2003–04 Irish League Cup

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2003–04 Irish League Cup
CIS Insurance Cup
Country  Northern Ireland
Teams 16
Champions Cliftonville (1st win)
Runners-up Larne
Matches played 54
Goals scored 159 (2.94 per match)

The 2003–04 Irish League Cup (known as the CIS Insurance Cup for sponsorship reasons) was the 18th edition of Northern Ireland's secondary football knock-out cup competition. It concluded on 11 November 2003 with the final.

Glentoran were the defending champions after their fourth League Cup win last season; a 2–0 victory over Linfield in the previous final. This season the Glens reached the semi-finals but were later disqualified from the competition for fielding an ineligible player in an earlier match. As a result, Larne were given a walkover into the final where they were defeated on penalties by Cliftonville, who won the Cup for the first time. This was Cliftonville's second appearance in the final, and first since the 1994–95 final. It was also the first final in eight years not to feature either Linfield or Glentoran.[1][2]

As a result of a restructuring of the league system, the number of clubs eligible to take part in the competition this season was reduced to 16. The 16 clubs taking part were divided into four groups of four clubs. The clubs in each group played each other at home and away. The top two clubs from each group then advanced to the quarter-finals where they played a single knock-out tie against another quarter-finalist. The semi-finals were played in the same format with the two winners of the ties advancing to the single match final.

Group Stage[edit]

Group A[edit]

Group B[edit]

Group C[edit]

Group D[edit]

Quarter-finals[edit]

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Coleraine 2–4 Larne
Glentoran 6–1 Institute
Linfield 0–1 Crusaders
Portadown 0–3 Cliftonville

Semi-finals[edit]

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Glentoran w/o Larne1
Cliftonville 1–1 (4–1 p) Crusaders

1 Glentoran were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player. Larne received a walkover into the final.

Final[edit]

11 November 2003
Cliftonville 1 – 1 (a.e.t.) Larne
Mulvenna Goal 79' Report Delaney Goal 11'
  Penalties  
5 – 4

References[edit]