1931-32 Free State League season

Although the shield trophy was now spending its first year outside of Dublin, the wait for a non-Dublin winner of the league itself would go on, with Shamrock Rovers capitalising on late slip-ups by Cork (nicknamed the “League of Nations” due to the amount of non-Irishmen now in their squad) and Dundalk (who were beaten into third by Waterford) to collect their fourth league championship in 1932. The Glenmalure Park side were in fact rampant this year, taking the Free State Shield (they remained unbeaten to finish five clear of nearest challengers Cork) along with a fourth successive Free State Cup to complete a second domestic treble.

A Dolphin side containing a number of Irish internationals were their opponents in the cup final, with another Paddy Moore goal proving enough for Rovers in front of a record crowd of 32,000 (the league’s two highest-scoring teams had played to a record crowd of 30,000 in a league match at the Iveagh Grounds a few months earlier). The Hoops’ success this season was perhaps not so surprising given that they boasted a whole host of Irish internationals of their own (Moore, Byrne, Fullam, Flood, Glen, Burke), as well as a former English international midfielder in Vincent Matthews, and the ultra-prolific Scot Jimmy Smith, who would eventually total some 249 goals in 259 games for Glasgow Rangers. Moore had scored in every round (netting nine goals in total) of a cup competition that had been completed without the need for a single replay, and the final had also been the first to take place on a Sunday (Sundays were gradually becoming the day of choice for most Free State football matches).

Shamrock Rovers win the Free State Cup for the fourth year in a row

Finishing bottom for the third consecutive campaign (they had failed to win a single league, shield or cup match in 1929-30, and had finished bottom of the shield every year since 1927), 1931-32 proved to be the final league season for Jacobs A.F.C., who conceded a whopping 145 goals in their 28 competitive fixtures this year. The Rutland Avenue club’s place was taken by a new Cork side, Cork Bohemians, who had enjoyed Munster Senior Cup and F.A.I. Intermediate Cup success over the course of previous seasons. With Waterford (in spite of their impressive third place finish) and Brideville also absent for the start of 1932-33, the league was now once again made up of 10 club sides.

Free State League 1931-32

Shamrock Rovers221363703432
Bray Unknowns22958455123
St. James’s Gate224216276210

League top scorers : Pearson Ferguson Cork, 21 Jack Forster Waterford, 21 Paddy Moore Shamrock Rovers, 18 Jimmy Shiels Dolphin, 18

Representative match : Welsh League 2-4 Free State League

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