Irish Cup

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Irish Cup
Founded 1881
Region Northern Ireland
(since 1921)
Number of teams 119 (2013–14)
Current champions Glenavon (2013–14)
Most successful club(s) Linfield (42 titles)
Website Irish Cup
2013–14 Irish Cup

This article is about the tournament in Northern Ireland. For the equivalent tournament in the Republic of Ireland, see FAI Cup.

The Irish Football Association Challenge Cup,[1] commonly known as the Irish Cup, is the national football knock-out cup competition in Northern Ireland. Inaugurated in 1881, it is the fourth-oldest national cup competition in the world. Prior to the break-away from the Irish Football Association by clubs from what would become the Irish Free State in 1921, the Irish Cup was the national cup competition for the whole of Ireland. Glenavon are the current holders after beating Ballymena United 2–1 in the 2014 final.

The Cup is currently without a sponsor, after former sponsor JJB Sports went into administration in October 2012.[2] It was previously sponsored by Nationwide Building Society and Bass Ireland Ltd.

Format[edit]

The competition is open to all clubs in Northern Ireland with intermediate or senior status. Clubs obtain such status by meeting minimum criteria laid down by the Irish Football Association in respect of facilities, etc. Each club, for example, must have its own enclosed ground. The twelve senior clubs of the NIFL Premiership are exempt until the fifth round, which consists of 32 clubs and is played in January. The 30 members of the NIFL Championship enter in the fourth round.[1] The competition begins in September with the first round, and ends with the final in May. 119 clubs entered the 2013–14 competition, the same amount that participated in 2012–13.

The competition is contested in a knock-out format. Teams are drawn against each other randomly. The team who is drawn first from each tie is the home team, except in the case of an intermediate team from outside the Championship drawn first against a senior team, when the tie is played at the ground of the senior team. Prior to the fifth round, if the match finishes in a draw, extra time is played and (if necessary) penalties are used to decide the winner. From the fifth round until the seventh round (the quarter-finals), if the match finishes in a draw, there is no extra time and a replay is played at the ground of the second-drawn team (except in the case of a tie between a senior team and an intermediate team, in which case the replay will always be at the senior team’s ground). In the replay, if the scores are still level at full-time, extra time is played and (if necessary) penalties. At the semi-final stage, the two ties are played at neutral venues, with a draw resulting in extra time and penalties as necessary. The final, now traditionally held on the first Saturday in May, is played to a finish, with extra time and penalties as necessary.[1]

In the early years of the competition the final was played at several different venues, including the Oval, Belfast; Solitude, Belfast; Grosvenor Park, Belfast; Dalymount Park, Dublin; and Celtic Park, Belfast. Since the 1996 final however, the final has always been played at Windsor Park.

Different formats and rules have been used in the past in respect of eligibility to enter the competition, the number of teams and rounds, replays, extra time, penalties, etc., but since its inception in 1881, the competition has always been a randomly drawn knock-out competition, and has always been, and continues to be, considered the most important such competition in Northern Ireland (and, prior to 1921, Ireland), second only to the NIFL Premiership. The Cup Final is the climax of the domestic season in Northern Ireland and usually attracts the biggest attendance of any club match.

In a change to the rules from 2014–15 onwards, the losing Irish Cup finalists can no longer be awarded a place in the Europa League, even if the winners have qualified for the Champions League. The winners still qualify to represent Northern Ireland in the following season’s UEFA Europa League. However, if they have already qualified for Europe by finishing third or higher in the NIFL Premiership, the 4th-placed club in the NIFL Premiership are awarded the place.[3] The winners (or runners-up if the winners have already qualified via the NIFL Premiership) also qualify for the next season’s all-Ireland Setanta Cup.

History[edit]

The Irish Cup started in the 1880–81 season. The draw for the first round took place on 10 January 1881. The trophy was first awarded to Moyola Park (from Castledawson in County Londonderry) when they beat Cliftonville (from Belfast) 1–0 in the final at Cliftonville Cricket Ground, Belfast on 9 April 1881.

