The 2021/22 season saw Cliftonville register the Club’s third-highest Premiership points tally – and 14 more than the team that won the title in 1998.
Only Tommy Breslin’s back-to-back Champions of 2013 (91 points) and 2014 (85) fared better than the current team, who secured the Reds’ first runners-up slot since 2010, when 69 points proved enough for a silver medal position.
Paddy McLaughlin’s side won 34 of their 50 fixtures across four competitions, suffering just six defeats – one of which came in a penalty shootout – and scoring 99 goals in comparison to 40 conceded.
Over the course of the campaign, the Reds played in an equal split of 25 home and away matches, with the only losses in 90 minutes at Solitude coming in successive League meetings with Crusaders and Glentoran early in the New Year.
Indeed, that January 17 reverse against the Glens proved to be Cliftonville’s last Premiership defeat and came a full two months after their final League loss on the road; a 1-0 setback against Linfield at Windsor Park.
None of the 24 players utilised by McLaughlin throughout the season featured in all 50 matches, although captain Chris Curran came closest with 49 appearances to his name, just ahead of nearest challengers Ryan Curran (48), Joe Gormley (47) and Jonny Addis (46).
Cliftonville’s last two games carried the unusual distinction of seeing two players open their League accounts for the Club against opponents they had previously served well; Colin Coates heading in at Crusaders ahead of Cricky Gallagher’s finish against Glentoran yesterday.
The Reds’ other scorer in both of those matches was Ryan Curran, whose goal at The Oval lifted him level with Gormley on 24 strikes for the season, with Paul O’Neill (8) and Jamie McDonagh (7) the duo’s closest rivals in the scoring stakes.
The 2021/22 season in numbers
Danske Bank Premiership: P38 W24 D10 L4 F61 A29
Irish Cup: P4 W3 D0 L1 F9 A3
League Cup: P5 W5 D0 L0 F15 A5
County Antrim Shield: P3 W2 D1* L0 F14 A3
Total: P50 W34 D11 L5 F99 A40
Home: P25 W19 D4* L2 F55 A15
Away: P25 W15 D7 L3 F44 A25
* Includes a defeat on penalties
Biggest win: Cliftonville 9-0 Knockbreda (September 21)
Biggest defeat: Cliftonville 0-2 Crusaders (January 4)
Highest-scoring draw: Crusaders 3-3 Cliftonville (April 23)
Most common results: 2-1 and 1-0 (eight times each)
Top 10 appearances
49: Chris Curran
48: Ryan Curran
47: Joe Gormley
46: Jonny Addis
45: Jamie McDonagh, Luke Turner
44: Ronan Doherty
42: Levi Ives, Kris Lowe
41: Cricky Gallagher
24: Ryan Curran, Joe Gormley
8: Paul O’Neill
7: Jamie McDonagh
5: Ronan Doherty, Levi Ives, Daniel Kearns
3: Colin Coates, Aaron Donnelly, Rory Hale
2: Jonny Addis, Cricky Gallagher, Jamie Harney, Conor Scannell, Luke Turner, Own Goals
Top 10 Premiership Points Tallies
91 points: 2013
85 points: 2014
82 points: 2022
69 points: 2012, 2010
68 points: 1998
61 points: 2019, 2007
65 points: 2018
64 points: 2016