Setanta Sports Cup
Republic of Ireland
|Number of teams||12|
|Current champions||Shamrock Rovers|
|Most successful club(s)||Drogheda United, Shamrock Rovers
|Website||Setanta Sports Cup|
The Setanta Sports Cup, commonly known as just the Setanta Cup, is a club football competition featuring teams from both football associations on the island of Ireland. It was inaugurated in 2005 as a cross-border competition between clubs from the League of Ireland from the Republic of Ireland and the IFA Premiership from Northern Ireland.
The cup is sponsored by Setanta Sports, the Irish subscription sports television network. The competition was launched with Setanta providing support for prize money (€350,000) and sponsorship (€1.6 million over four years). In June 2009, the company went into administration and ceased broadcasting in Great Britain, putting the future of the competition in doubt. The draw for the 2009 tournament was postponed for a month but the competition eventually continued. The competition has seen instances of crowd violence at its games since its inception.
The competition features six teams from each league with the top four from the respective leagues and the winners of the respective cup competitions (FAI Cup and League of Ireland Cup from the League of Ireland, and the Irish Cup and Irish League Cup from the IFA Premiership) taking part. If a club has qualified via a cup win and would also qualify by league table position, one of the spots would be awarded to the next highest club in the league table that has not qualified via a cup win. The competition is played in a two-legged knock-out tie format up until the final. Four clubs from each League participate in the first round. The four winners from the first round ties join four seeded teams (usually the two League winners, the FAI cup winners and the Irish Cup winners) in the quarter-finals. The quarter-final winners again play a two-legged knock-out tie in the semi-finals for a place in the final, which is a single game.
The cup logo was designed by Red&Grey Design.
The Setanta Cup is the first cross-border competition since the 1980s. Previous competitions include the Dublin and Belfast Intercity Cup 1941/42-1948/49, the North-South Cup 1961/62-1962/63, the Blaxnit Cup 1967/68-1973/74, the Texaco (All-Ireland) Cup 1973/74-1974/75, and the Tyler Cup 1978-1980.
The inaugural Cup was played between March and May 2005 at the start of the League of Ireland season and the end of the IFA Premiership season.
Qualification for the 2005 cup was based on the national league and cup performances in the respective countries - the top two in each league and the winners of the FAI Cup and Irish Cup qualified. Teams were split into two groups with the winner of each qualifying for the final. The 2005 competition saw Cork City, Longford and Shelbourne, represent the League of Ireland, and Glentoran, Linfield and Portadown represent the IFA Premiership. The eventual winners of the Cup, Linfield, started the campaign poorly losing 2:1 to Longford before going on to win their remaining group matches and beating pre-tournament favourites Shelbourne.
The 2006 competition featured four teams from each league with the winners of the respective secondary cup competitions, the League of Ireland Cup and Irish League Cup being added. The competition was organised with two groups of four teams. The top two teams in each group entered a semi-final round with the winner progressing to the final. The League of Ireland was represented by Cork City, Derry City, Shelbourne and Drogheda United with the IFA Premiership being represented by Linfield, Glentoran, Portadown and Dungannon Swifts. A total of twenty-seven matches were played with the competition kicking off on Monday 20 February 2006 with the final having been played on Saturday 22 April 2006 at Tolka Park in Dublin. Drogheda United won, beating Cork City.
The draw for the 2007 Setanta Cup competition was made on 7 December 2006 with the original competing teams being the identical ones to the previous year's competition. On 30 January 2007, however, Shelbourne announced that they were withdrawing from the competition for reasons relating to their financial troubles and the fact that they would be unlikely to field a team of players. Their place was given to the 2006 FAI Cup runners-up St Patrick's Athletic.
The first round of matches commenced on Monday 26 February 2007. The prize of £100,000 was on offer to the eventual competition winner, with the runner-up to receive £55,000. Linfield progressed from the first stage after finishing top of Group 1, guaranteeing them a home semi-final, while Drogheda United finished behind them. This meant that Drogheda had to travel away from home to meet the winners of Group 2, who were St. Patrick's Athletic. Meanwhile, Cork City, who finished second in Group 2 had to travel to Windsor Park to play Linfield. Both Linfield and St. Patrick's Athletic went through the group stage without a single defeat, while St. Patrick's Athletic even managed to win five of their six games. The final, between Linfield and Drogheda at Windsor Park was decided by a penalty shoot-out. Drogheda claimed the trophy for a second consecutive year thanks to two penalty saves from Mikko Vilmunen.
The draw for the 2008 Setanta Sports Cup was made on the 17th of January 2008 having been postponed since December 2007 to allow time for work on agreeing the Eircom LoI fixtures for 2008. For the third year in a row there were four representatives from each of the leagues with two from each league to be drawn in each group. The 2008 seasons saw a change to the format with the first three group games in each group being played between late February and early April before the teams take a break from the competition until September. Over the period September/October the remaining group games and the semi-finals and final were played. The final took place on Saturday November 1 at Turners Cross in Cork, where Cork City overcame Glentoran 2-1.
* in a change to previous years The FAI League Cup Winners were required to play the FAI First Division Champions in a play-off for the final Eircom LoI place in the Setanta Sports Cup 2008. As Derry City F.C. beat Cobh Ramblers 2-1 in the Setanta cup play-off in November 2007 they claimed the remaining spot.
