2017–18 NIFL Premiership

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NIFL Premiership
Season2017–18
Dates11 August 2017 – 12 May 2018
ChampionsCrusaders
RelegatedBallinamallard United
Carrick Rangers
Champions LeagueCrusaders
Europa LeagueColeraine
Glenavon
Cliftonville
Matches played100
Goals scored325 (3.25 per match)
Top goalscorerJoe Gormley (Cliftonville)
(22)
Biggest home winCrusaders 7–1 Carrick Rangers
(18 November 2017)[1]
Biggest away winBallinamallard United 0–6 Linfield
(4 November 2017)[2]
Highest scoringBallinamallard United 6–4 Cliftonville
(26 January 2018)[3]
All statistics correct as of 25 November 2017.

The 2017–18 NIFL Premiership (known as the Danske Bank Premiership for sponsorship reasons) was the 117th season of the Irish League overall and the fifth as the Northern Ireland Football League. The season began on 11 August 2017 and concluded in May 2018.

Linfield were the defending champions from the previous season.[4] On 28 April Crusaders won the title on the final day of the regular season, defeating Ballymena United 2-1 at the Ballymena Showgrounds.[5]

The winner qualifies for the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League while the runner-up along with potentially the third-placed team and the play-off winners will qualify for the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League.

Teams[edit]

Twelve teams will compete in the 2017–18 NIFL Premiership. Portadown were relegated after finishing bottom of the 2016–17 NIFL Premiership and were replaced by Warrenpoint Town as the winners of the 2016–17 NIFL Championship.

Carrick Rangers finished second from bottom but retained their Premiership place after winning the promotion-relegation play-off against NIFL Championship promotion play-off winners Institute 5–2 on aggregate.

Stadia and locations[edit]

Locations of the Belfast-based 2017–18 NIFL Premiership teams
Club Stadium Location Capacity[6][7]
Ards Clandeboye Park Bangor 1,895 (500 seated)
Ballinamallard United Ferney Park Ballinamallard 2,000 (250 seated)
Ballymena United The Showgrounds Ballymena 3,050 (2,280 seated)
Carrick Rangers Taylors Avenue Carrickfergus 4,500 (250 seated)
Cliftonville Solitude Belfast 2,530 (all seated)
Coleraine The Showgrounds Coleraine 2,496 (1,106 seated)
Crusaders Seaview Belfast 3,383 (all seated)
Dungannon Swifts Stangmore Park Dungannon 5,000 (300 seated)
Glenavon Mourneview Park Lurgan 4,160 (4,000 seated)
Glentoran The Oval Belfast 6,054 (4,989 seated)
Linfield Windsor Park Belfast 18,167 (all seated)
Warrenpoint Town Milltown Warrenpoint 1,280 (150 seated)

League table[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification or relegation[a]
1 Crusaders (C) 38 28 7 3 106 38 +68 91 Qualification for the Champions League first qualifying round
2 Coleraine 38 26 11 1 76 31 +45 89 Qualification for the Europa League first qualifying round
3 Glenavon 38 19 12 7 85 52 +33 69
4 Linfield 38 20 7 11 72 45 +27 67 Qualification for the Europa League play-offs[b]
5 Cliftonville (O) 38 20 5 13 68 45 +23 65
6 Ballymena United 38 14 6 18 53 65 −12 48
7 Glentoran 38 14 9 15 52 52 0 51 Qualification for the Europa League play-offs[b]
8 Dungannon Swifts 38 13 6 19 42 62 −20 45
9 Ards 38 12 4 22 42 74 −32 40
10 Warrenpoint Town 38 8 6 24 52 86 −34 30
11 Carrick Rangers (R) 38 6 5 27 31 78 −47 23 Qualification for the relegation play-offs
12 Ballinamallard United (R) 38 5 8 25 38 89 −51 23 Relegation to the NIFL Championship
Source: NIFL Premiership, Soccerway
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Number of goals scored; 4) Head-to-head points; 5) Head-to-head goal difference; 6) Play-off (only by decision of IFA)[8]
(C) Champion; (O) Play-off winner; (R) Relegated.
Notes:
  1. ^ Teams play each other three times (33 matches), before the league split into two groups (the top six and the bottom six) for the last five matches.
  2. ^ a b Teams play for one spot in the Europa League first qualifying round.

Results[edit]

Matches 1–22[edit]

During matches 1–22 each team plays every other team twice (home and away).

