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 Suspension Avg. Projected
Team P PTS GD P PTS
1 Banbridge Rangers 17 42 26 64
2 Ballymacash Rangers 15 31 26 54
3 Crewe United 17 33 26 50
4 Windmill Stars 15 26 26 45
5 Oxford Sunnyside 17 29 26 44
6 Rectory Rangers 21 32 26 40
7 Moneyslane 16 24 7 26 39
8 Valley Rangers 16 24 5 26 39
9 Bourneview Mill 19 28 26 38
10 Hanover 17 21 26 32
11 Richhill AFC 15 17 26 29
12 Tandragee Rovers 19 16 26 22
13 Fivemiletown United 15 10 26 17
14 Laurelvale 21 8 26 10

 

Mid Ulster Intermediate B

At Suspension Avg. Projected
Team P PTS GD P PTS
1 St Marys 16 38 24 57
2 Markethill Swifts 14 32 24 55
3 Lurgan Town 15 31 24 50
4 Ambassadors 15 29 24 46
5 Dromore Amateurs 16 30 24 45
6 Tullyvallen 19 30 24 38
7 Dungannon Tigers 17 27 24 38
8 Seagoe 14 19 3 24 33
9 Lower Maze 16 22 -11 24 33
10 AFC Craigavon 17 15 24 21
11 Seapatrick 15 10 24 16
12 Craigavon City 18 10 24 13
13 Broomhedge Maghaberry 16 5 24 8