Since the inception of the Irish Football League in 1890–91 (and excluding the First and Second World War years when the League was suspended), the Cup has been won by Irish League clubs on every occasion except three famous ‘giant-killing’ occasions when "junior" clubs beat senior opponents in the final: in 1928, Willowfield beat Larne 1–0; in 1955, Dundela beat Glenavon 3–0; and in 1976, Carrick Rangers beat Linfield 2–1. In the early years, Army regiments stationed in Ireland entered teams such as King's Own Rifles (Cork), three of which reached the final: the Gordon Highlanders in 1890, the Black Watch (Limerick) in 1892 and the Sherwood Foresters (Curragh, County Kildare) in 1897. The Gordon Highlanders were the only Army team to win the Cup.

From 1881 to 1921, when the Irish Cup was an all-Ireland competition, southern clubs (from what would become the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland) only won the competition four times out of a possible 41: Shelbourne (from Dublin) won three times (in 1906, 1911 and 1920); and Bohemians (also from Dublin) won it in 1908. There were two all-southern finals: Bohemians defeating Shelbourne in 1908, and Shelbourne defeating Bohemians in 1911 (both ties required replays). Shelbourne, Bohemians and Derry City are the only clubs to win both the Irish Cup and the FAI Cup. Other Dublin clubs to compete in the Irish Cup were Dublin University, St. James's Gate, Dublin Association, Tritonville and Richmond Rovers.

In the second competition in 1881–82, Queen's Island became the first Belfast club to win the Cup and it did not leave Belfast again for another 24 years, when in 1905–06, Shelbourne became the first club from Dublin to win it. Of the 134 competitions played since 1881, Belfast clubs have won the Cup 99 times. The last time a club from outside Belfast won the cup was in 2014, when Glenavon beat Ballymena United 2–1 to win the cup for the sixth time and become the cup's most successful club from outside Belfast.[n 1]

The first final ever played outside Belfast took place in 1903, when Distillery won their 7th Irish Cup with a 3–1 victory over Bohemians at Dalymount Park, Dublin. The last final to be played outside Belfast was in 1975; Coleraine winning the Cup with a 1–0 victory over Linfield in the second replay, after 1–1 and 0–0 draws in the first two games. Since then the final has been played at either The Oval, or Windsor Park. The first final between two clubs from outside Belfast was in 1908, when Bohemians beat Shelbourne 3–1 after a replay.

In 1921, Glenavon became the first club from County Armagh to reach the final, but no club from Armagh won the Cup until Glenavon in 1957. County Down's first Cup finalists and winners were Ards in 1927; and County Antrim's were Ballymena in 1929. In 2007, Dungannon Swifts became the first club from County Tyrone to reach the final.

Prior to replays being abolished in the final, a replay was required to decide the winner of 21 finals, the first in 1890 after Cliftonville and the Gordon Highlanders drew 2–2. Of the 21 finals to be replayed, eight of them required a second replay to separate the two finalists. The last time this occurred, and the last final replay ever played before they were abolished was in 1993, when Bangor defeated Ards 1–0 after two 1–1 draws. It was decided after this that there should only be one replay in which penalties would be used to determine the winner if necessary, and eventually the rules for the final were changed to remove replays altogether, with penalties being used if necessary after extra time in the first match. The first, and to date only final to be won on penalties took place in 2007, when Linfield beat Dungannon Swifts 3–2 on penalties following a 2–2 draw after extra time.

The final was not played on three occasions:

  • In 1912, Linfield were awarded the Cup after the other three semi-finalists (Cliftonville, Glentoran and Shelbourne) resigned from the IFA in a dispute over referee's wages.
  • In 1920, Shelbourne, who had beaten Glenavon in one semi-final, were awarded the Cup after the other semi-final was declared null and void as both of the clubs involved were ejected from the competition: Belfast Celtic after Celtic fans fired shots at Glentoran supporters during a riot, and Glentoran for fielding an unlisted player.
  • In 1999, Portadown were awarded the Cup when the other finalists, Cliftonville, were ejected from the competition after it was discovered that they had fielded an ineligible player during the earlier rounds.

