Belfast Telegraph

Championship: Around The Grounds, January 4

BY Keith Bailie

Loughgall have appointed former Coagh United boss Noel Mitchell as manager, after a difficult festive period.

On Boxing Day, the Villagers won their 12th Bob Radcliffe Cup, defeating near neighbours Annagh United 3-1 in the showpiece final at Lakeview, thanks to goals from Stephen O'Neill, Daniel Burns and Warner Mullan.

However, within 72 hours of lifting the prestigious Mid Ulster trophy, Loughgall boss Brian Adair had left the club. Adair was soon followed by cup final hero Daniel Burns and former Linfield man Chris Kingsberry.

Noel Mitchell oversaw Saturday's 1-0 defeat to the PSNI, although he will not be joined in the Lakeview dugout by his old friend Stephen Uprichard until later in the season.
 

Limavady United find themselves in a similar position to Loughgall.

On Boxing Day, the Roesiders won the Craig Memorial Cup, beating Ardstraw 1-0 in the final. After the game, manager Neil Mullan stepped aside for personal reasons. He has been replaced by former Coleraine and Limavady winger Paul Owens. This is Owens' first job in management.

 

Knockbreda winger Daniel Burns was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after Saturday's 2-1 win over Ballyclare Comrades.

It was Burns' Breda debut, after he left Loughgall to join the Castlereagh club earlier in the week. Breda have also signed Dundela's Carl McComb, Ards' Josh Cahoon and Larne's Ross Davison.

 

Ards have already signed four new players.

Goalkeeper Aaron Shanahan, defender Denver Gage, midfielder Mark Clarke and striker Shane Dolan have all joined the Peninsula club. Dublin duo Shanahan and Dolan are two former Ballymena United players, while Denver Gage joined from Ballyclare and Clarke from Glentoran.

Josh Cahoon, Conor Downey, Steven Hislop and Johnny Topley have already left the club, while Neil Dougan, Eamon McAllister and Graeme McKibbin have all been transfer-listed.

 

Donegal Celtic have signed Conor Downey for a third time.

The 32-year-old midfielder has enjoyed spells at Cliftonville, Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Ballymena United and Newry City. He spent 2014 with Ards, where he played in both the Premiership and the Championship. 

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