17 April 2017

Inter-County & Inter-City Representative Matches

Co. Antrim & District FA
In the early days of organised football in Ireland a County Antrim select could be regarded as almost as strong as any potential Irish international XI that could be fielded. Indeed, when a Canadian touring side visited these shores in 1888 it was the Co. Antrim FA that hosted them. As with the inter-provincial matches of the same era, the matches in the 19th century were often used as international trials.

Over the years the Co. Antrim & District FA (the boundaries were stretched to include all of Belfast in 1896) have fielded sides against county teams from across Ireland and Britain as well as other representative selections.

In the early days of football there was also a strong hold of the kicking game in the area controlled by the County Londonderry FA (now the North West FA), where a number of teams made an impact on national competitions. Hence, it was a Co. Derry XI that proved the Co. Antrim's most regular opponent in those formative years, a regular series of Boxing Day matches commencing in 1884.

Also listed below are inter-city matches. More research is required to decide whether these fit into this category, or a category of their own.

Incomplete list

3 April 1879 (details)
Ulster Cricket Grounds, Ballynafeigh, Belfast (att: "vast number")
Belfast: J. Watson; H. Davis, J.M. Mack; R.M. Sloan, W.A. Glass; W.T. Herron, W. Jackson, J. Henderson, R. Hughes, J.A. MacDonald, A. Murray.
Reserve: R.M.Potts
Glasgow: C. Cree; O. Buck, J. Archer; S. Broadfoot capt, W. Patterson; F. Archer, J. Macgregor, J. Macpherson, J. Cree, D. Dewar, M. Broadfoot

28 January 1882
Cliftonville, Belfast (att: "large assemblage")
AYRSHIRE ASSOCIATION (4) 12 (Goldie (5), Johnston (3), Currie (2), Goodall, Thomson)
Belfast: W. Bryan (Avoniel); W. Crone (Distillery), J.W. Chapman (Knock); J.W. Orr (Queen's Island), D. Martin (Cliftonville); A. "Fox" capt (Knock), J. Bell (Queen's Island), W.B.R. McWha (Knock), J.R. Davison (Cliftonville), A.H. Dill (Knock), W.G. Andrew (Avoniel)
Ayrshire: J. Richmond (Kilmarnock, Portland); H. Wilson (Mauchline), W. Galt (Kilmarnock Athletic); J. McGhee (Lugar Boswell), J. Smith (Kilmarnock Athletic); M. Goldie (Lugar Boswell), Q. Johnston (Kilmarnock Athletic), J. Goodall (Kilmarnock Athletic), J. Crawford (Kilmarnock), S. Thomson (Lugar Boswell), D. Currie (Lanemark)
The largest scoreline ever recorded in a game in Belfast up to this date.
Ayrshire's John Goodall was elder brother of Archie Goodall who was capped ten times by Ireland between 1899-1904.

26 December 1882
Ulster Grounds, Ballynafeigh, Belfast
Co. DOWN (1) 1 (Jackson)
Co. ANTRIM (0) 1 (Kerr)
CD: H.J. McCracken (Ulster); D. Rattray (Avoniel), J. Watson (Ulster); J.W. Orr (Queen's Island), J. Taylor (Queen's Island); T. Stewart (Queen's Island), W. Jackson (Ulster), J. Macmillan (Queen's Island), S. Sinclair (Down Athletic), J. Waring (Ulster), W.G. Andrew (Ulster)
CA: R.J. Houston (Cliftonville); H.M. Hull (Cliftonville), W. Crone (Distillery); D.C. Martin (Cliftonville), W. King (Wellington Park); S. Johnston (Distillery), F. Browne (Cliftonville), W.B.R. McWha (Cliftonville), J.R. Davison (Cliftonville), W. Kerr (Oldpark), E.A. Spiller (Cliftonville)

1 January 1883 or 1 May 1883
Belfast: (announced) H.J. McCracken (Ulster) [sub: R.J. Houston (Cliftonville)]; H.M. Hull (Cliftonville), D. Rattray (Avoniel) [sub: W. Crone (Distillery)]; D.C. Martin (Cliftonville), J. Watson capt (Ulster) [sub: W. King (Wellington Park)]; S. Johnston (Distillery), R.M. Potts (Cliftonville) [subs: F. Browne (Cliftonville)]; W.B.R. McWha (Cliftonville), J.R. Davison (Cliftonville) [subs: J. Reid (Ulster), S. Sinclair (Down Athletic)], A.H. Dill (Down Athletic), E.A. Spiller [subs: W. Kerr (Oldpark), W.G. Andrews (Ulster)]
No match result of report found.