Home \ Away ARD BMD BYM CRK CLF COL CRU DUN GLV GLT LIN WPT
Ards 2–1 1–0 1–0 0–1 0–3 2–4 0–1 0–2 0–1 0–2 2–1
Ballinamallard United 0–2 1–3 2–0 1–1 0–2 1–5 0–1 0–3 1–2 0–6 1–1
Ballymena United 6–3 2–1 3–1 1–0 0–2 1–4 2–1 1–6 1–3 2–1 3–3
Carrick Rangers 0–1 2–0 1–1 1–2 1–3 0–3 2–1 0–2 1–1 0–1 0–2
Cliftonville 6–3 5–0 1–0 3–0 1–2 1–2 2–1 1–1 1–0 3–2 2–0
Coleraine 4–1 2–1 1–1 3–0 2–0 1–1 1–0 4–2 3–0 2–1 2–1
Crusaders 0–0 2–0 2–1 7–1 2–0 1–2 1–1 2–3 1–0 2–1 5–0
Dungannon Swifts 0–0 2–0 2–1 4–0 0–4 1–3 0–4 0–3 0–2 0–4 2–1
Glenavon 3–0 6–2 4–0 2–0 3–1 2–2 3–4 1–1 2–2 0–1 1–0
Glentoran 0–2 2–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–0 0–3 2–0 1–3 2–1 2–0
Linfield 2–0 4–0 1–0 2–0 2–0 2–1 2–5 1–0 2–3 1–0 3–3
Warrenpoint Town 1–0 2–1 1–3 2–2 1–3 0–2 2–3 1–2 2–3 2–3 1–4
Source: NIFL Premiership
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
For upcoming matches, an "a" indicates there is an article about the match.

Matches 23–33[edit]

During matches 23–33 each team will play every other team for the third time (either at home, or away).

Home \ Away ARD BMD BYM CRK CLF COL CRU DUN GLV GLT LIN WPT
Ards 1–0 0–4 1–3 1–6 0–3
Ballinamallard United 0–4 6–4 2–5 0–3 2–2 2–2
Ballymena United 2–0 3–0 0–2 3–1 2–2 1–3
Carrick Rangers 2–2 0–1 1–0 1–2 1–2 1–2
Cliftonville 3–0 1–2 0–0 3–1 3–0 1–2
Coleraine 3–2 3–3 1–1 2–2 1–0
Crusaders 1–0 3–1 6–0 3–0 4–2
Dungannon Swifts 1–0 2–0 2–3 0–1 3–2 0–0
Glenavon 0–0 1–1 1–6 2–2 3–3
Glentoran 1–2 1–2 1–0 0–2 5–0
Linfield 2–0 1–2 0–0 0–2 1–1
Warrenpoint Town 3–3 1–0 1–3 1–4 3–0 1–3
Source: NIFL Premiership
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.
For upcoming matches, an "a" indicates there is an article about the match.

Matches 34–38[edit]

During matches 34–38 each team will play every other team in their half of the table once. As this is the fourth time that teams play each other this season, home sides are chosen so that they will have played each other twice at home and twice away.

Play-offs[edit]

UEFA Europa League play-offs[edit]

Teams finishing fourth to seventh will take part in Europa League play-offs to decide one team who will qualify for next season's Europa League first qualifying round.

Semi-finals[edit]

Cliftonville4–0Ballymena United
J. Donnelly Goal 67'81'
Gormley Goal 86'88'
Soccerway

Linfield3–4Glentoran
Byrne Goal 26'
Waterworth Goal 51'
Fallon Goal 90'
Soccerway Davidson Goal 63' (pen.)
McGuigan Goal 66'
Garrett Goal 79'
Alen Goal 84'

Final[edit]

Cliftonville3-2Glentoran
R. Donnelly Goal 24'64'
Gormley Goal 86'
Soccerway R. McDaid Goal 79'
C. Allen Goal 83' (pen.)

NIFL Premiership play-offs[edit]

Pre-play-off[edit]

The runners-up and third-placed teams from the Championship were set to take part (over two legs) in the Championship promotion pre-play-off. In the event, the third paced team,Harland and Wolff Welders did not apply for a Premiership licence, and the second placed team Newry City moved directly to the play-off final.

Play-off[edit]

The eleventh-placed team from the Premiership, Carrick Rangers will play Newry City over two legs for one spot in the 2018–19 NIFL Premiership.


Newry City3–2Carrick Rangers
BBC Sport

Carrick Rangers1–3Newry City

Newry City won 6–3 on aggregate and were promoted to the NIFL Premiership with Carrick Rangers dropping down into the NIFL Championship.

Top goalscorers[edit]

As of 11 May 2018[9]
Rank Scorer Club Goals
1 Northern Ireland Joe Gormley Cliftonville 24
2 Northern Ireland Gavin Whyte Crusaders 22
3 Northern Ireland Curtis Allen Glentoran 20
4 Northern Ireland Paul Heatley Crusaders 19
Northern Ireland Jay Donnelly Cliftonville
6 Northern Ireland Andrew Mitchell Glenavon 18
Northern Ireland Jordan Owens Crusaders
8 Republic of Ireland Darren McAuley Coleraine 17
9 Northern Ireland Jamie McGonigle Coleraine 16
10 Northern Ireland Ryan Curran Ballinamallard United 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Crusaders vs. Carrick Rangers". Soccerway. 18 November 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Ballinamallard United vs. Linfield". Soccerway. 4 November 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Ballinamallard United vs. Cliftonville". Soccerway. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  4. ^ Mills, Alex (29 April 2017). "Cliftonville 1–3 Linfield: Blues win Irish Premiership league title". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Irish Premiership:Crusaders are crowned champions". BBC. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
  6. ^ "AQW 1178/11". niassembly.gov.uk. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Sport NI Annual review 2008/09" (PDF). sportni.net. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Premiership 2017/2018 - Season rules". Scoresway. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  9. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/irish-premiership/top-scorers

External links[edit]