (1915)
Longest gaps between successive Ulster titles:
- 92 years: Derry (1908-2000)
- 51 years: Down (1941-1992)
- 40 years: Antrim (1949-1989)
- 17 years: Donegal (1906-1923)
Longest undefeated run
The record for the longest unbeaten run stands at 24 games held by Antrim. It began with a 5-19 to 2-11 win against New York in the semi-final of the 2002 championship and will continue into the 2016 championship.
List of Ulster finals
|Year||Winners||Score||Runners-up||Score||Venue||Winning Captain||Winning Team|
|1914||Monaghan||4-3 (2-0)||Antrim||1-0 (2-0)|
|1917-1922: Championship suspended|
|1943||Antrim||6-8||Monaghan||2-0||Corrigan Park||Jimmy Walsh|
|1944||Antrim||7-3 (5-7)||Monaghan||0-1 (6-4)||Corrigan Park|
|1945||Antrim||8-2||Donegal||2-4||Corrigan Park||M McAllister; M Butler, W Feeney, B Donnelly; T McAllister, T Tierney, J Mullan; S McKeon, N Campbell; M Kelly, S Kelly, L McGrady; D Cormican, C Mullan, S Mulholland.|
|1946||Antrim||6-3||Armagh||2-1||Corrigan Park||M McAlinden; W Feeney, M McDonald, M Butler; J Woods, J Mullan, J Loughead; D Butler, N Campbell; M Mulholland, D McRandall, J Murray; D Cormican, G Brady, S Mulholland.|
|1950-1988: Championship suspended|
|1989||Antrim||2-16||Down||0-9||Athletic Grounds||Ciaran Barr||N Patterson; G Rogan, T Donnelly, D Donnelly; J McNaughton, D McKinley, G O'Kane; P McKillen, T McNaughton; B Donnelly, A McCarry, J P McKillen; D Armstrong, C Barr, D McNaughton.|
|1990||Antrim||4-11||Down||2-11||Casement Park||N Patterson; G Holden, D Donnelly, D McKinley; J Carson, D McKillop, A Murray; J Close, P McKillen; B Donnelly, A McCarry, S P McKillop; A McGuile, C Barr, O McFetridge. Subs: N Murray for A McGuile, G O'Kane for D McKillop, M Sullivan for McKillen.|
|1991||Antrim||3-14||Down||3-10||Casement Park||N Patterson; P Jennings, D McKinley, D Donnelly; G Rogan, JMcNaughton, D McKillop; S P McKillop, P McKillen; J Carson, C Barr, D Armstrong; A McCarry, T McNaughton, J Close. Subs: Gregory O'Kane for Close, Garry O'Kane for S P McKillop, M Dennis for Greg O'Kane.|
|1992||Down||2-16||Antrim||0-11||Casement Park||Noel Sands||N Keith; K Coulter, D Woods, P Branniff; M Mallon, P McMullan, G Coulter; D Hughes, G Savage; P Coulter, G Blaney, G McGrattan; M Blaney, M Bailie, N Sands. Subs: C Mageean for M Blaney, P Savage for P Coulter.|
|1993||Antrim||0-24||Down||0-11||Casement Park||P Gallagher; S McMullan, D McMullan, E McCloskey; R Donnelly, D McKinley, J McNaughton; P McKillen, P Jennings; A Elliott, Gary O'Kane, S P McKillop; J Close, T McNaughton, Greg O'Kane.|
|1994||Antrim||1-19||Down||1-13||Casement Park||Dominic McKinley||B Prenter; S McMullan, D McKinley, F McMullan; S P McKillen, P Jennings, J McCaffrey; P McKillen, J Connolly; J Carson, Gary O'Kane, P Walsh; C McCambridge, Gregory O'Kane, A Elliott. Subs: T McNaughton for G O'Kane, A McEteer for J McCaffrey, B McGary for G O'Kane.|
|1995||Down||1-19 (3-7)||Antrim||2-10 (1-13)||Casement Park||N Keith; K Coulter, G Coulter, P Branniff; M Mallon, G Savage, D Woods; D Hughes, J McCarthy; P Coulter, P McMullan, M Blaney; C Arthurs, H Gilmore, N Sands. Subs: B Coulter for D Woods, M Branniff for P McMullan, S Mallon for H Gilmore.|
|1996||Antrim||1-20||Down||2-12||Casement Park||B Prenter; E McCloskey, E Colgan, S McIlhatton; P Jennings, Gary O'Kane, R Donnelly; J Connolly, P McKillen; A McCloskey, T McNaughton, S P McKillop; P Graham, G O'Kane, A Elliott. Subs: S McMullan for R Donnelly, J Carson for McKillop, P Donnelly for McKillen.|