26 December 1883
Ulster Grounds, Ballynafeigh, Belfast (att: "larger than usual")
Co. ANTRIM (4) 6
Co. DOWN (0) 0
CA: (announced) Hunter; Crone, Brown; Molyneux, King; Stewart, Spiller, J.T. Gibb, Johnston, Davison, Elleman (team included representatives from Cliftonville, Distillery and Wellington Park)
CD: (announced) Clenias; Siko, Gouk; Bell, Gilmore; John McMillan, G. Magee, James McMillan, Taylor, Dill, A.N. Other (team chiefly composed of players from Queen's Island and Down Athletic)
Refs: Wilson (Distillery), Drummond (Queen's Island), J. Baxter (Oldpark)

26 December 1884
Ulster Ground, Ballynafeigh, Belfast
Co. ANTRIM (0) 2 (Magee, Browne)
Co. DERRY (2) 2 (McLernon, M. Redmond)
CA: R. McCarroll (Wellington Park); J.T. Gibb (Wellington Park), W. Johnston (Oldpark); W. King (Wellington PArk), T. Molyneux (Cliftonville); F.W. Browne, R. Redmond (Cliftonville), W.B.R. McWha, J.R. Davison capt (Cliftonville), A.H. Dill (Cliftonville), G. Magee (Wellington Park)
CD: Montgomery (Kilrea); G. Hewison capt (Moyola Park), R.J. Sherrard (Limavady); R.J. Houston, F.J. McLernon (Moyola Park); M.B. Redmond (Moyola Park), T. McLean (Limavady), A. Gaussen, P. Sloan (Moyola Park), J. McKenna (Moyola Park), Allen (Limavady)
J. Rankin (Limavady) and J. McConnell were originally selected for Derry, their places going to McCarroll and Allen.

26 December 1885
Ulster Ground, Ballynafeigh, Belfast (att: "large crowd")
The COUNTIES (0) 0
Belfast: (announced) Nugent (Oldpark); Johnston (Oldpark), R. Wilson (Distillery); Osborne (YMCA), Crone (Distillery), Stewart (Distillery), R. Wilson (Oldpark), Porteous, S. Johnston, McClatchey (Distillery), Adair (YMCA)
Counties: (announced) S. Gillespie (Hertford); O. Devine (Limavady), G. Hewison (Moyola Park); Houston (Moyola Park), Allen (Limavady); Morrow, Maitland (Magherafelt), Redmond, Sloan (Moyola Park), Rainey, Smyth (Kilrea)
For Belfast, McCartney came into the team.
Changes to the Counties team that took the field included Cartright at half-back and McVicter in the forward line.
Belfast played in white and the county players in their respective club colours


27 December 1887
Ulster Ground, Ballynafeigh, Belfast
CA: (announced) Gordon; Christian, Connor; W. Crone, Rosbottom, Cooke; J. Torrans, Stanfield, Barry, Lennon, Peyden
CF: (announced) Moone; Devine, Sherrard; Forbes, Allen, Stewart; Sherrard, Gaussen, Rainey, Wilson, Brown

1 September 1888 (details)
Shaftesbury Grounds, Belfast (att: 1,000)
Co. ANTRIM (2) 2 (Peden 18, Gibb 43)
CANADA (2) 6 ("scrimmage", Kraus, Webster, Thompson 3)
CA: J. Clugston (Cliftonville); F. Browne (Cliftonville), R. Wilson (Cliftonville); J. Williamson (Cliftonville), J. Christian (Linfield), S. Baird (Oldpark); O.M. Stanfield (Distillery), S. Torrans (Linfield), J. Barry (Cliftonville), J.T. Gibb (Cliftonville), J. Peden (Linfield)
Ref: William McCrum (Armagh); Umpires: Heaney (Antrim) & Bingham (Canada)

26 December 1888
Cliftonville, Belfast (att: "very large")
Co. ANTRIM (2) 4 (Lemon (3), Peyden)
Co. DERRY (0) 4 (Forbes, Joe Sherrard (2), "scrimmage")
CA: Clugston; Williamson, Morrison; McKeown, Rosbotham, Cooke; Peyden, Lemon, Small, Gibb, Johnston
CD: Rankin; Sherrard, Coulter; Stewart, Christian, Gault; Gaussen, Joseph Sherrard, N.M. Brown, Lynd, Forbes

