Northern Amateur Football League

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The Northern Amateur Football League, also known as the Northern Amateur League and often simply as the Amateur League, is an association football league in Northern Ireland. It contains 13 divisions. These comprise four intermediate sections: the Premier Division, Division 1A, Division 1B and Division 1C; three junior sections: Division 2A, Division 2B and Division 2C; and six reserve sections.

Clubs in membership (2013–14)[edit]

Intermediate[edit]

Premier Division

Division 1A

Division 1B

Division 1C

Format[edit]

The league season lasts from August to May with each club playing the others twice, once at their home ground and once at that of their opponents. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the team that finishes in first place in the Premier division is crowned league champions.

Premier Division[edit]

There are 14 clubs in the Premier Division, each playing a total of 26 games. The two lowest-placed teams are relegated to Division 1A. The league champions can be promoted to NIFL Championship 2, providing they meet the admittance requirements.

Division 1A[edit]

There are 14 clubs. The two highest-placed teams are promoted into the Premier Division whilst the two lowest-placed teams are relegated to Division 1B.

Division 1B[edit]

There are 14 clubs. The two highest-placed teams are promoted to Division 1A and the two lowest-placed teams are relegated to Division 1C.

Division 1C[edit]

This division was added to the Amateur League for the 2009/10 season. It now consists of 14 teams who will each play a total of 26 matches. The two top-placed teams at the end of the season will be promoted to Division 1B.

Second Division[edit]

There are three sections within the Second Division, which has junior status: Division 2A, Division 2B and Division 2C. The top team in Division 2A at the end of the season can be promoted into the Intermediate section as long as their grounds meet intermediate standards.

Third Division[edit]

The Third Division is for reserve sides of teams in the first and second divisions. It has six sections: 3A to 3F.

Cup competitions[edit]

There are two cup competitions at intermediate level: the Border Regiment Cup, more commonly referred to as the Border Cup, the final of which is played during the Christmas period, is a knock-out competition for First Division clubs. The Clarence Cup is a knock-out competition for all clubs (encompassing both the First and Second Divisions).

History[edit]

The League was founded 4 July 1923 at a meeting of fourteen clubs at the Clarence Place Hall, Donegall Square East, Belfast, initially as a league for teams from public bodies, private associations, schools and firms. It was affiliated to the Irish Football Association as a junior league in August. The first season was 1923/24 and by the time the first fixtures were played on 22 September, there were 16 member clubs. The Co-operative and C.P.A. were tied at the top of the table, but the Co-operative won a play-off to be crowned the first Amateur League champions.

A knock-out competition - the Clarence Cup - was also inaugurated in the first season, and the first winners were C.P.A., who beat the Co-operative 2-1 in a replay after a 0-0 draw.

The League's first representative game was played on 26 January 1924 against the Minor League at the Oval, and was a 6-1 win for the Amateur League. In 1932, the League played its first representative match outside Northern Ireland: a 3-3 draw against the Scottish Juvenile FA at Celtic Park, Glasgow. This became an annual fixture, which lasted until 1939, only to be halted by the Second World War. Subsequently, annual fixtures have resumed, first with the Scottish Amateur League and, since 1978-1979 with the Scottish Amateur F.A., competing for the Britton Rosebowl.

During the next few years, the League gained intermediate status, and a junior-status second division was added in 1926. By 1930, there were 30 clubs in membership. In 1932-1933, the League's strength was demonstrated when Dunville's became the first Amateur League team to win the Irish Intermediate Cup, and in 1938-1939 when Sirocco Works won the Steel & Sons Cup.

In the 1936-1937 season, a new competition was introduced: the Border Regiment Cup (commonly the Border Cup), which was to become the perhaps League's most prestigious trophy as it established a traditional Christmas final. The cup was presented to the league by the team of the Border Regiment, stationed at Palace Barracks, Holywood, which had been a member of the League since 1933, and which was nearing the end of its tour of duty. The first winners were Sirocco Works, who beat Whitehouse Recreation Club 4-0 in the final.