A total of 24 different clubs have won the Cup, but only 13 clubs have done so more than once. 33 different clubs have reached the final, with 11 of them appearing only once. Of those 11 clubs, five of them have won the Cup in their sole final appearance. On five occasions the same two clubs have reached the final in consecutive years: in 1885 and 1886, Distillery and Alexander; in 1913 and 1914, Glentoran and Linfield; in 1930 and 1931, Ballymena United and Linfield; Coleraine and Glentoran in 2003 and 2004; and in 2011 and 2012 Linfield and Crusaders. The most common final has been between Glentoran and Linfield, which has occurred 15 times. Linfield have won eight of the meetings, with Glentoran winning seven. The last time both clubs reached the final was in 2006, when Linfield won 2–1.

In 2001, the final was broadcast live on television for the first time, and has been on every occasion since.

Windsor Park has hosted the most finals (70, including replays), followed by The Oval with 24, and Solitude with 22.

Records[edit]

Most wins: 42, Linfield

Most consecutive wins: 4, Glentoran (1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87 & 1987–88)

Most final appearances: 61, Linfield[n 2]

Most consecutive final appearances: 5, Linfield (1890–91, 1891–92, 1892–93, 1893–94 & 1894–95)

Most final defeats: 20, Linfield

Most consecutive final defeats: 3, Linfield (1974–75, 1975–76 & 1976–77)

Biggest final winning margin: Linfield 10–1 Bohemians (1894–95)

Longest gap between wins: 70 years, Cliftonville (1908–09 and 1978–79)

Longest gap between final appearances: 55 years, Bangor (1937–38 and 1992–93)

Most final appearances without winning: 5, Larne (1927–28, 1934–35, 1986–87, 1988–89 & 2004–05)

Most common final: Glentoran v Linfield (15 times)

Final results[edit]

Match level after 90 minutes. A replay was required (until 1985).
* Match level after extra time. A replay was required (1993).
* Match level after 90 minutes. Decided in Extra time.
Match level after 90 minutes and extra time. Decided by a penalty shootout.


