Armagh I Sports Podcast
Padraig Mallon swims through the oceans of the mind

Padraig Mallon swims through the oceans of the mind

November 23, 2020

“What water does for peoples mental health and physical health is second to none in my eyes,” says Padraig Mallon - and this is one adventurer who is well qualified to make a statement like that.

The Infinity Crew member and owner of the swimming pool in Bessbrook of the same name, has travelled the world in search of the coldest waters, highest heights and the most difficult endurance challenges known to man.

Annagh Utd in but Armagh City out of Irish Cup plus reaction from GAA championships

Annagh Utd in but Armagh City out of Irish Cup plus reaction from GAA championships

November 16, 2020

It’s been a weekend of huge highs and desperate lows on the GAA front and likewise on the football scene.

Last week the IFA decided that – given the fixture delays due to Covid-19 - the 2020/21 Irish Cup will only feature 32 teams – those being the 24 Premiership and Championship clubs, along with the 2019/20 Intermediate Cup semi-finalists and the next four teams in the league pyramid.

That decision sees current Premier Intermediate Champions Annagh United FC in – while they still await their first league match since promotion to the Championship – and Armagh City FC left out in the cold, along with almost 100 other unlucky clubs.

We also have the reaction from Kieran McGeeney to Armagh's loss while Sinead Reel speaks of her delight as Armagh book as semi-final spot against reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin.

How Armagh TV became a beacon of hope during trying times

How Armagh TV became a beacon of hope during trying times

November 10, 2020

You have to start somewhere, as the saying goes – and for Linwoods Armagh TV, that was back in 2011 at the Armagh County Final following on from a casual conversation a year earlier.

Paul Heaney had dabbled in the idea of live streaming games and vaguely agreed to try it out for Armagh County Board in passing in 2010...

Armagh ladies ready to break new ground while men enjoy Ulster victory over Derry

Armagh ladies ready to break new ground while men enjoy Ulster victory over Derry

November 2, 2020

Armagh Senior Ladies enjoyed a 6-16 to 3-13 victory over Tyrone in the group stages of this year’s truncated TG4 All-Ireland Championship in Breffni Park on Friday but the even bigger news for Armagh ladies is their vision for the future, as work continues on McKeever Park in Killean, where the only training facility on the island of Ireland dedicated to the ladies game is being built.

We also spoke to Armagh Senior player Aidan Forker and coach Jim McCorry after the Orchard men beat Derry 0-17 to 0-15 at Celtic Park in the Ulster SFC quarter-final on Sunday afternoon.

O’Hanlon honoured at IFA Awards and McGeeney looks forward to life in Division One

O’Hanlon honoured at IFA Awards and McGeeney looks forward to life in Division One

October 26, 2020

John O’Hanlon has been a well-known name in footballing circles for many years – 25 of those with Windmill Stars FC - both at youth and senior managerial level as well as on the field.

His work has not gone unnoticed by his club, nor by the IFA, who recently named him the regional McDonalds IFA Grassroots Volunteer of the Year, at their awards ceremony in Windsor Park. 

We also hear from Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney, after the Orchard County beat Clare in the final Allianz League fixture of the 2020 season, to win promotion to Division 1 for the first time since 2012.

Armagh GAA’s Hugh Campbell and Armagh City Chairman Aidan Murphy

Armagh GAA’s Hugh Campbell and Armagh City Chairman Aidan Murphy

October 19, 2020

It was a disappointing defeat for Armagh on Saturday but while it could have been even more bleak, as there were no supporters allowed – there was a feeling of hope and optimism at the Athletic Grounds.

Every sound echoed around the empty stadium with only essential staff and media present and socially distanced. The air was chilly, but the seats were warmed by over 3,000 Armagh school children’s smiling faces.

Those faces took the form of self-portraits by primary school children throughout Armagh, in support of their team, their county and most of all as a message of hope for everyone watching on the national airwaves.

The initiative was instigated by Armagh Performance Coach Hugh Campbell and for this episode of The I on the Ball, proudly sponsored by Blackhill Energy, we spoke to Hugh about the idea behind the campaign, how it came about and the message it sends.

It’s also been tough times for Armagh City Football Club’s supporters and players.

We caught up with Armagh City FC Chairman Aidan Murray, who spoke about their new signings, their perfect record in their cup fixtures thus far, and the focus of the club, as they comply with the latest instructions from the powers that be.

Father and Daughter refereeing duo Gerry and Lauren Murray

Father and Daughter refereeing duo Gerry and Lauren Murray

October 12, 2020

It’s not that unusual to hear of a son following in his father’s footsteps, in picking up a referee’s whistle, but Gerry Murray and his daughter Lauren are trailblazers in that regard.

They are the only father-daughter referees in any code in the country and hopefully they will be trendsetters too.

We also caught up with the managers of two teams we spoke to before the Mid-Ulster Football League began.

Division 3 table-toppers Bessbrook United hosted Mindwell FC, at Orior Park a few weeks ago and they drew 2-2.

Thornton and McGrane put golf’s – and Co Armagh’s – hidden gem on the map

Thornton and McGrane put golf’s – and Co Armagh’s – hidden gem on the map

October 5, 2020

The Ring of Gullion is officially one of Ireland’s areas of outstanding natural beauty but not too many know about a hidden gem at its heart – until recently that is.

Cloverhill Golf Club is a spectacularly beautiful 18-hole course in Mullaghbawn, accessed by a number of routes via either Camlough or Forkhill.

Either way, navigating the twists and turns of the narrow roads, requires a map - but it’s well worth finding.

New City of Armagh head coach Chris Parker plus reaction from final weekend of GAA club action

New City of Armagh head coach Chris Parker plus reaction from final weekend of GAA club action

September 29, 2020

For this week’s The I on the Ball, proudly sponsored by Blackhill Energy, we spoke to City of Armagh’s new head coach Chris Parker who can’t wait to get going again. 

It was also the last week of GAA Club Championship action, with wins for Forkhilll in the Junior Football Championship final replay, Craobh Rua in the Junior Hurling Championship final, with Middletown’s Senior Hurling Championship final victory, ending the competitions on Sunday.

The Mighty Quinn packs a punch and reaction from JFC and IFC Championship finals

The Mighty Quinn packs a punch and reaction from JFC and IFC Championship finals

September 21, 2020

Fearghus Quinn was due to make his professional boxing debut in April but when Covid-19 hit, his big day was put on hold.

The Belleek fighter got his chance a few weeks ago however, and he took it with both fists, beating a tough opponent Robbie ‘the Camden Caretaker’ Chapman in six rounds.

The I on the Ball also spoke to a very relieved Belleeks manager, Gareth Thornton, after the final whistle in their JFC final win over Forkhill – where Quinn played a part too. 

On Sunday Clan na Gael had a big win in the Intermediate Championship final over fellow Lurgan side St Paul’s.

We spoke to Clans captain Ronan Austin after the game.

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