After the Second World War, the league expanded its membership and the second division was split into two - Division 2A and Division 2B - in 1947. Division 2C was added in 1950. In 1961, Division 2A was elevated to intermediate status as Division 1B, with the top division renamed as Division 1A. Divisions 2B and 2C consequently became 2A and 2B respectively. The next year, 1962, the league expanded again and a new Division 2C was added, making a total of five divisions.

In 1963, it was decided that the Border Cup should be confined to teams in the First Division, and a new knock-out competition - the Cochrane Corry Cup - was instituted for the Second Division teams.

From the 1970-1971 season, automatic promotion and relegation within each division was introduced, and in the following season a new Third Division was added for the reserve teams of member clubs. In 1971 Division 2C was abolished, but re-established again in 1975. In 1973 a second reserve section was formed and the Third Division was thus divided into Division 3A and Division 3B. Division 3C was added in 1980, Division 3D in 1986 and Division 3E in 1991. There is now a Division 3F.

The League had been growing, particularly since the 1960s, and the milestone of 100 teams in membership was achieved in 1981. (By 1997-1998, there were 144 teams in membership.) In 1985, the League secured a sponsorship deal with Smithwick's.

In 1986, the intermediate First Division was expanded into three sections with the addition of Division 1C. From 1991, the intermediate sections were renamed as the Premier Division, Division 1A and Division 1B. Minimum standards were set for clubs' grounds as a condition of membership of the Premier Division, with promotion only available to those clubs whose facilities measured up.

List of champions[edit]

Season Winner
1923/24 Co-operative
1924/25 N.C.C.
1925/26 N.C.C.
1926/27 Sirocco Works
1927/28 Shaftesbury
1928/29 Shaftesbury
1929/30 Holm Factory
1930/31 Dunville's
1931/32 Dunville's
1932/33 Dunville's
1933/34 Dunville's
1934/35 Sirocco Works
1935/36 Sirocco Works
1936/37 Sirocco Works
1937/38 Sirocco Works
1938/39 Sirocco Works
1939/40 Sirocco Works
1940/41 Victoria Works
1941/42 Victoria Works United
1942/43 Victoria Works United
1943/44 Shankill Young Men
1944/45 Shankill Young Men
1945/46 Shankill Young Men
1946/47 Queen's Island Woodworkers
1947/48 Sirocco Works
1948/49 Carrick Rangers
1949/50 East Belfast
1950/51 Musgrave
1951/52 Carrick Rangers
1952/53 East Belfast
1953/54 East Belfast
1954/55 East Belfast
1955/56 East Belfast
1956/57 Short Brothers & Harland
1957/58 Short Brothers & Harland
1958/59 Short Brothers & Harland
1959/60 Short Brothers & Harland
1960/61 Albert Foundry [I][1]
1961/62 Chimney Corner
1962/63 East Belfast
1963/64 East Belfast
1964/65 St Elizabeth's
1965/66 East Belfast
1966/67 Albert Foundry [I][1]
1967/68 Islandmagee
1968/69 Chimney Corner
1969/70 Chimney Corner
1970/71 R.U.C.
1971/72 I.C.L.
1972/73 R.U.C.
1973/74 Chimney Corner
1974/75 Chimney Corner
1975/76 Barn United
1976/77 Downpatrick Rec.
1977/78 Downpatrick Rec.
1978/79 Harland & Wolff Welders
1979/80 Dunmurry Rec.
1980/81 Downpatrick Rec.
1981/82 Drumaness Mills
1982/83 S.T.C.
1983/84 Drumaness Mills
1984/85 Killyleagh Youth
1985/86 Cromac Albion
1986/87 Cromac Albion
1987/88 Dunmurry Rec.
1988/89 Drumaness Mills
1989/90 Short Brothers
1990/91 Harland & Wolff Sports
1991/92 Dunmurry Rec.
1992/93 Killyleagh Youth
1993/94 East Belfast
1994/95 Crumlin United
1995/96 Northern Telecom
1996/97 Northern Telecom
1997/98 Ards Rangers
1998/89 Dunmurry Rec.
1999/2000 Killyleagh Youth
2000/01 Killyleagh Youth
2001/02 Killyleagh Youth
2002/03 Killyleagh Youth
2003/04 Killyleagh Youth
2004/05 Killyleagh Youth
2005/06 Newington Youth Club
2006/07 Albert Foundry [II][2]
2007/08 Downpatrick
2008/09 Newington Youth Club
2009/10 Newington Youth Club
2010/11 Newington Youth Club
2011/12 Ards Rangers
2012/13 Newington Youth Club