26 December 1889
Ulsterville, Belfast (att: "very large")
Co. ANTRIM (2) 2 (Barry, Gaffikin)
Co. DERRY (2) 3 (Allan, Stewart, Brown)
CA: Clugston (Cliftonville); Close (Linfield), Irvine (Cliftonville); Thompson (Belfast Athletics), Crawford, Cooke (Cliftonville); Swann (Gordon Highlanders), Gaffikin (Linfield), Peden, Torrans (Linfield), Barry (Cliftonville)
CD: Gault (Limavady); Mat Douglas (Limavady), Stewart (St Columb's); Harvey (St Columb's), Allan (Limavady), Bob Douglas (Limavady); Johnston (Linfield), Dogherty (Linfield), Wilton, Stewart (St Columb's), Brown (Limavady)
Ref: W.J. Morrow; Umpires: Finlay (IFA) & McCrum (Portrush)

7 April 1890
CA: (announced) Gordon (Linfield); H. McKeown (North End Athletics), Buchanan (Gordons); Morrison (Linfield), Milne (Gordons), J. McKeown (North End Athletics); Dalton (Linfield), Hill (Black Watch), Peden, S. Torrans (Linfield), Hall (Gordons)
No match report or result found.
Gaffikin may have played for Co. Antrim based on a later match preview.

26 December 1890
Solitude, Belfast (att: "rather small")
Co. ANTRIM (4) 5 (Stevenson (2), Halliday (2), Ferris, McMeechan) [one scorer too many]
Co. DERRY (1) 2 (J. Sherrard, Wilton)
CA: Loyal (Clarence); Browne (Cliftonville), Ramsey (Clarence); Crawford (Cliftonville), Small (Cliftonville), Bambrick (Clarence); Ferris (Milltown), McCann (Milltown), Halliday (Clarence), McMeechan (Clarence), Stevenson (Clarence)
CD: Gault (Limavady); Douglas (Limavady), Eagleson (St Columb's Court); Douglas (Limavady), Millar (St Columb's), Stewart (St Columb's Hall); Joe Sherrard (Limavady), W. Sherrard (Limavady), Stewart (St. Columb's), McClelland (St. Columb's), Wilton (St Columb's)

26 December 1891
Solitude, Belfast (att: "fair gate")
Co. ANTRIM (2) 4 (Fletcher (2), Thornton, Carr)
Co. DERRY (2) 4 (W. Wilton, J.M. Wilton (2), McClelland)
CA: Clugston (Cliftonville); R.K. Stewart (Cliftonville), Southworth (Fusiliers); Knight (Fusliers), D. Brown (Cliftonville), S. Cooke (YMCA); Carr (Fusiliers), Molyneaux (Ligoniel), Fletcher (Fusiliers), Thornton (Fusiliers), King (Ligoniel)
CD: Gault (Limavady); Mat Douglas (Limavady), Eagleson (St Columb's Court); R. Douglas (Limavady), R. Wilton (St Columb's Court), T. Molyneaux; W. Wilton, D. Wilton, J.M. Wilton, McClelland, E. Bruce (St Columb's Court)
Ref: W. Morrow

27 December 1892 (ninth annual encounter)
Solitude, Belfast (att: "large crowd")
Co. ANTRIM (0) 0
Co. DERRY (0) 3 (Sherrard, Wilton, N. Brown) [uncertain]
CA: Clugston (Cliftonville); Thompson (Cliftonville), Taylor, Thompson (Distillery), Farrell (Ligoniel), Crawford (Cliftonville), Small (Cliftonville), Anderson (Cliftonville), Calvey (Distillery), ,King (Ligoniel), Percy (Cliftonville)
CD: Gault (Limavady); Mat Douglas (Limavady), Eagleson (St Columb's Court); McCaughey (Limavady), Miller, R. Wilton  (St Columb's Court); D. Wilton, W. Wilton, J.M. Wilton, Wm Sherrard, Nat Brown (Derry Olympic)
Match played in heavy mist.