Season Date Winner
(number of titles)
Score Runner-up Venue Attendance
1880–81 9 April 1881 Moyola Park (1) 1 – 0 Cliftonville Cliftonville Cricket Ground, Belfast 1,500
1881–82 13 May 1882 Queen's Island [I] (1) 1 – 0 Cliftonville Ulster Cricket Ground 2,000
1882–83 5 May 1883 Cliftonville (1) 5 – 0 Ulster Bloomfield Ground, Knock, Belfast 2,000
1883–84 19 April 1884 Distillery (1) 5 – 0 Wellington Park Ulster Cricket Ground 2,000
1884–85 21 March 1885 Distillery (2) 3 – 0 Limavady 2,000
1885–86 27 March 1886 Distillery (3) 1 – 0 Limavady 1,000
1886–87 12 February 1887 Ulster (1) 3 – 0 Cliftonville Broadway Ground, Belfast 4,000
1887–88 17 March 1888 Cliftonville (2) 2 – 1 Distillery Ulster Cricket Ground 3,000
1888–89 16 March 1889 Distillery (4) 5 – 4 YMCA 3,500
1889–90 8 March 1890 Gordon Highlanders (1) 2 – 2 Cliftonville 4,500
Replay 12 March 1890 3 – 1 Ulsterville, Belfast 3,500
1890–91 14 March 1891 Linfield (1) 4 – 2 Ulster Solitude, Belfast 5,000
1891–92 12 March 1892 Linfield (2) 7 – 0 The Black Watch 5,500
1892–93 11 March 1893 Linfield (3) 5 – 1 Cliftonville Ulsterville, Belfast
1893–94 17 March 1894 Distillery (5) 2 – 2 Linfield Solitude, Belfast 5,500
Replay 18 April 1894 3 – 2
1894–95 23 March 1895 Linfield (4) 10 – 1 Bohemians 2,000
1895–96 14 March 1896 Distillery (6) 3 – 1 Glentoran 6,000
1896–97 20 March 1897 Cliftonville (3) 3 – 1 Sherwood Foresters Grosvenor Park, Belfast 5,000
1897–98 19 March 1898 Linfield (5) 2 – 0 St Columb's Hall Celtic The Oval, Belfast 3,000
1898–99 18 March 1899 Linfield (6) 2 – 1 Glentoran Solitude, Belfast 7,000
1899–1900 24 March 1900 Cliftonville (4) 2 – 1 Bohemians Grosvenor Park, Belfast 5,500
1900–01 13 April 1901 Cliftonville (5) 1 – 0 Freebooters Grosvenor Park, Belfast[4][5] 5,500
1901–02 15 March 1902 Linfield (7) 5 – 1 Distillery Solitude, Belfast 8,000
1902–03 14 March 1903 Distillery (7) 3 – 1 Bohemians Dalymount Park, Dublin 6,000
1903–04 17 March 1904 Linfield (8) 5 – 1 Derry Celtic Grosvenor Park, Belfast 6,000
1904–05 11 March 1905 Distillery (8) 3 – 0 Shelbourne Solitude, Belfast 12,000
1905–06 28 April 1906 Shelbourne (1) 2 – 0 Belfast Celtic Dalymount Park, Dublin 8,000
1906–07 23 March 1907 Cliftonville (6) 0 – 0 Shelbourne Celtic Park, Belfast 12,900
Replay 20 April 1907 1 – 0 Dalymount Park, Dublin 10,000
1907–08 21 March 1908 Bohemians (1) 1 – 1 Shelbourne 8,000
Replay 28 March 1908 3 – 1 9,000
1908–09 3 April 1909 Cliftonville (7) 0 – 0 Bohemians Windsor Park, Belfast 3,000
Replay 10 April 1909 2 – 1 Dalymount Park, Dublin 15,000
1909–10 26 March 1910 Distillery (9) 1 – 0 Cliftonville The Oval, Belfast 10,000
1910–11 25 March 1911 Shelbourne (2) 0 – 0 Bohemians Dalymount Park, Dublin
Replay 15 April 1911 2 – 1
1911–12 N/A Linfield (9) Final not played.[n 3]
1912–13 29 March 1913 Linfield (10) 2 – 0 Glentoran Celtic Park 20,000
1913–14 28 March 1914 Glentoran (1) 3 – 1 Linfield Grosvenor Park, Belfast 20,000
1914–15 27 March 1915 Linfield (11) 1 – 0 Belfast Celtic Solitude, Belfast
1915–16 25 March 1916 Linfield (12) 1 – 1 Glentoran Celtic Park
Replay 1 April 1916 1 – 0 Grosvenor Park, Belfast
1916–17 31 March 1917 Glentoran (2) 2 – 0 Belfast Celtic Windsor Park, Belfast 20,000
1917–18 30 March 1918 Belfast Celtic (1) 0 – 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast
Replay 13 April 1918 0 – 0 Solitude, Belfast
2nd replay 24 April 1918 2 – 0 Grosvenor Park, Belfast
1918–19 29 March 1919 Linfield (13) 1 – 1 Glentoran Celtic Park, Belfast 18,000
Replay 5 April 1919 0 – 0 Grosvenor Park, Belfast
2nd replay 7 April 1919 2 – 1 Solitude, Belfast
1919–20 N/A Shelbourne (3) Final not played.[n 4]
1920–21 26 March 1921 Glentoran (3) 2 – 0 Glenavon Windsor Park, Belfast