Performance by club[edit]

Team Wins Last win
1 East Belfast 9 1993/94
2 Killyleagh Youth 8 2004/05
= Sirocco Works 8 1947/48
4 Dunville's** 6 1933/34
5 Chimney Corner 5 1974/75
= Short Brothers 5 1989/90
= Newington Youth Club 5 2012/13
7 Dunmurry Rec. 4 1998/99
9 Downpatrick Rec. 3 1980/81
= Drumaness Mills 3 1988/89
= Nortel 3 1996/97
= Shankill Young Men 3 1945/46
= Victoria Works United* 3 1942/43
14 Ards Rangers 2 2011/12
= Carrick Rangers 2 1951/52
= Cromac Albion 2 1986/87
= N.C.C. 2 1925/26
= R.U.C. 2 1972/73
19 Albert Foundry [I] 2 1960/61
= Barn United 1 1923/24
= Co-operative 1 1923/24
= Crumlin United 1 1994/95
= Downpatrick 1 2007/08
= Harland & Wolff Welders 1 1978/79
= Harland & Wolff Sports 1 1990/91
= Islandmagee 1 1967/68
= Musgrave 1 1950/51
= Holm Factory 1 1929/30
= I.C.L. 1 1971/72
= Queen's Island Woodworkers 1 1946/47
= St Elizabeth's 1 1964/65

* Including one as Victoria Works.
** Including two as Shaftesbury.
† Including four as Short Brothers & Harland.
‡ One as S.T.C. and two as Northern Telecom.

List of Clarence Cup winners[edit]

Season Winner
1923/24 C.P.A.
1924/25 Ophir
1925/26 Sirocco Works
1926/27 Sirocco Works
1927/28 Shaftesbury
1928/29 Shaftesbury
1929/30 Shaftesbury
1930/31 Dunville's
1931/32 Ewarts
1932/33 Cliftonville Strollers
1933/34 49th (Scouts) Old Boys
1934/35 Border Regiment
1935/36 Willowfield
1936/37 Whitehouse Rec.
1937/38 Whitehouse Rec.
1938/39 Sirocco Works
1939/40 Aircraft Works II
1940/41 Victoria Works
1941/42 Victoria Works United
1942/43 Victoria Works United
1943/44 Sirocco Works
1944/45 Shankill Young Men
1945/46 Sirocco Works
1946/47 East Belfast
1947/48 Sirocco Works
1948/49 Cogry Mills
1949/50 East Belfast
1950/51 East Belfast
1951/52 East Belfast
1952/53 Wolfhill Rec.
1953/54 Balmoral Rec.
1954/55 Balmoral R.C.
1955/56 Chimney Corner
1956/57 East Belfast
1957/58 Comber Rec.
1958/59 Ewarts
1959/60 Harland & Wolff S.M.D.
1960/61 R.U.C.
1961/62 Comber Rec.
1962/63 Bethel Young Men
1963/64 Albert Foundry [I][1]
1964/65 Lisburn Rangers
1965/66 St Elizabeth's
1966/67 Albert Foundry [I][1]
1967/68 Dundonald
1968/69 Harland & Wolff Welders 'A'
1969/70 Chimney Corner
1970/71 Cup withheld[3]
1971/72 R.N.A.Y.
1972/73 Lisburn Rangers
1973/74 S.T.C.
1974/75 Downpatrick Rec.
1975/76 Barn United
1976/77 Balmoral Rec.
1977/78 Cromac Albion
1978/79 Downpatrick Rec.
1979/80 Cromac Albion
1980/81 Ballyclare Comrades Reserves
1981/82 Civil Service
1982/83 Ballyclare Comrades Reserves
1983/84 Ballyclare Comrades Reserves
1984/85 Carreras Rothmans
1985/86 S.T.C.
1986/87 Harland & Wolff Sports
1987/88 Grove United
1988/89 Harland & Wolff Sports
1989/90 Rooftop
1990/91 Abbey Villa
1991/92 Harland & Wolff Sports
1992/93 Drumaness Mills
1993/94 Drumaness Mills
1994/95 Barn United
1995/96 Cup withheld[4]
1996/97 Ballynahinch United
1997/98 Killyleagh Youth
1998/99 Comber Rec.
1999/2000 ?
2000/01 Killyleagh Youth
2001/02 Killyleagh Youth
2002/03 Bangor Amateurs
2003/04 Kilmore Rec.
2004/05 Kilmore Rec.
2005/06 Barn United
2006/07 East Belfast
2007/08 Islandmagee
2008/09 Immaculata
2009/10 Albert Foundry [II]
2010/11 Immaculata
2011/12 Derriaghy Cricket Club
2012/13 Crumlin Star