26 December 1893
Solitude, Belfast
CA: (announced) Bleakely (Celtic); Brown (Distillery), Thompson (Cliftonville); McConville (Milltown), Farrel (Ligoniel), Burnett (Distillery); Breen (Celtic), Gee (Barn), Stanfield (Distillery), Gibson, Barron (Cliftonville)
CD: (announced) Boyle (Bright Stars); Forbes (St Columb's Court), Owens (Celtic); McMichael (St Columb's), McAdams (Celtic), Patterson (North End); McLaughlin (Bright Stars), W. Sherrard (Limavady), J.M. Wilton (North End), R. McClelland (St Columb's), Lynch (Celtic)
Match cancelled at short notice as the North West FA could not raise an eleven, a fact only communicated to the crowd when they were already in the ground.

9 March 1895
Solitude, Belfast (att: "a couple of thousand")
Co. ANTRIM (1) 2 (McLaughlin, King)
Co. DUBLIN (1) 1 (Keogh)
CA: Scott (Cliftonville); Cochrane (Milltown), Forbes (Distillery); Ponsonby (Distillery), Farrell (Celtic), Campbell (Cliftonville); McLoughlin (Milltown), Baird (Cliftonville), Bruce (Distillery), King (Ligoniel), Devlin (Milltown)
CD: Fielding (University); Scott (University), D. Murrough (Nomads); Pim (University), Gillespie (Nomads), Crozier (University); Dobbs (University) [or G. Sheehan (Bohemians)], Scroope (University), F. Crozier (University) [or Blaney (Bohemians)], Keogh (Nomads), Calwell (University) [or G. Sheehan (Bohemians)]
Ref: James Torrans
The Co. Dublin team was retrospectively renamed Leinster by some sources.
This match was played on the same day as Ireland faced England in Derby, hence the selections were weaker than might otherwise have been expected.

4 January 1902
1905 Derry shirt badge
(Inter-City Match)
Celtic Park, Londonderry (att: "large crowd")
DERRY (3) 6 (Donaghy, McGinnis, Lynch (pen), ??, ??, ??)
BELFAST (1) 1 (Parsons)
Derry: J. Glenn (Celtic); J. McCourt capt (Celtic), C. Glenn (Celtic); McGahie (Court), Gallagher (Celtic), Kennedy (Court); Goodman (Court), McGinnis (Celtic), Ward (Celtic), Donaghey, C. Lynch (Celtic)
Belfast: Andrews (Distillery); McCracken capt (Distillery), Ponsonby (Distillery); Nicholl (Celtic), Parsons (Distillery), Wattie (Glentoran); Cairns (Distillery), Doherty (Celtic), McIlvenny (Ulster), Dornan (Celtic), Alf Kearns (Distillery)
Ref: J.M. Wilton
Kearns replaced Johnston (Glentoran) from the originally selected Belfast XI.
Belfast were without the services of Linfield and Cliftonville players as they played a benefit match for Sam Torrans on the same day at Solitude.

(Inter-City Match)
Celtic Park, Belfast
BELFAST (3) 6 (Maxwell (2, 1 pen), McKelvey (2), Doherty (pen), Kirkwood (Pen))
DERRY (0) 1 (Ward)
Belfast: Scott (Linfield); McCracken (Distillery), Clay (Belfast Celtic), Darling (Linfield), Connor (Glentoran), Soye (Belfast Celtic), Campbell (Cliftonville), Maxwell (Linfield), McKelvey (Glentoran), Kirkwood (Ulster), Doherty (Belfast Celtic)
Derry: J. Glenn (Derry Celtic); J. McCourt (Derry Celtic), Glenn (Derry Celtic), Blayney (Celtic), Mooney (North End), McIntyre (Derry Celtic), Douglas (South End), Goodman (Derry Celtic), Ward (Derry Celtic), McClure (North End), McGinley (Derry Celtic)
Ref: James Torrans; Linesmen: H.S. Wilson (Derry) & A. McDermott (Belfast)
Lynch and McGahey of the originally selected Derry XI did not travel and their places went to Douglas and McIntyre.
Belfast wore white with a red hand and Derry wore green.