1921–22 25 March 1922 Linfield (14) 2 – 0 Glenavon Solitude, Belfast
1922–23 31 March 1923 Linfield (15) 2 – 0 Glentoran
1923–24 29 March 1924 Queen's Island [II] (1) 1 – 0 Willowfield Windsor Park, Belfast
1924–25 21 March 1925 Distillery (10) 2 – 1 Glentoran Solitude, Belfast 20,000
1925–26 27 March 1926 Belfast Celtic (2) 3 – 2 Linfield
1926–27 26 March 1927 Ards (1) 3 – 2 Cliftonville The Oval, Belfast
1927–28 25 April 1928 Willowfield (1) 1 – 0 Larne Windsor Park, Belfast
1928–29 30 May 1929 Ballymena (1) 2 – 1 Belfast Celtic Solitude, Belfast
1929–30 29 March 1930 Linfield (16) 4 – 3 Ballymena Celtic Park, Belfast
1930–31 28 March 1931 Linfield (17) 3 – 0 Ballymena The Oval, Belfast
1931–32 26 March 1932 Glentoran (4) 2 – 1 Linfield Celtic Park, Belfast
1932–33 8 April 1933 Glentoran (5) 1 – 1 Distillery Windsor Park, Belfast 33,000
Replay 12 April 1933 1 – 1 25,000
2nd replay 28 April 1933 3 – 1
1933–34 14 April 1934 Linfield (18) 4 – 0 Cliftonville The Oval, Belfast
1934–35 6 April 1935 Glentoran (6) 0 – 0 Larne Windsor Park, Belfast 15,000
Replay 10 April 1935 0 – 0
2nd replay 30 April 1935 1 – 0 10,545
1935–36 4 April 1936 Linfield (19) 0 – 0 Derry City Celtic Park, Belfast
Replay 8 April 1936 2 – 0
1936–37 10 April 1937 Belfast Celtic (3) 3 – 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast
1937–38 9 April 1938 Belfast Celtic (4) 0 – 0 Bangor Solitude, Belfast
Replay 7 May 1938 2 – 0
1938–39 29 April 1939 Linfield (20) 2 – 0 Ballymena United
1939–40 20 April 1940 Ballymena United (1) 2 – 0 Glenavon Windsor Park, Belfast
1940–41 26 April 1941 Belfast Celtic (5) 1 – 0 Linfield 12,000
1941–42 18 April 1942 Linfield (21) 3 – 1 Glentoran Celtic Park, Belfast
1942–43 17 April 1943 Belfast Celtic (6) 1 – 0 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast
1943–44 17 April 1944 Belfast Celtic (7) 3 – 1 Linfield
1944–45 14 April 1945 Linfield (22) 4 – 2 Glentoran Celtic Park, Belfast 20,000
1945–46 13 April 1946 Linfield (23) 3 – 0 Distillery 20,137
1946–47 26 April 1947 Belfast Celtic (8) 1 – 0 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 25,000
1947–48 10 April 1948 Linfield (24) 3 – 0 Coleraine Celtic Park, Belfast 31,000
1948–49 16 April 1949 Derry City (1) 3 – 1 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 27,000
1949–50 22 April 1950 Linfield (25) 2 – 1 Distillery 17,000
1950–51 28 April 1951 Glentoran (7) 3 – 1 Ballymena United 25,000
1951–52 26 April 1952 Ards (2) 1 – 0 Glentoran 20,000
1952–53 25 April 1953 Linfield (26) 5 – 0 Coleraine Solitude, Belfast 21,000
1953–54 24 April 1954 Derry City (2) 2 – 2 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 35,000
Replay 29 April 1954 0 – 0 28,000
2nd replay 10 May 1954 1 – 0 28,000
1954–55 23 April 1955 Dundela (1) 3 – 0 Glenavon 10,000
1955–56 21 April 1956 Distillery (11) 2 – 2 Glentoran 16,000
Replay 26 April 1956 0 – 0
2nd replay 30 April 1956 1 – 0 20,000
1956–57 13 April 1957 Glenavon (1) 2 – 0 Derry City 23,000
1957–58 26 April 1958 Ballymena United (2) 2 – 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 24,000
1958–59 18 April 1959 Glenavon (2) 1 – 1 Ballymena United Windsor Park, Belfast 18,000
Replay 29 April 1959 2 – 0
1959–60 30 April 1960 Linfield (27) 5 – 1 Ards The Oval, Belfast 20,000
1960–61 22 April 1961 Glenavon (3) 5 – 1 Linfield Solitude, Belfast 22,000
1961–62 14 April 1962 Linfield (28) 4 – 0 Portadown The Oval, Belfast 20,000
1962–63 20 April 1963 Linfield (29) 2 – 1 Distillery 20,000
1963–64 25 April 1964 Derry City (3) 2 – 0 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 19,000
1964–65 24 April 1965 Coleraine (1) 2 – 1 Glenavon 18,000