|1997||Down||3-14||Antrim||0-19||Casement Park||Martin Mallon||G Clarke; B Milligan, S Murray, B Smith; M Branniff, M Mallon, T Coulter; G Savage, P Coulter; B Coulter, M Bailie, G McGrattan; M Coulter, J McCrickard, N Sands. Subs: B Branniff for J McCrickard.|
|1998||Antrim||1-19||Derry||2-13||Casement Park||Alistair Elliot||S Elliott; R Donnelly, E Colgan, F McMullan; S McMullan, Gary O'Kane, C Kelly; P McKillen, J O'Neill; J Carson, C McGuckian, J McIntosh; A Elliot, Gregory O'Kane, L Richmond. Subs: K McKiernan for J O'Neill, J O'Neill for K McKiernan, J Elliott for J McIntosh.|||
|1999||Antrim||2-19||Derry||1-9||Casement Park||Gary O'Kane||S Elliot; C McCambridge, E McCluskey, R Donnelly; S McMullen, Gary O'Kane, S Mullen; C Cunning, J Close; A Elliot, C McGuckian, B McGarry; J Carson, Gregory O'Kane, L Richmond. Subs: S P McKillop for McGarry, F McMullin for Carson, J Flynn for A Elliott.|||
|2000||Derry||4-8||Antrim||0-19||Casement Park||Conor Murray||K Stevenson; C McGurk, C Murray, N Mullan; B Ward, C McEldowney, D Cassidy; O Collins, M Conway; K McCloy, K McKeever, R McCloskey; G Biggs, M Collins, J O'Dwyer. Subs: Gregory Biggs for Conway.|||
|2001||Derry||1-17||Down||3-10||Casement Park||Colin McEldowney||K Stevenson, C McEldowney, E McKeever, R Lynch, B Ward, M Conway, C Murray, R McCloskey, O Collins, Gary Biggs, K McKeever, Greg Briggs, M Collins, G McGonigle, J O'Dwyer. Subs: P Kelly for Lynch, S Downey for Gary Biggs, F McEldowney for M Collins.|||
|2002||Antrim||3-16||Down||1-18||Casement Park||Colm McGuckian||D Quinn; M Kettle, K Kelly, E McCloskey; K McKeegan, R Donnelly, C Herron; C Cunning, C Connolly; L Watson, C McGuckian, L Richmond; A Delargy, G O'Kane, C McCambridge. Subs: B McFall for Delargy; M McCambridge for McCloskey; S Delargy for McFall; P Richmond for Cunning; C Hamill for Donnelly.|||
|2003||Antrim||3-21||Derry||1-12||Casement Park||Colm McGuckian||D Quinn; M Kettle, K Kelly, J Campbell; M McCambridge, K McKeegan, C Herron; C Cunning, J Connolly; P Richmond, C McGuckian, L Richmond; L Watson, G O'Kane, B McFall. Subs: A Delargy for O'Kane, P Close for McFall.|||
|2004||Antrim||3-14 (1-15)||Down||0-18 (1-15)||Casement Park||Colm McGuickian||Damien Quinn, M Kettle, K Kelly, B Herron, M McCambridge, K McKeegan, J Campbell, C Herron, J Connolly, M Herron, C McGuckian, L Watson, Darren Quinn, P Richmond, B McFall. Subs: L Richmond for McCambridge, G J McIntosh for Watson, Ward for Darren Quinn, M Magill for Connolly.|||
|2005||Antrim||2-22||Down||1-18||Casement Park||Jim Connolly||D Quinn; M Kettle, G Bell, C Hamill; G Cunningham, J Campbell, M McCambridge; P Richmond, M Scullion; K McKeegan, K Kelly, M Herron, J McIntosh, J Connolly, J Scullion. Subs: K Stewart for Kelly, C Herron for M Herron, B McFall for J Scullion, C McGuckin for Cunningham.|||
|2006||Antrim||2-20||New York||1-14||Canton Park||Karl McKeegan||D Quinn; B McCauley, J McKeague, J Campbell; M Molloy, K McKeegan, C Herron ; C Cunning, M Scullion; J Scullion, C Kelly, M Herron; J McIntosh, P Richmond, B McFall. Subs: G Bell for McFall, B Delargey for Kelly, P McGill for McIntosh, M Dallas for M Scullion, S Óg McFadden for Richmond.|||