No Derry v. Belfast fixture in 1903/04 

11 March 1905
(Inter-City Match)
Brandywell, Londonderry (att: "not too satisfactory")
DERRY (0) 0
BELFAST (2) 4 (Young, Jones, Soye, Blair)
Derry: Emery (Church Lads' Brigade/City Press); Dan O'Kane (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Bailey (Inniskilling Fusiliers); Magee (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Jamie Doherty capt (Hibernians/City Press), J. Shiels (Hibernians/Leviathans); Dickson (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Salmon, McClurg (Inniskilling Fusilers), Dannie Gallagher (Hibernians/Tailors), T. McClelland (Glenview)
Belfast: McKee (Cliftonville); Seymour (Cliftonville), Pinkerton (Belfast Celtic); McConnell (Glentoran), Bob Milne capt (Linfield), Wright (Cliftonville); Blair, Robertson (Cliftonville), Jones (Linfield), Soye (Belfast Celtic), Young (Linfield)
Ref: J.M. Wilton; Linesmen: Irvine (Cliftonville) & Sgt Waugh
The match was organised in conjunction with the Derry Trades & Warehouse League, hence the way in which some of the players' clubs are listed.
Belfast were denied the services of any Distillery players as the match coincided with their meeting with Shelbourne in the Irish Cup final.
Derry could not select players affiliated to Derry Celtic as they were not members of the North West FA.
Belfast wore white and Derry wore red.

17 March 1905
(Inter-City Match)
Sandymount, Dublin (att: "a few hundred"/"wretched")
DUBLIN (2) 2 (Woodward, Meldon)
DERRY (0) 0
Dublin: Kirk (Tritonville); Wilson (Tritonville), McGrath (Bellvue), Ampleford (Botanic), Hayes (Richmond Rovers), Crozier (Freebooters), Murphy (Tritonville),  Martin (Tritonville), Merrigan (Richmond Rovers), Woodward (Rifles), Meldon (Freebooters)
Derry: (announced) Emery (Church Lads' Brigade/City Press); Dan O'Kane (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Neely (Glenview); Magee (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Jamie Doherty (Hibernians/City Press), J. Shiels (Hibernians/Leviathans); Dickson (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Nash (Inniskilling Fusiliers), McClurg (Inniskilling Fusilers), Dannie Gallagher (Hibernians/Tailors), T. McClelland (Glenview)
Ref: Sgt Attwell (Cameron Highlanders)
Martin took the place of H. O'Reilly who was listed in the original Dublin XI
Nash replaced Hope (Enniskillen Celtic) from the originally selected Derry side.
The Dublin side is alternatively listed as Leinster in some sources.

14 October 1953 (details)
Solitude, Belfast
Co. ANTRIM 1 (Walker)
CA: W. Smyth (Distillery); R. Keith (Linfield), T. Hamill (Ards), W. Neill (Glentoran), J. Vernon (Crusaders), Clarke (Crusaders), Lowry (Glentoran), Ewing (Glentoran), John Walker (Linfield), Thomson (Ards), Tully (Crusaders)
Ref: T.J. Mitchell (Lurgan)

21 October 1958 (details)
Hillsborough, Sheffield
SHEFFIELD & HALLAMSHIRE 6 (Shiner (3), Wilkinson (2), McAnearney
Co. ANTRIM 2 (Calderwood, Shiels)
CA: Moffatt (Ards); Lucas (Glentoran), Graham (Linfield), Neill (Glentoran), Forde (Ards), Orr (Dstillery), Weatherup (Crusaders), Bruce (Glentoran), Shiels (Distillery), Parke (Linfield), Calderwood (Glentoran)

20 October 1959 (details)
Windsor Park, Belfast (att: 6,000)
Co. ANTRIM 5 (Welsh (2), Boyd (2), Bruce)
SHEFFIELD & HALLAMSHIRE 3 (Barber, Hamilton, Gilliland (og))
CA: Milligan (Cliftonville); Gilliland (Linfield), Parke (Linfield), J. Kennedy (Distillery), Campbell (Crusaders), Gough (Linfield), R. Welsh (Linfield), Dickson capt (Linfield), Boyd (Ards)

10 May 1988 (details)
Windsor Park, Belfast
Co. ANTRIM 2 (McGaughey (2)
MID-ULSTER/NORTH-WEST SELECT 6 (Millar (3), Wade, McLaughlin, Keenan)
CA: Dunlop (Linfield); Huston (Larne), Mooney (Linfield), Devine (Glentoran), Spiers (Linfield), Morrison (Glentoran), Doherty (Linfield), Caskey (Glentoran), McGaughey (Linfield), McCartney (Glentoran), Jameson (Glentoran)
Subs: Hillis (Glentoran), Conville (Ballymena Unite), Knell (Linfield)
MU/NW: Keenan (Portadown); McCullough (Coleraine), Burns (Newry Town), Davidson (Portadown), Byrne (Glenavon), Lowry (Glenavon), Wade (Coleraine), O'Neill (Portadown), Millar (Portadown), McBride (Glenavon), Ralph (Newry Town)
Subs: Gray (Newry Town), McDowell (Coleraine), McLaughlin (Glenavon)