The 2009–10 season saw the Setanta Cup expand to nine teams, including the holders, Cork City. There were three groups of three with the group winners and best runners-up qualifying for the semi-finals. The final took place on 15 May 2010 between Bohemians and St. Patrick's Athletic, the first final between teams from the same city. Bohemians won the match 1 - 0.
The 2011 Setanta Sports Cup kicked off on 14 February 2011 and concluded on 14 May 2011. It was played over four rounds, each round over two legs, except the final. The competition was again expanded - this time to twelve teams. Six League of Ireland and six IFA Premiership teams took part. Clubs who finished in the top four positions of both leagues qualified, along with the winners of the FAI Cup, League of Ireland Cup, Irish Cup and Irish League Cup competitions. The competition commenced on 14 February 2011, and ended with the final on 14 May 2011, which was played at the Tallaght Stadium, Dublin and was won by Shamrock Rovers. Milo Corcoran, Chairman of the Setanta Sports Cup Organising Committee said he believed the knockout format "will add even greater excitement to the tournament".
The 2012 Setanta Sports Cup kicked off on 11 February 2012 and concluded with the final on 12 May 2012. Twelve clubs took part - six from each league. The two league winners, the FAI Cup winners, and the Irish Cup winners received a bye into the quarter-finals. The final was played at The Oval, Belfast and was won by Crusaders for the first time, defeating Derry City 5–4 on penalties after a 2–2 draw.
The 2013 competition kicked off on 11 February 2013 and concluded with the final on 11 May 2013. The competition again featured 12 clubs - six from each league. Cup holders Crusaders, 2012 FAI Cup winners Derry City, 2011–12 IFA Premiership champions Linfield and 2012 League of Ireland champions Sligo Rovers entered the competition in the quarter-finals, with the remaining eight clubs entering in the first round. The final was played at the Tallaght Stadium, Dublin and was won by Shamrock Rovers for the second time.
|*||Match decided in extra time|
|Match decided by a penalty shootout after extra time|
|2005||Linfield||2 – 0||Shelbourne||Tolka Park, Dublin||7,800|
|2006||Drogheda United||1 – 0 *||Cork City||Tolka Park, Dublin||9,600|
|2007||Drogheda United||p)1 – 1 (4 – 3||Linfield||Windsor Park, Belfast||7,600|
|2008||Cork City||2 – 1||Glentoran||Turners Cross, Cork||5,500|
|2009–10||Bohemians||1 – 0||St Patrick's Athletic||Tallaght Stadium, Dublin||3,896|
|2011||Shamrock Rovers||2 – 0||Dundalk||Tallaght Stadium, Dublin||4,879|
|2012||Crusaders||p)2 – 2 (5 – 4||Derry City||The Oval, Belfast||3,275|
|2013||Shamrock Rovers||7 – 1||Drogheda United||Tallaght Stadium, Dublin||4,022|
Performance By Club
|Drogheda United||2||1||2006, 2007|
|Shamrock Rovers||2||-||2011, 2013|
|St Patrick's Athletic||-||1|
Titles by Location
|Dublin||3||2||Shamrock Rovers (2), Bohemians (1)||Shelbourne (1), St. Patrick's Athletic (1)|
|Belfast||2||2||Linfield (1), Crusaders (1)||Glentoran (1), Linfield (1)|
|Drogheda||2||1||Drogheda United (2)||Drogheda United (1)|
|Cork||1||1||Cork City (1)||Cork City (1)|
|Derry||-||1||Derry City (1)|
Titles by Province
|Province||Wins||Runners up||Winners||Runners up|
|Leinster||5||4||Drogheda United (2), Shamrock Rovers (2), Bohemians (1)||Shelbourne (1), St. Patrick's Athletic (1), Dundalk (1), Drogheda United (1)|
|Ulster||2||3||Linfield (1), Crusaders (1)||Glentoran (1), Linfield (1), Derry City (1)|
|Munster||1||1||Cork City (1)||Cork City (1)|
- Biggest win: Portadown 0 - 7 Cork City, 26 March 2007.
- Highest scoring game: Crusaders 4 - 6 Cliftonville, 21 March 2011.
|Glentoran||8||2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009–10, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Linfield||8||2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009–10, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Cork City||6||2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009–10, 2013|
|Portadown||6||2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Derry City||6||2006, 2007, 2008, 2009–10, 2012, 2013|
|St Patrick's Athletic||6||2007, 2008, 2009–10, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Cliftonville||5||2008, 2009–10, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Drogheda United||4||2006, 2007, 2008, 2013|
|Sligo Rovers||4||2009-10, 2011, 2012, 2013|
|Dungannon Swifts||3||2006, 2007, 2008|
|Bohemians||3||2009-10, 2011, 2012|
|Crusaders||3||2011, 2012, 2013|
|Shamrock Rovers||3||2011, 2012, 2013|
|Lisburn Distillery||2||2011, 2012|
- "Setanta Cup future is in doubt". RTÉ Sport. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
- Daniel McDonnell (2008-04-16). "Ugly face of football as violence flares at cross-border clash". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "Arrests made as Glentoran fans clash with Dublin police". BBC. 2010-03-14. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- Setanta Sports Cup to be expanded
- "Setanta Sports Cup to be revamped". BBC News. 2010-05-04.
- Irish Football Club Project Archive on All-Ireland Competitions
- Official Setanta Cup Site
- All-Ireland Cross-Border Cup Competitions history