Ulster clubs Creggan, Cloughmills and Coleraine are celebrating the news that the rule which prevented them from playing in the Ulster Club Intermediate and Junior Championships has been reduced yet again.
Less than a year ago, Gaelic Life published the stories of Intermediate championship winners Creggan (2015), Cloughmills (2016) and Middletown (2011) who, after winning that title, were forced to play in the Ulster Club senior championship for five years before they could drop back down to Intermediate level.
The clubs felt that this rule punished them unfairly, and in Cloughmills’ case they suggested that the club may fold because of it.
After media pressure, and support from the Antrim county board, the clubs got the five year rule reduced to three in October of last year. However they felt that wasn’t enough and they appealed to the Ulster Council yet again.
Last week they made a presentation at an Ulster Council meeting and the provincial body agreed to reduce the gap from three years to two.
This means that teams like Creggan, who won the Intermediate Championship in 2015, and Coleraine who won the Junior club hurling championship in the same year can compete in those competitions again this year. Cloughmills, who were worried that a five-year gap may harm their numbers, can return to the Ulster Intermediate championship in 2019, though Antrim are allowing them to play at Intermediate level this year.