1965–66 23 April 1966 Glentoran (8) 2 – 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 20,000
1966–67 22 April 1967 Crusaders (1) 3 – 1 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 20,000
1967–68 27 April 1968 Crusaders (2) 2 – 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 18,000
1968–69 19 April 1969 Ards (3) 0 – 0 Distillery Windsor Park, Belfast 17,000
Replay 23 April 1969 4 – 2 16,000
1969–70 4 April 1970 Linfield (30) 2 – 1 Ballymena United Solitude, Belfast 12,000
1970–71 3 April 1971 Distillery (12) 3 – 0 Derry City Windsor Park, Belfast 6,000
1971–72 22 April 1972 Coleraine (2) 2 – 1 Portadown 8,000
1972–73 28 April 1973 Glentoran (9) 3 – 2 Linfield 12,000
1973–74 27 April 1974 Ards (4) 2 – 1 Ballymena United 7,000
1974–75 19 April 1975 Coleraine (3) 1 – 1 Linfield The Showgrounds, Ballymena 5,600
Replay 23 April 1975 0 – 0 5,400
2nd replay 29 April 1975 1 – 0 5,200
1975–76 10 April 1976 Carrick Rangers (1) 2 – 1 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 9,500
1976–77 23 April 1977 Coleraine (4) 4 – 1 Linfield 10,000
1977–78 29 April 1978 Linfield (31) 3 – 1 Ballymena United 12,000
1978–79 28 April 1979 Cliftonville (8) 3 – 2 Portadown Windsor Park, Belfast 18,000
1979–80 26 April 1980 Linfield (32) 2 – 0 Crusaders The Oval, Belfast 12,000
1980–81 2 May 1981 Ballymena United (3) 1 – 0 Glenavon Windsor Park, Belfast 6,000
1981–82 24 April 1982 Linfield (33) 2 – 1 Coleraine The Oval, Belfast 12,000
1982–83 30 April 1983 Glentoran (10) 1 – 1 Linfield Windsor Park, Belfast 12,000
Replay 7 May 1983 2 – 1 The Oval, Belfast 8,000
1983–84 5 May 1984 Ballymena United (4) 4 – 1 Carrick Rangers Windsor Park, Belfast 5,000
1984–85 4 May 1985 Glentoran (11) 1 – 1 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 12,000
Replay 11 May 1985 1 – 0 Windsor Park, Belfast 12,000
1985–86 3 May 1986 Glentoran (12) 2 – 1 Coleraine 8,000
1986–87 2 May 1987 Glentoran (13) 1 – 0 Larne 8,000
1987–88 30 April 1988 Glentoran (14) 1 – 0 Glenavon 10,000
1988–89 6 May 1989 Ballymena United (5) 1 – 0 Larne The Oval, Belfast 5,000
1989–90 5 May 1990 Glentoran (15) 3 – 0 Portadown Windsor Park, Belfast 12,000
1990–91 4 May 1991 Portadown (1) 2 – 1 Glenavon 12,000
1991–92 2 May 1992 Glenavon (4) 2 – 1 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 12,000
1992–93 1 May 1993 Bangor (1) 01 – 1 * Ards Windsor Park, Belfast 8,500
Replay 8 May 1993 01 – 1 * 6,000
2nd replay 11 May 1993 1 – 0 5,000
1993–94 7 May 1994 Linfield (34) 2 – 0 Bangor The Oval, Belfast 10,000
1994–95 6 May 1995 Linfield (35) 3 – 1 Carrick Rangers 6,800
1995–96 4 May 1996 Glentoran (16) 1 – 0 Glenavon Windsor Park, Belfast 10,000
1996–97 3 May 1997 Glenavon (5) 1 – 0 Cliftonville 8,222
1997–98 2 May 1998 Glentoran (17) 01 – 0 * Glenavon 8,250
1998–99 N/A Portadown (2) Final not played.[n 5]
1999–2000 6 May 2000 Glentoran (18) 1 – 0 Portadown Windsor Park, Belfast 8,355
2000–01 5 May 2001 Glentoran (19) 01 – 0 * Linfield 14,190
2001–02 11 May 2002 Linfield (36) 2 – 1 Portadown 11,129
2002–03 3 May 2003 Coleraine (5) 1 – 0 Glentoran 9,000
2003–04 1 May 2004 Glentoran (20) 1 – 0 Coleraine 8,300
2004–05 7 May 2005 Portadown (3) 5 – 1 Larne 5,431
2005–06 6 May 2006 Linfield (37) 2 – 1 Glentoran 12,500
2006–07 5 May 2007 Linfield (38) 0 2 – 2 (3 – 2 p) Dungannon Swifts 7,600
2007–08 3 May 2008 Linfield (39) 2 – 1 Coleraine 8,452
2008–09 9 May 2009 Crusaders (3) 1 – 0 Cliftonville 8,820
2009–10 8 May 2010 Linfield (40) 2 – 1 Portadown 7,940
2010–11 7 May 2011 Linfield (41) 2 – 1 Crusaders 8,200
2011–12 5 May 2012 Linfield (42) 4 – 1 Crusaders 7,325
2012–13 4 May 2013 Glentoran (21) 03 – 1 * Cliftonville 9,825
2013–14 3 May 2014 Glenavon (6) 2 – 1 Ballymena United 7,282

