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Tuesday 1st December v. Carrick Rangers (home) - Danske Bank Premiership - k.o: 7:45pm

ARGUABLY one of the best season's in Ballymena United's history as they claimed two trophies and their first victory in European competition.

The Sky Blues started the season in blistering style winning the Ulster Cup for the first time since 1961; despite selling star player Gerry Mullan to Everton for £40,000 and manager Alan Campbell being involved in a near fatal car accident.

Caretaker boss, Ivan Murray, took control for the rest of the season as Ballymena produced a magnificent performance to turn over East German side FC Vorwaerts in the UEFA Cup at home, unfortunately losing 4-2 on aggregate.

Potential title challengers after the previous season's runners-up place, United found goals harder to come by in the league and could only finish third - a measure of the standard of this team that this was deemed a disappointment.

However, the Irish Cup also found it's way to the Braid after Sammy McQuiston's late goal against Glenavon sealed a 1-0 victory at Windsor Park in May 1981.

Paul Malone's goals proved vital for the Warden Street side, who unvailed their new stand at the start of the season. 27 goals for Malone, with many crucial goals in both of the cup successes.

United defender and Ulster Young Player of the Year Nigel Worthington also moved to England after the Irish Cup final for an Irish League and club record £125,000 to Notts County, which would be the start of his 16-year playing career in England.



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Full list of Fixtures and Results for 1980/1981
Full list of Player Appearances
Full list of Goalscorers
Final Smirnoff Irish League table
Final Gold Cup and Ulster Cup group standings

Honours: Irish Cup Winners 1980/81
Honours: Ulster Cup Winners 1980/81



Season Records

Final League Position - 3rd (from 12)

Irish Cup - Winners - defeat Glenavon in the final
Gold Cup - Group Stages
Ulster Cup - Winners
County Antrim Shield - Second Round - defeated by Linfield
Tyler All-Ireland Cup - First Round - defeated by Shamrock Rovers

UEFA Cup - First Round - defeated by FC Vorwaerts


Total games played - 47
Total wins - 26
Total draws - 10
Total defeats - 11
Total goals scored - 92
Total goals conceded - 58

Biggest home win - 5-0 v. Distillery - 23-Aug-80 (Ulster Cup)
Biggest away win - 5-0 v. Crusaders - 08-Oct-80 (Ulster Cup)

Biggest home defeat - 0-6 v. Linfield - 23-Apr-81 (Co. Antrim Shield)
Biggest away defeat - 0-3 v. FC Vorwaerts - 01-Oct-80 (UEFA Cup)

Total players used - 28
Most appearances (all competitions) - Davy Neill (45)
Most appearances (league only) - Davy Neill (22)

Leading goalscorer (all competitions) - Paul Malone (27 goals)
Leading goalscorer (league only) - Paul Malone (10 goals)
Hat-tricks - John Sloan v. Distillery - 23-Aug-80; Paul Malone v. Bangor [4 goals] - 17-Jan-81 (Irish League); Paul Malone v. Cliftonville - 21-Feb-81 (Irish Cup)