15 April 2017

622: 2 June 2017

621 vs Norway - 622 - 623 vs Azerbaijan
2nd June 2017

Venue: National Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast


Cups, Ups & Downs 2016/17

Gareth McAuley has been a
potent goalscoring threat
from West Brom's defence
We're now at the business end of the season with most of the important matters about to be decided. So, will there be glory or frustration for Northern Ireland's players at club level?

English Premier League

There is no Northern Ireland interest at the very top-end of the English leagues, even European qualification will be a push for Southampton (captained by Steven Davis), West Brom (who have among their squad Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans and Chris Brunt) or Watford (with Craig Cathcart in defence).

At the wrong end, Sunderland, who have been without PaddyMcNair through injury for most of the season, look to be all-but relegated.

Will Grigg hasn't been on
fire for struggling Wigan
English Football League Championship

Brighton look nailed-on for a return to top-flight football for the first time since 1983, so giving Ollie Norwood a first chance to experience Premier League football next season. Also in the mix for promotion are Leeds United (Stuart Dallas) who are in the play-off positions.

Lee Camp has been a long-time relegated with Rotherham. They could be joined by two of Wigan (where Will Grigg has struggled for form), Blackburn (who have been denied the services of the injured Corry Evans for much of the season), Burton (with Tom Flanagan a regular in defence) or Nottingham Forest (with Jamie Ward back in the team after a loan spell at the aforementioned Burton).

English Football League One

Sheffield United have been crowned as League One champions, taking Daniel Lafferty and Caolan Lavery up a level. Conor McLaughlin's Fleetwood and Rory McArdle's Bradford are still in contention for automatic promotion with Shane Ferguson's Millwall slightly further back battling for a play-off spot with Adam Thompson's Southend. Rochdale, with recent international debutant Matty Lund in their midfield, are losing touch of the play-off spots.
Will Caolan Lavery score goals in the
Championship for the Blades next season?

Swindon Town (with Under-21 internationals Jordan Stewart and Jamie Sendles-White in their squad) are currently in the relegation places, while Ryan McGivern (at Shrewsbury), Rory Donnelly (at Gillingham), RyanMcLaughlin, Cameron Dummigan (both at Oldham and previously managed by Steve Robinson), David Buchanan (at Northampton) and Josh Magennis (at Charlton who also have Mikhail Kennedy out on loan with Derry) will all be looking nervously over their shoulders.

English Football League Two

Luke McCullough has been
injured, but will be playing
in a higher division in 2017/18
Luke McCullough has just come back into the Doncaster team after a lengthy injury as they claim an immediate return to League One. In the play-off spots are Stevenage who have a strong young Northern Ireland contingent (Ben Kennedy, Dale Gorman, Ryan Johnson and Nathan Kerr) among their senior squad while Cambridge (Adam McGurk), and Accrington (Billy Kee and ShayMcCartan) are still in with a slim chance of making the play-offs.

Robbie Weir's Leyton Orient have virtually no hope of avoiding relegation to the National League. Just outside the relegation spots are Hartlepool (with Trevor Carson, Carl Magnay, Liam Donnelly and Louis Rooney (on loan from Plymouth)), Cheltenham (Carl Winchester) and Yeovil (Ollie Bassett).

National League

Hoping for a return to league football are Jeff Hughes' Tranmere who are guaranteed a play-off spot as a minimum, but still harbour slim hopes of automatic promotion. Also in with a shout of the play-offs are Matt McClure's Aldershot.

Steven Davis captained
Southampton in the EFL
Cup final at Wembley
FA Cup

All Northern Ireland interest in the English Cup has been extinguished, with the last representative, Shane Ferguson of Millwall exiting at the quarter-final stage.


Steven Davis captained Southampton to the League Cup final where they were unfortunate to lose out to Manchester United at Wembley.