Performance by club[edit]

Team Wins Last win
1 Sirocco Works 6 1947/48
= East Belfast 6 2006/07
3 Dunville's* 4 1930/31
4 Ballyclare Comrades Reserves 3 1983/84
= Balmoral Rec. 3 1976/77
= Barn United 3 2005/06
= Comber Rec. 3 1999/2000
= Harland & Wolff Sports 3 1991/92
= Killyleagh Youth 3 2001/02
= Victoria Works United** 3 1942/43
11 Albert Foundry [I][1] 2 1966/67
= Chimney Corner 2 1969/70
= Cromac Albion 2 1979/80
= Downpatrick Rec. 2 1978/79
= Drumaness Mills 2 1993/94
= Ewarts 2 1958/59
= Immaculata 2 2010/11
= Kilmore Rec. 2 2004/05
= Lisburn Rangers 2 1972/73
= S.T.C. 2 1985/86
= Whitehouse R.C. 2 1937/38
22 49th (Scouts) Old Boys 1 1933/34
= Abbey Villa 1 1990/91
4 Albert Foundry [II] 1 2009/10
= Aircraft Works II 1 1939/40
= Ballynahinch United 1 1996/97
= Bangor Amateurs 1 2002/03
= Bethel Young Men 1 1962/63
= Border Regiment 1 1934/35
= C.P.A. 1 1923/24
= Carreras Rothmans 1 1984/85
= Civil Service 1 1981/82
= Cogry Mills 1 1948/49
= Cliftonville Strollers 1 1932/33
= Crumlin Star 1 2012/13
= Derriaghy Cricket Club 1 2011-12
= Dundonald 1 1967/68
= Grove United 1 1987/88
= Harland & Wolff S.M.D. 1 1959/60
= Harland & Wolff Welders 'A' 1 1968/69
= Islandmagee 1 2007/08
= Ophir 1 1924/25
= R.N.A.Y. 1 1971/72
= Rooftop 1 1989/90
= R.U.C. 1 1960/61
= St Elizabeth's 1 1965/66
= Shankill Young Men 1 1944/45
= Willowfield 1 1935/36
= Wolfhill Rec. 1 1952/53

* Including three as Shaftesbury.
** Including one as Victoria Works.

List of Border Cup winners[edit]

