Following on from last week’s Intermediate Update, as Dunloy were crowned champions of the Ballymena & Provincial League, the Mid Ulster league have followed suit.

Much like their colleagues in the BPIL, the MUFL committee polled the opinions of their member clubs. In their case, MUFL offered the options to null and void the campaign, or to award the titles on sporting merit. In the end, two-thirds of the members voted to end the season on sporting merit. Further to this, the MUFL has decided to suspend relegation as they seek to reward but not penalise clubs, while they also intend to finish the league-wide cup competitions at a later date.

Michael Gault’s Ballymacash Rangers side finished the season as runners up, but it was Banbridge Rangers who have been crowned as champions. Ally Wilson’s men were 9 points clear of second-placed Crewe United at the time of the league’s suspension, suffering only one defeat in the games played to date.

Last season, Wilson’s first at the helm, the club won the coveted Marshall Cup, and this season they have built on that foundation by pushing on in the league. They still have designs on retaining the Marshall Cup, but that will be put on the back burner until such time as football is resumed. This was Rangers first-ever Intermediate title, and one that has been many years in the making.

During their 15 years in existence, the club has progressed continually on and off the field. They have been a mainstay in Intermediate A since promotion as champions of Intermediate B in 2012, as part of a double success alongside the Alan Wilson Cup. While the club would no doubt have preferred to win the title on the field of play, few could argue that they didn’t deserve it, having put themselves in the box seat as the season came to a close.

There’s the old adage that attackers win you games, but defences win you titles, and that’s something that rings true with Wilson’s men. In the 17 games played the Cheney Park men had a fantastic goals-against record of just 12, comfortably the best in the division and the foundation of their excellent season.

Wilson’s men don’t plan to rest on their laurels, having already begun preparation for the new season whenever it may come around. Former manager Lee Feeney has returned to Cheney Park as assistant to Wilson, having left the club after finishing runners up to Dollingstown in 2017/18. Feeney went on to coach alongside his cousin Warren at both Ards in the NIFL Premiership, and OFC Pirin Blagoevgrad in the Bulgarian second division.

Elsewhere in Mid Ulster, St Marys make an immediate return to the top flight following their relegation last term, after being confirmed as Intermediate B champions. Kevin Murphy’s side will be joined by Markethill Swifts who had been in touching distance of their County Armagh rivals when the season was ended.

Mid Ulster Intermediate A

At SuspensionAvg. Projected
TeamPPTSGDPPTS
1Banbridge Rangers17422664
2Ballymacash Rangers15312654
3Crewe United17332650
4Windmill Stars15262645
5Oxford Sunnyside17292644
6Rectory Rangers21322640
7Moneyslane162472639
8Valley Rangers162452639
9Bourneview Mill19282638
10Hanover17212632
11Richhill AFC15172629
12Tandragee Rovers19162622
13Fivemiletown United15102617
14Laurelvale2182610

 

Mid Ulster Intermediate B

At SuspensionAvg. Projected
TeamPPTSGDPPTS
1St Marys16382457
2Markethill Swifts14322455
3Lurgan Town15312450
4Ambassadors15292446
5Dromore Amateurs16302445
6Tullyvallen19302438
7Dungannon Tigers17272438
8Seagoe141932433
9Lower Maze1622-112433
10AFC Craigavon17152421
11Seapatrick15102416
12Craigavon City18102413
13Broomhedge Maghaberry165248