League of Ireland B Division

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League of Ireland B Division
Founded1964
Folded2000
Country Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland
Level on pyramid2 (1964–1985)
3 (1985–2005)
Domestic cup(s) FAI Cup
FAI Intermediate Cup
League cup(s)Blackthorn Trophy See
Note 1

Castrol Trophy
Egan C&C Trophy

The League of Ireland B Division is a former league within the Republic of Ireland football league system. Its debut season was 1964–65. It was originally a second level league. However following the emergence of the League of Ireland First Division in 1985–86 it became a third level league. Like the later A Championship, the League of Ireland B included a mixture of League of Ireland reserve teams and the first teams of emerging clubs. There was no relegation and promotion to and from the senior League of Ireland division. However a number of B Division teams, including Home Farm, Athlone Town, UCD, Longford Town and Monaghan United, were subsequently elected to the senior division. In later seasons the league was usually referred to as the Reserve Division. In 2000 it was replaced by the League of Ireland U21 Division. [1]

Contents

History

Early Seasons

The ten founding members in 1964–65 included Home Farm, Bray Wanderers, Athlone Town, Shamrock Rovers B plus the reserve teams of Shelbourne, Bohemians, St Patrick's Athletic, Dundalk, Drumcondra and Drogheda. The 1965–66 season saw the league expanded to include twelve teams. Bray Wanderers dropped out, while Dalkey United, Ormeau and Tullamore Town all joined. Early sponsors of the league included Blackthorn Cider and Castrol. During the early seasons teams competed for two trophies. The Blackthorn Trophy was initially awarded to the overall winners of the league. The Castrol Trophy was awarded to the winners of a single round league. The 1967–68 season saw Belgrove replace Ormeau, Athlone Town win the Castrol Trophy and Shamrock Rovers B win the Blackthorn Trophy. In 1968–69 Athlone Town won both the Castrol Trophy and Blackthorn Trophy, finishing six points clear of St Patrick's Athletic. The following season, 1969–70, saw Athlone Town take up a place in the League of Ireland senior division. [2] [3] In 1970 UCD were elected to the League of Ireland B Division. Their senior team would continue to play in the B Division until 1979–80 when they were elected to join the Senior Division. Among the players who played for UCD during this time were Kevin Moran and Hugo MacNeill. A popular myth also alleges that Sócrates may have played for UCD during time. [4] [5] [6] In 1975 Dublin University also joined and they were coached by Liam Tuohy. Hugo MacNeill would also play for Dublin University [7] [8] [9]

Dalkey United controversy

During the mid-1970s Dalkey United enjoyed moderate success while playing in the B Division. In 1973–74 they won the FAI Intermediate Cup and between 1975 and 1976 and 1977–78 they won the Blackthorn Trophy three times in a row. However their time in the league would end in controversial circumstances. Frank Mullen described the B Division as the "most incompetent" league Dalkey United had ever been involved with. Clubs without a senior team in the League of Ireland "were treated very unfairly". It was not uncommon for Dalkey United to travel to away games against Waterford United or Dundalk only to find the game postponed. No compensation for travel expenses would be offered either. In the 1977–78 season Dalkey United were due to travel to Dundalk to play in the quarter-final of the Blackthorn Trophy. However a few days before the game was due to be played the Dundalk manager, Jim McLaughlin, phoned the Dalkey United chairman to request the game be postponed due to heavy snow. Dalkey United agreed and Dundalk subsequently informed the league the match was cancelled. However a few weeks later the semi-final draw was made and Dalkey United found themselves excluded. The club informed the league that the quarter-final against Dundalk had not been played, only to be told that the semi-finals were going ahead regardless. Dundalk were ordered to play the semi-final or face expulsion from the competition. Dalkey United opted to take legal action and the case was heading for the High Court when the league decided to declare semi-final results null and void. After winning the rescheduled quarter-final against Dundalk, Dalkey United then won the semi-final and went on to defeat Bohemians in the final at Dalymount Park. Having won the Blackthorn Trophy for a third time in a row, Dalkey United resigned from the league immediately afterwards and never applied to rejoin. They subsequently joined the Leinster Senior League. [10] [11]

Athlone title

In 1983–84 Athlone Town Reserves won the B Division title, now known as the Egan C&C Trophy. Other teams in the B Division this season included Dublin University, Monaghan United, Longford Town, St Brendan's, Belgrove, Shamrock Rovers B and the reserve teams of Waterford United, Dundalk, Shelbourne, Drogheda, St Patrick's Athletic, Bohemians and UCD. The Athlone Town team included Fran Hitchcock, John Caulfield and Turlough O'Connor, who was their highest goalscorer. O'Connor had earlier played for Town in the same division back in its debut season of 1964–65. [2]

UCD title

In 1997–98, after 28 years of membership, UCD won its first ever B Division title. Their B team finished their 24-match campaign unbeaten. [12]

Notes


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References

  1. Dublin University A.F.C.
  2. 1 2 Lynch, Frank (1991). A History of Athlone Town F.C: The First 101 Years. Athlone: Arcadia.
  3. Jackie Quinn Obituary
  4. www.ucd.ie
  5. www.ucdsoccer.com
  6. Unmasking the Myth: Socrates and UCD
  7. www.shamrockrovers.ie
  8. Dublin University A.F.C.
  9. "To B or not to be Brian Quigley's thoughts on the League of Ireland B Division". leagueofireland.ie. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  10. www.soccer-ireland.com
  11. Mullen, Frank (2008). Dalkey: An Anthology. Athlone: Mullen Print.
  12. www.ucd.ie