Season Winner Score Score Runner-up Notes
1936/37 Sirocco Works 4 0 Whitehouse Recreation
1937/38 Sirocco Works 2 1 Carnmoney Comrades
1938/39 Sirocco Works 3 1 Carnmoney Comrades
1939/40 Aircraft Works 3 1 49th (Scouts) Old Boys
1940/41 Victoria Works 4 0 North of Ireland Paper Mill
1941/42 Sirocco Works II 1 0 North of Ireland Paper Mill
1942/43 Victoria Works United 4 1 Shankill Young Men
1943/44 Belfast Abattoir 2 1 Scott's
1944/45 Sirocco Works 1 0 Queen's Island Woodworkers
1945/46 Sirocco Works 5 3 Carrick Rangers
1946/47 Short & Harland 3 1 Sirocco Works II
1947/48 Ormeau R.C. 2 1 Hilden R.C.
1948/49 (replay) Short & Harland 2 1 Dunmurry Rec.
1949/50 (replay) Albert Foundry [I][1] 3 1 Musgrave's
1950/51 East Belfast 4 1 Musgrave's
1951/52 (replay) Wolfhill R.C. 2 1 Sirocco Works
1952/53 East Belfast 1 0 Astra
1953/54 (replay) Dunmurry Rec. 2 1 Wolfhill R.C.
1954/55 Hilden R.C. 2 0 East Belfast
1955/56 Short & Harland 2 1 Sirocco Works
1956/57 Comber Rec. 3 2 Chimney Corner
1957/58 Comber Rec. 1 0 Short & Harland
1958/59 Chimney Corner 1 0 Short & Harland
1959/60 Short & Harland 4 3 East Belfast
1960/61 Albert Foundry [I][1] 7 0 Sirocco Works
1961/62 Balmoral Recreation 2 1 St Elizabeth's
1962/63 Albert Foundry [I][1] 6 4 Short & Harland
1963/64 Islandmagee 1 0 Albert Foundry [I][1]
1964/65 RUC 2 1 Islandmagee
1965/66 I.C.T. 2 1 St Elizabeth's
1966/67 Ards Rangers 3 0 Islandmagee
1967/68 Chimney Corner 3 1 Islandmagee
1968/69 (replay) Ewarts Recreation 2 0 RUC Replay after drawn game
1969/70 Chimney Corner 2 1 Albert Foundry [I][1]
1970/71 Chimney Corner 2 1 Ards Rangers
1971/72 Chimney Corner 1 0 I.C.L.
1972/73 Lisburn Rangers 2 1 Civil Service
1973/74 Chimney Corner 4 1 RUC
1974/75 Chimney Corner 1 0 STC
1975/76 Larne Tech. Old Boys 2 1 Lisburn Rangers
1976/77 Downpatrick Recreation 7 1 Ards Rangers
1977/78 Drumaness Mills 1 0 Downpatrick Recreation
1978/79 Drumaness Mills 2 0 Barn United
1979/80 (replay) Ards Rangers Larne Tech. Old Boys won on penalties
1980/81 Drumaness Mills 4 1 Killyleagh Youth
1981/82 Short Brothers 2 2 Post Office Social Club won on penalties
1982/83 STC 2 0 Post Office Social Club
1983/84 Short Brothers - - - trophy awarded, no final played
1984/85 Killyleagh Youth 5 1 Barn United
1985/86 STC 2 1 Sirocco Works
1986/87 Drumaness Mills 3 2 Killyleagh Youth
1987/88 Post Office Social Club 2 1 Newtownabbey Town
1988/89 Cromac Albion 2 1 Harland & Wolff Sports
1989/90 Ballynahinch United 2 2 British Telecom won on penalties
1990/91 STC 1 0 Bangor Amateurs
1991/92 Dunmurry Rec. 3 2 East Belfast
1992/93 Abbey Villa 5 0 Drumaness Mills
1993/94 FC Enkalon 3 3 1st Liverpool RR won on penalties
1994/95 1st Shankill Northern Ireland Supporters' Club 3 1 Islandmagee
1995/96 Coagh United 3 3 Islandmagee Coagh won 4-2 on penalties
1996/97 Killyleagh Youth 2 0 Crumlin United
1997/98 Larne Tech. Old Boys 2 1 Killyleagh Youth
1998/99 Islandmagee 3 1 Killyleagh Youth
1999/2000 Northern Telecom 2 0 Ards Rangers
2000/01 Crumlin United 3 0 Drumaness Mills
2001/02 Larne Tech. Old Boys - - - trophy awarded, no final played
2002/03 Killyleagh Youth 2 0 Kilmore Rec.
2003/04 Killyleagh Youth 2 1 Downpatrick
2004/05 Knockbreda Parish 2 1 Albert Foundry [II]
2005/06 Newington Y.C. 1 0 Wellington Rec.
2006/07 Dunmurry Rec. 3 0 Kilmore Rec [5]
2007/08 Abbey Villa 3 2 Comber Rec.
2008/09 Sport & Leisure Swifts 3 1 Kilmore Rec. [6]
2009/10 Grove United 1 1 Dromara Village Grove won 7-6 on penalties[7]
2010/11 Dromara Village 2 1 Nortel [8]
2011/12 Crumlin Star 2 2 Islandmagee Crumlin Star win 4-3 on penalties[9]
2012/13 Crumlin Star 2 1 Rathfriland Rangers
2013/14 Albert Foundry [II] 2 0 Kilmore Rec.