Scottish Premiership

Brendan Rodgers has managed Celtic to absolute domination of Scottish football with the league title wrapped up on 2nd April. The battle for best of the rest and Europa League qualification is currently being led by Niall McGinn's Aberdeen with Lee Hodson's Rangers in third. Tommy Wright's St Johnstone still retain hopes of also claiming a Europa League spot depending on results in other competitions.
Can Liam Boyce's goals keep
Ross Co in the Premiership?

Inverness, who have Billy McKay on loan from Wigan, are adrift at the foot of the table and seem doomed to relegation. The play-off spot could fall to the James McPake captained Dundee, a resurgent Motherwell managed be Steve Robinson or Ross County who's safety could be dependent on the goals of Liam Boyce.

Scottish Championship

Hibernian, managed by Neil Lennon, have claimed the Championship title giving the recently signed Brian McLean the chance to play Premiership football next season. In the play-off spots are Greenock Morton's JamieMcDonagh.

Still in danger of dropping out of the Championship are St Mirren with Conor Brennan and Jordan Thompson (on loan from Rangers) among their squad.

Scottish Cup

The Scottish Cup is at the semi-final stage, with Hibs to face Aberdeen and Celtic to face Rangers.

Scottish League Cup

The League Cup was won by Rodgers' Celtic in November as they defeated Aberdeen (who brought McGinn on as a late substitute) 3-0 in the final.

Ryan Brobbel has been playing
regularly for a dominant TNS
Welsh Premier League

Ryan Brobbel has won the Welsh title in his first season with The New Saints. Conall Murtagh seems likely to be playing Europa League next season with Bala Town who are currently in third place.

Welsh Cup

The Welsh Cup final will be contested by TNS and Bala.

Welsh League Cup

Brobbel has also claimed a winner's medal in the League Cup as TNS defeated Barry 4-0 in the final in January.

Josh Carson has struggled
for a place in a resurgent
Linfield team
Irish Premiership

Defending Champions Crusaders (Colin Coates, Michael Gault, Jordan Owens) are being chased hard by a resurgent David Healy-managed Linfield (Roy Carroll, the injured Sammy Clingan, Chris Casement, Jamie Mulgrew, Josh Carson). With the top two guaranteed Champions League and Europa League spots respectively, any other team in the top nine can currently make the Europa League qualification play-offs.

At the foot of the table Portadown (Robbie Garrett) have long been adrift following a 12 point deduction though they retain a slim mathematical hope of avoiding automatic relegation and qualifying for the relegation play-off ahead of Carrick.

Irish Championship

Warrenpoint have secured the Championship title and their first signing for Premiership football, Alan Blayney.

Irish Cup

The Irish Cup Final will be contested by Linfield and Coleraine.
Kirk Millar has helped
Linfield to a first trophy
in three seasons


Ballymena continued their recent cup successes with a 2-0 final win over Carrick. Both sides fielded a number of Northern Ireland Under-21s, past-and-present with Ross Glendinning, Tony Kane, Jim Ervin (BUFC) and Patrick McNally (CRFC) all featuring in the decider at Seaview.

Regional Cups

David Healy claimed his first honour as manager when Linfield (Mulgrew, Kirk Millar, Andrew Waterworth) defeated Crusaders (Sean O'Neill, Coates, Owens (1 goal)) 3-1 in the Co. Antrim Shield final at Ballymena. In the Mid-Ulster Cup Warrenpoint (Liam Bagnall) defeated Armagh (Shea Campbell) 3-2 in the final. The North-West Cup was won by Institute who defeated Coleraine in the final.

10 March 2017

621: 26 March 2017

620 vs Croatia - 621 - 622 vs --
26th March 2017. KO 19:45 GMT

Venue: Windsor Park, Belfast
Assistant Referees:
Goalscorers: NIR: Ward, Washington

Manager: Michael O'Neill
NIR: Michael McGovern; Conor McLaughlin, Craig Cathcart, Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, Stuart Dallas, Oliver Norwood, Steven Davis, Conor Washington, Jamie Ward, Chris Brunt

Manager: Lars Lagerback (SWE)