Performance By Club[edit]

Club Winners Runners-up Winning Years
Linfield 42 20 1890–91, 1891–92, 1892–93, 1894–95, 1897–98, 1898–99, 1901–02, 1903–04, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1914–15, 1915–16, 1918–19, 1921–22, 1922–23, 1929–30, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1938–39, 1941–42, 1944–45, 1945–46, 1947–48, 1949–50, 1952–53, 1959–60, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1969–70, 1977–78, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12
Glentoran 21 19 1913–14, 1916–17, 1920–21, 1931–32, 1932–33, 1934–35, 1950–51, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1995–96, 1997–98, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2012–13
Distillery 12 7 1883–84, 1884–85, 1885–86, 1888–89, 1893–94, 1895–96, 1902–03, 1904–05, 1909–10, 1924–25, 1955–56, 1970–71
Cliftonville 8 11 1882–83, 1887–88, 1896–97, 1899–00, 1900–01, 1906–07, 1908–09, 1978–79
Belfast Celtic 8 4 1917–18, 1925–26, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1940–41, 1942–43, 1943–44, 1946–47
Glenavon 6 10 1956–57, 1958–59, 1960–61, 1991–92, 1996–97, 2013–14
Ballymena United 5 7 1939–40, 1957–58, 1980–81, 1983–84, 1988–89
Coleraine 5 6 1964–65, 1971–72, 1974–75, 1976–77, 2002–03
Ards 4 2 1926–27, 1951–52, 1968–69, 1973–74
Portadown 3 7 1990–91, 1998–99, 2004–05
Crusaders 3 3 1966–67, 1967–68, 2008–09
Derry City 3 3 1948–49, 1953–54, 1963–64
Shelbourne 3 3 1905–06, 1910–11, 1919–20
Bohemians 1 5 1907–08
Ballymena 1 2 1928–29
Bangor 1 2 1992–93
Carrick Rangers 1 2 1975–76
Ulster 1 2 1886–87
Willowfield 1 1 1927–28
Dundela 1 0 1954–55
Gordon Highlanders 1 0 1889–90
Moyola Park 1 0 1880–81
Queen's Island [I] 1 0 1881–82
Queen's Island [II] 1 0 1923–24
Larne 0 5
Derry Celtic[n 6] 0 2
Limavady United 0 2
Dungannon Swifts 0 1
Freebooters 0 1
Sherwood Foresters 0 1
The Black Watch 0 1
Wellington Park 0 1
YMCA 0 1