Sources:[10][11]

Performance by club[edit]

Team Wins Last win
1 Chimney Corner 7 1974/75
= Short Brothers 7 1983/84
3 Sirocco Works 6† 1945/46
4 Drumaness Mills 4 1986/87
= Killyleagh Youth 4 2003/04
= Nortel 4 1999/2000
7 Albert Foundry [I][1] 3 1962/63
= Dunmurry Rec. 3 2006/07
= Larne Technical Old Boys 3 2001/02
10 Abbey Villa 2 2007/08
= Albert Foundry [II] 2 2013/14
= Ards Rangers 2 1979/80
= Comber Rec. 2 1957/58
= Crumlin Star 2 2012/13
= East Belfast 2 1952/53
= Islandmagee 2 1998/99
= Victoria Works (United) 2 1942/43
18 Ballynahinch United 1 1981/82
= Balmoral Recreation 1 1961/62
= Belfast Abattoir 1 1943/44
= Coagh United 1 1995/96
= Cromac Albion 1 1988/89
= Crumlin United 1 2000/01
= Downpatrick Recreation 1 1976/77
= Dromara Village 1 2010/11
= F.C. Enkalon 1 1993/94
= Ewarts Recreation 1 1968/69
= Grove United 1 2009/10
= Hilden R.C. 1 1954/55
= I.C.T. 1 1965-66
= Knockbreda Parish 1 2004/05
= Lisburn Rangers 1 1972/73
= Newington Y.C. 1 2005/06
= Ormeau R.C. 1 1947/48
= Post Office Social Club 1 1987/88
= RUC 1 1964/65
= Sport & Leisure Swifts 1 2008/09
= Wolfhill R.C. 1 1951/52

† includes 1 win by 2nd XI

Sources[edit]

  • H. Johnstone & G. Hamilton (n.d.) A Memorable Milestone: 75 Years of the Northern Amateur Football League
  • M. Brodie (ed.) (n.d.) The Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 1999/2000.
  • M. Brodie (ed.) (n.d.) The Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2000/01.
  • M. Brodie (ed.) (n.d.) The Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2001/02.
  • M. Brodie (ed.) (n.d.) The Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2002/03.
  • M. Brodie (ed.) (n.d.) The Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2003/04.
  • M. Brodie (ed.) (n.d.) The Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2004/05.
  • M. Brodie (ed.) (n.d.) The Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2006/07.
  • M. Brodie (ed.) (n.d.) The Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2007/08.
  • M. Brodie (ed.) (n.d.) The Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 2008/2009. Belfast:Ulster Tatler Publications
  • Newington Youth Club F.C. Thursday 14 May 2009- Newington are the champions! Newington Football Club. Accessed 15-05-09.
  • Northern Amateur Football League

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k The original Albert Foundry club folded in 1978.
  2. ^ The current Albert Foundry club was founded in 1981.
  3. ^ Competition not completed after Irish Football Association upheld an appeal against the dismissal of two semi-finalists, but the final was subsequently not played.
  4. ^ Coagh United won the final, but had to return the cup after it was discovered that they had fielded an ineligible player.
  5. ^ "Cup kings Dunmurry are now shooting for a double". Belfast Telegraph. 2006-12-28. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Sport take cup at their Leisure". Belfast Telegraph. 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  7. ^ "Dromara Village 1 Grove United 1". Belfast Telegraph. 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  8. ^ "Child's play for Dromara". Mourne Observer. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  9. ^ "Crumlin Star clinch Border Cup after penalty drama at Seaview". North Belfast News. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  10. ^ 2013 Border Regiment Cup Final Matchday Programme, pp. 44-45
  11. ^ H. Johnstone & G. Hamilton (n.d.) A Memorable Milestone: 75 Years of the Northern Amateur Football League

External links[edit]