|2007||Antrim||2-24||Down||0-4||Casement Park||Seán Delaqrgy||R McGarry; M Kettle, M McCambridge, S Delargy; M Molloy, J Campbell, C Herron; B Herron, K McKeegan, P McGill, N McManus, M Herron, S McCrory, J McIntosh, P Shiels. Subs: N McAuley; Brian McFall for Shiels; P Richmond for McGill; S McDonald for McIntosh; Barry McFall for Kettle.|||
|2008||Antrim||3-19||Down||2-15||Casement Park||Paddy Richmond||R McGarry; A Graffin, N McGarry, S Delargy; C Herron, K McKeegan, J Campbell; K Stewart, E McCloskey; M Herron, C Donnelly, P McGill; P Richmond, L Watson, P Shields. Subs: PJ O’Connell for C Donnelly; S McCrory for P McGill; M Kettle for C Herron.|||
|2009||Antrim||3-20||Down||4-15||Casement Park||Neil McGarry||R McGarry; K McGourty, N McGarry, A Graffin; S Delargy, C Donnelly, N McAuley; J Campbell, K McKeegan; B Herron, N McManus, S McNaughton; K Stewart, P Richmond, J Scullion. Subs: E McCloskey for Stewart, M Herron for B Herron.|||
|2010||Antrim||4-22||Down||1-12||Casement Park||Paul Shiels||C O’Connell; K McGourty, C Donnelly, S Delargy; P Shiels, J Campbell, C Herron; S McNaughton, K Stewart; C McFall, T McCann, L Watson; PJ O’Connell, N McManus, K McKeegan. Subs: S McCrory for Stewart, J McKeague for Campbell, M Devlin for McNaughton, J McIntosh for Watson, B McFall for C McFall|||
|2011||Antrim||2-20||Derry||2-12||Casement Park||Eddie McCloskey||C Cunningham; C McGuinness, K McGourty, J McCouaig; K McKeague, M Donnelly, C Herron; B McFall, S McCrory; J Scullion, T McCann, E McCloskey; P Doherty, C McFall, K McKeegan. Subs: K Molloy for K McKeague, C Carson for J Black, P Shiels for B McFall, D Hamill for T McCann.|||
|2012||Antrim||3-18||Derry||0-9||Casement Park||Damien Quinn||D Quinn; James Campbell, N McGarry, A Graffin; M Herron, N McAuley, Johnny Campbell, B McAuley, S McNaughton; E McCloskey, C Carson, P Shiels; L Watson, N McManus, B McFall. Subs: C McCann for Sheils, J Scullion for Watson, C Rea for B McAuley, D Hamill for McFall, C McFall for Carson.|||
|2013||Antrim||4-20||Down||1-17||Celtic Park||Neil McManus||S McToal; B McFall, C McKinley, M Bradley; S McCrory, N McAuley, Ciaran Johnston; E Campbell, J McGreevy; N McKenna, C Carson, P Shiels; D McKernan, N McManus, C Clarke. Subs: S McAfee for McGreevy, Conor Johnston for McKernan, D Hamill for Clarke, N Elliott for McKenna.|||
|2014||Antrim||2-17||Derry||2-16||Owenbeg Centre of Excellence||Paul Shiels||S McToal; O McFadden, M Donnelly, A Graffin; M Bradley, C Carson, N McAuley; J McGreevy, D Hamill; C McCann, P Shiels, E Campbell; C McGuinness, PJ O'Connell, D McKernan. Subs: R McCambridge for McGreevy, Niall McKenna for McGuinness, Daniel McCloskey for Hamill.|||
|2015||Antrim||1-15||Down||1-14||Owenbeg Centre of Excellence||Chris O'Connell||C O’Connell; O McFadden, M Donnelly, R McCambridge; J Dillon, C McKinley, T McCann; N McAuley, M Dudley; PJ O’Connell, C McCann, E Campbell; D McClean, C Carson, D McKernan. Subs: P Burke for Campbell; C Ross for Donnelly; N McKenna for McAuley; J Connolly for McKernan; D Traynor for McClean.|||
- 1929 Antrim declared champions - Donegal disqualified
- 1901 Antrim defeated Derry 41 points to 12 points - exact score not given
- All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship
- Munster Senior Hurling Championship
- Leinster Senior Hurling Championship
- Connacht Senior Hurling Championship
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