Total cups won by town or city[edit]

24 different clubs have won the cup, and the overwhelming majority of cups have been won by clubs from Belfast.

Town or city Number of cups won Clubs
Belfast 99 Linfield (42), Glentoran (21), Distillery[n 1](12), Cliftonville (8), Belfast Celtic (8), Crusaders (3), Ulster (1), Willowfield (1), Dundela (1), Queen's Island [I] (1), Queen's Island [II] (1)
Ballymena 6 Ballymena United (5), Ballymena (1)
Lurgan 6 Glenavon (6)
Coleraine 5 Coleraine (5)
Dublin 4 Shelbourne (3), Bohemians (1)
Newtownards 4 Ards (4)
Derry 3 Derry City (3)
Portadown 3 Portadown (3)
Bangor 1 Bangor (1)
Carrickfergus 1 Carrick Rangers (1)
Castledawson 1 Moyola Park (1)
British Army 1 Gordon Highlanders (1)

Final venues[edit]

There have been 131 Irish Cup finals contested during the 134 competitions completed thus far, as the final was not played on three occasions. In addition, 29 final replays have been contested, for a total of 160 matches played at twelve different grounds. Windsor Park has been the most common venue, having hosted 70 finals including replays.

Venue Number of finals
(including replays)
First final Last final
Windsor Park 70 1908–09 2013–14
The Oval 24 1897–98 1994–95
Solitude 23 1890–91 1969–70
Celtic Park 12 1906–07 1947–48
Dalymount Park 8 1902–03 1910–11 replay
Grosvenor Park 8 1896–97 1918–19 replay
Ulster Cricket Ground 7 1881–82 1889–90
Ballymena Showgrounds 3 1974–75 1974–75 second replay
Ulsterville 2 1889–90 replay 1892–93
Bloomfield 1 1882–83 1882–83
Broadway Ground 1 1886–87 1886–87
Cliftonville Cricket Ground 1 1880–81 1880–81

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Distillery, now based outside Belfast (in Ballyskeagh) and known as Lisburn Distillery, won the Cup 12 times while still based in Belfast.
  2. ^ Linfield have won the Cup 42 times and been runners-up 20 times. However, as the final was not played in 1911–12 they have only appeared in 61 finals.
  3. ^ Linfield were awarded the Cup after the other three semi-finalists (Cliftonville, Glentoran and Shelbourne) resigned from the IFA in a dispute over referee's wages.
  4. ^ Shelbourne, who had beaten Glenavon in one semi-final, were awarded the Cup after the other semi-final was declared null and void as both of the teams involved were ejected from the competition: Belfast Celtic after their fans fired shots at Glentoran supporters during a riot, and Glentoran for fielding an unlisted player.
  5. ^ Portadown were awarded the Cup when the other finalists, Cliftonville, were ejected from the competition after it was discovered that they had fielded an ineligible player during the earlier rounds.
  6. ^ Including one final as St Columb's Hall Celtic.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Irish FA Challenge Cup Rules – Season 2013–14". Irish Football Association. irishfa.com. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Cup sponsors' collapse to hit Irish Football Association". BBC Sport. BBC. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Strategic talks in Dubrovnik". UEFA.com. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Irish Times, April 13, 1901
  5. ^ The Association of Football Statisticians 1900–1901 Annual (AFS, 1985)

External links[edit]