|Father and son: Kenny and Dean Shiels with |
the Scottish Communities League Cup
Jonny Evans' Manchester United were pipped to the Premier League title by cross-town rivals City on goal difference after a dramatic last few minutes of the season. The race for the other Champions League places was also incredibly tight, with Shane Ferguson's Newcastle United surprise contenders up until the final day. At the wrong end of the table Fulham (with Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird) are safe as are the Brendan Rodgers managed Swansea City, Martin O'Neill's Sunderland and West Brom (with Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley). On the other hand, Johnny Gorman's Wolves were the first side to relegated.
The Danny Wilson managed Sheffield United just missed out on the second automatic promotion spot from League One, having finished three points behind Steel City rivals Wednesday. In the will play-offs they lost a dramatic final shoot-out to Huddersfield, who have Damien Johnson on loan. Stevenage (Alan Julian, Robin Shroot) also made the play-offs, losing out in the semi-finals while Notts County (Jeff Hughes), Carlisle United (Ben McKenna) and Brentford (Stuart Dallas (from next season), Ryan Blake, Adam Thompson (loan) and Niall McGinn (loan)) all fell just short of the play-off spots. Matt McClure's Wycombe are relegated meaning Will Grigg's Walsall and Oldham (Kirk Millar, Philip McGrath and Carl Winchester) have confirmed their place in the third tier for next season.
|Lawrie Sanchez was sacked by Barnet |
with the club just above the relegation
places with three games remaining
Promoted from the Conference to the Football League are Michael Ingham and Patrick McLaughlin (both at York City) who defeated Luton in the play-off final. Carl Magnay's Gateshead's sticky form in the run-in has saw them fall from the reckoning.
In the FA Cup, any Northern Ireland interest ended at the quarter-final stage with the exit of Martin O'Neill's Sunderland, similarly interest in the League Cup ended with Man United's last-eight defeat by Crystal Palace. York City defeated Newport County 2-0 in the FA Trophy final on 12th May.
|Neil Lennon celebrates Celtic's |
SPL title success
|Falkirk lift the|
Ramsdens Scottish League Challenge Cup
Kenny and Dean Shiels' Kilmarnock were surprise winners of the Scottish League Cup, defeating Celtic in the final. The Scottish Cup final was an all-Edinburgh affair - Hibs (who defeated Rory McArdle and Josh Magennis' Aberdeen in the semi-final) losing 5-1 to Hearts (who beat Celtic in their semi). The Challenge Cup was won by Michael McGovern's Falkirk (he had also won the trophy the previous year while with Ross County).
|Linfield celebrate their 51st title success|
Championship 1 has been won be Ballinamallard United who will be making their first appearance in the top tier. Newry City, managed by Pat McGibbon, hoping for an immediate return to the Premiership, qualified for the promotion/relegation play-off, but were defeated over two legs by Distillery.
|Crusaders captain Colin Coates lifts |
the Irn Bru League Cup
Crusaders played in their third final of the season when they faced Declan Devine's Derry City (Eddie McCallion, Dermot McCaffrey, Ruaidhri Higgins, Owen Morrison, Rory Patterson) in the Setanta Sports Cup at The Oval on 12th May. The game finished 2-2 (Coates and Patterson scoring two goals each) before the Crues won 5-4 on penalties.
In the regional trophies, Cliftonville (Martin Donnelly (1 goal), Rory Donnelly) defeated Glentoran (Elliott Morris, Johnny Taylor (1 goal), David Howland, Stephen Carson, Gary Hamilton) in the Co. Antrim Shield 2-1; Newry defeated Glenavon (Gary Hamilton) in the Mid Ulster Cup; Institute (Dean Jarvis, Sean Friars) defeated Coleraine (Scullion, Allen (2 goals)) in the North West Cup 4-2.