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The Abandoned Leinster Senior Cup, One Season Wonders and more

Ken Oman LSC

Longford Town were set to play Drogheda United in the Leinster Senior Cup last night (their first ever meeting) but the game was called off because of a frozen pitch. Longford have not entered the Leinster Senior Cup as a Premier Division club since 2000-01, which was riddled with fixture rows and ultimately abandoned due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak in late February.

Stephen Kenny experimented with the vast majority of his Under-21 side, handing Longford hero Sean Prunty his senior debut against Kilkenny City. Portuguese striker Carlos Rocha scored the only goal of the game at Flancare Park.

Current Town boss Tony Cousins was on the scoresheet for Shamrock Rovers in their 6-2 win over St. Francis at John Hyland Park. In November three Leinster Senior League teams, Glenmore Dundrum, Wayside Celtic and TEK United, recorded 1-0 victories away to League of Ireland clubs Drogheda United, UCD and Home Farm Fingal respectively.

The draw for the quarter-finals was made on 22 Janauary 2001 and Glenmore would have been rewarded with a trip to Richmond Park to face St. Patrick’s Athletic.

St. Pat’s beat Athlone Town 3-2 in Inchicore. A late goal from Charles Livingston ensured there would be no happy homecoming for former Saints manager Liam Buckley, who had won the title in his first spell in charge a year earlier.

An understrength Shelbourne lost 2-0 at Dundalk and Bohemians edged past Ashtown Villa on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Dalymount Park. Controversially, Bohs insisted on playing the Ashtown Villa tie instead of a scheduled league clash with St. Pat’s. The Pat’s game was postponed just four hours before kick-off much to the dismay of Pat Dolan.

This allowed Kevin Hunt and Alex Nesovic to serve out suspensions with Stephen Caffrey doing the first of a two game ban. The Phibsboro club went on to win to the double under Roddy Collins while the unfinished Leinster Senior Cup led to a near decade hiatus for the oldest competition in Irish football.

2000-01 Leinster Senior Cup First Round
Nov 21. United Park. Drogheda United 0-1 Glenmore Dundrum (Kelly)
Nov 21. Baldonnel. St. Francis 2-6 Shamrock Rovers (Stone, Packard; Cousins, Jackson, Stewart 2, Robinson, Harrington)
Nov 21. Belfield. UCD 0-1 Wayside Celtic (Simpson pen)
Nov 22. Whitehall. Home Farm Fingal 0-1 TEK United (Power)
Dec 5. Oriel Park. Dundalk 2-0 Shelbourne (O’Dowd, Mullen)
Dec 26. Richmond Park. St. Patrick’s Athletic 3-2 Athlone Town (Quinn, McGuinness; Livingston, Devine, Fitzgibbon)
Jan 2. Dalymount Park. Bohemians 1-1 Ashtown Villa (Markey; Buttner) Bohs won 5-4 on pens
Jan 9. Strokestown Road. Longford Town 0-1 Kilkenny City (Rocha)

Bohemians v Dundalk (1)
TEK United v Shamrock Rovers (2)
St. Patrick’s Athletic v Glenmore Dundrum (3)
Wayside Celtic v Kilkenny City (4)

1 v 2
3 v 4

Cabinteely FC are Ireland’s newest members of the League. Just a year ago, Shamrock Rovers ‘B’ joined the First Division but their swift exit has created the vacancy for the South-Dublin outfit, based in the Borough of Dun Laoghaire.

Cabinteely are the 54th different team to gain entry into the #GreatestLeagueInTheWorld. The Rovers reserves became just the fifth club to play only one season of League of Ireland football and the first in 78 years.

Reds United were founded in 1935 by members of Shelbourne FC, who resigned in March 1934 after a dispute with the League. United placed fourth but once the dispute was resolved the club disbanded so Shelbourne, then playing in the AUL, could rejoin the top flight in the 1936-37 season.

YMCA and Frankfort were among the eight founding members of the Free State League, all from Dublin. Frankfort came sixth in the table and YMCA, based out of Claremount Road, only picked up 3 points and finished rock bottom. Neither were re-elected for the following season, however, Frankfort still exists as a junior club and celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2008.

The other one season wonder, Rathmines Athletic, resigned from the League having lost 19 of 22 games in the 1922-23 campaign. They failed to fulfil their last league fixture with Dublin United and gave the first walkover in FAI Cup history against Fordsons of Cork on 13 January 1923.

One League of Ireland Season
1921-22 Frankfort – 14 3 5 6 22 32 11 – 6th
1922-23 YMCA – 14 0 3 11 17 43 3 – 8th
1922-23 Rathmines Athletic – 22 2 1 19 21 74 5 – 12th
1935-36 Reds United – 22 12 1 9 45 47 25 – 4th
2014 Shamrock Rovers B – 28 7 5 16 25 50 26 – 6th (First Division)

Recommended reading from January and February are as follows. First we have a couple articles in The Guardian about Bobby Charlton’s spell with Waterford United in the 1970s and Liam Coyle’s goal for Derry City in the 1994-95 title decider.

The great Jimmy Dunne was remembered in the Irish Independent and looked back at the League of Ireland’s famous win over the English League in 1963. John O’Sullivan discovered why the Jules Rimet trophy is on the Athlone Town crest and check out the new LOI History blog started by Dodge.

Finally, Jason Byrne was video interviewed on his attempts to break Brendan Bradley’s all-time goalscoring record. Last year on this blog I posted “the definitive Byrne stats compendium” (not my words) and next Friday I will fully update it to include the 2014 season.

Byrne hopes to carry on for another couple of years but sadly some other LOI legends are leaving us.

Gary O’Neill announced his retirement, Declan O’Brien became one of a dozen players to head north (scoring a hat-trick on his debut for Glenavon) while Joey Ndo moved to Arrow Harps of the Sligo Leitrim & District League.

What they lost in 21 caps for Cameroon though the Bit O’Red have gained in the 56 times capped Estonian international midfielder Sander Puri.