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St. James' GAC Aldergrove

History Of The Club

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History Of The Club

St James', Aldergrove. Founded 1962.  
     
  Although St. James’ Aldergrove of County Antrim is a club with strong traditions, early records have shown that we weren’t always called St. James’ and didn’t even play in the Antrim league. Indeed, by the 1900’s, the club was better known as O’Hanlon’s, and played in the Lurgan district league in County Armagh. The team was drawn from young men of both Crumlin and Aldergrove, who travelled to Lurgan week in week out to field for their league matches.

Some years later the club was leant a pitch of land by Bobby Burns, a local pub landlord. This gesture was greatly appreciated as the ground acted as a focal point for the team and community, a place to call home at last. Due to the closeness of the ground to the church of St. James’ in Aldergrove, the club was therefore renamed accordingly.

This remained their home for some years until they moved to Crumlin in the late 1960’s. The church, after inheriting land in the will of local woman Mary Mc Ereavy, offered it to the club, who in turn, gratefully accepted. The land was ideally situated in Crumlin most notably because many of the players lived in the village, furthermore allowing the community to come together at every opportunity to support the club. To this day the same ground is used by players of all ages and the club is growing continuously. Although it is no Croke Park, it is home.

By the early 1990’s, the club managed to gain funding for the establishment of a new clubhouse. The clubhouse is fully functional today and caters for all sections of the community, including Irish lessons for beginners and for the more accomplished. Folk nights are also a popular event attended by large numbers on a monthly basis. A whist night is also held on a weekly basis.
However, due to the size of the community, and, hence lack of funding, the club have not as yet been able to form a hurling team. This is not to say that there’s no desire to hurl at St. James’, indeed the day may still come that you can see the sliothair on our pitch in competitive play. There have been recent talks with a group of local women who are keen to start a camogie team, the interest is evident and the backing of the committee is just as evident. So it could be sooner rather than later that the sliothair makes it’s debut on Aldergroves turf.

The club has had varied degrees of success over the years, the most recent triumph with the junior side being awarded the 2002 division four title. Admittedly, the club has never been a dominant force in Antrim football, but we have left our mark.

 
     
   
     
 

The 1970’s seemed to be our day in the sun, as it were, winning division four in 1977, division three in 1978 as well as the intermediate championship. This winning streak continued and the following season saw this team make it to the semi final of the senior championship, only to fall at the hands of the then Ulster champions, St John’s. The silver-wear dried up for a few years after this, however with young blood gelling well within the senior ranks, this proved to be the catalyst for the success founded in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. In 1998 the senior team acquired an impressive unbeaten run, and brought silver-wear to the club in the shape of the O’Cahan cup. Indeed, this pattern has continued with the success of our underage teams. More recently St. James’ Aldergrove are sitting pretty in division two and have great aspirations of progressing into division one, and, more importantly, are more than capable of it.

Role of Honour
 
1977         Division 4 ACFL
1978         Division 3 ACFL
                  Intermediate Football Chmapionsip
1998         O'Cahan Cup

Aldergrove Abu