Match Programme/Teamsheet/Ticket/Pass:
Digital Download

Match Photos:
Craig Cathcart, Gareth McAuley, Michael McGovern, Chris Brunt, Conor Washington, Jonny Evans
Conor McLaughlin, Oliver Norwood, Steven Davis, Jamie Ward, Stuart Dallas
Players from both teams observe a minutes applause for Derry City
captain Ryan McBride who passed away the previous week.
Squad: (BBC)
GoalkeepersMichael McGovern (Norwich City), Alan Mannus (St Johnstone), Roy Carroll (Linfield).
Defenders Aaron Hughes (Hearts), Gareth McAuley (West Brom), Jonny Evans (West Brom), Chris Brunt (West Brom), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), Lee Hodson (Rangers), Ryan McLaughlin (Oldham Athletic), Tom Flanagan (Burton Albion), Daniel Lafferty (Sheffield United)
Midfielders Steven Davis (Southampton), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Oliver Norwood (Brighton), Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers), Jamie Ward (Nottingham Forest), Stuart Dallas (Leeds Utd), Paul Paton (St Johnstone), Matthew Lund (Rochdale).
Forwards - Kyle Lafferty (Norwich City), Josh Magennis (Charlton Athletic), Conor Washington (QPR), Liam Boyce (Ross County).

Photos courtesy of Roy Cathcart.

5 March 2017

03 April 1879

Friendly Match
BELFAST 3-5 GLASGOW (h/t 1-5)
** first association football match by an Irish team ***

Venue: Ulster Cricket Grounds, Ballynafeigh, Belfast
Attendance: "vast number of spectators"

Goal - J. Watson; backs - H. Davis and J.M. Mack; half-backs - R.M. Sloan and W.A. Glass; forwards - W.T. Herron, W. Jackson, J. Henderson, R. Hughes, J.A. MacDonald and A. Murray;
Reserve: R.M.Potts

Captain: Sydney Broadfoot
Goal - C. Cree; backs - O. Buck and J. Archer; half-backs - S. Broadfoot and W. Patterson; forwards - F. Archer, J. Macgregor, J. Macpherson, J. Cree, D. Dewar and M. Broadfoot

Belfast Morning News (4th April 1879)
A match between the representatives of the Lenzie (Glasgow) Club and a local team came off yesterday on the grounds of the Ulster Cricket Club, and was the first under the Scottish Association rules in which an Irish team has taken part. The weather was most favourable, and the game was witnessed by a vast number of spectators. The strangers having won the toss, elected to play with the wind, and almost immediately after the kick off, the Belfast team carried the first goal. This seemed to put the Scotchmen on their mettle, for they went to work in right earnest, and rapidly scored four goals in succession. Towards the end of the first half the strangers scored again, and the Belfast men took two goals in the second half. The match, which throughout proved most agreeable, thus closed  in favour of the Scotchmen by five goals to three. In the course of the game W.T.Herron took the first goal for Belfast and played very well, being ably supported by Jackson, M'Donald, and M'Aleavy. Altogether the play of our local team was very good, and showed that they require only a little practice to enable them to compete with all comers. Before leaving the ground Mr. Sydney Broadfoot, captain of the Scotch team, took the opportunity of presenting two association balls to the Belfast Club in remembrance of their pleasant match and in the hope that they would be used to further in Ireland. 
  • The Belfast team is also variously recorded as being Ulster FC or an Ulster representative side, though this is likely a later assumption based on the game being played at Ulster Cricket Grounds.
  • Lenzie is actually a small town around 10 miles outside Glasgow. It seems likely that they were promoted as a big-name team in order to add kudos to the match.
  • Although the exact identities of the Belfast players is hard to ascertain, some guesswork would point to the following going on to play in some of Ireland's earliest internationals: J. Watson; J.M. Mack/McAleavy (McAlery?); J. HendersonR.M. Potts.
  • Sydney Broadfoot and Melbourne Broadfoot were brothers.

13 February 2017

Head-To-Head: New Zealand

New Zealand Football

Founded: 1891
Home Venue: Wellington Regional Stadium
Main Colours: All white
Confederation: OFC (Oceania)

New Zealand / Aoteraroa 
Played 0
Won 0
Drew 0
Lost 0
Win Ratio -%
Result Ratio -%

Northern Ireland's Overall Record Against New Zealand
Win %
Pts %
Northern Ireland's Record Against New Zeland by Competition
Win %
Pts %

Northern Ireland's Results Against New Zealand
Windsor Park, Belfast

Irish FA XI's Results Against New Zealand
The Oval, Belfast

Who was Northern Ireland's Greatest World Cup Player & Team? (select up to eleven players)

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