The Score NI
By The Score NI
Each week we'll bring you an hour of top Irish League news, views and debate with the help of key figures from within NI football.
The Score NIDec 01, 2023
The Score - Decisive December
Glentoran have reached the Co. Antrim Shield final and are hoping to put a string of results together to climb the league table but face a stern test against Linfield tonight.
Larne face the Blues in a Bet McLean Cup QF on Tuesday but first must navigate a Premiership away day in Ballymena and Loughgall are also on their travels, with a visit to Carrick Rangers coming up before their own QF v Portadown. The Shamrock Park outfit knocked them out of the Mid Ulster Cup earlier this week so revenge is on the menu.
The Score - Positive Strides
Northern Ireland internationals Isaac Price, Dion Charles and Jamal Lewis reflect on a positive end to a challenging Euro Qualifying campaign.
Danny Wallace discusses Glenavon's upturn in form under new boss Stephen McDonnell, Cliftonville's Stephen Mallon opens up about bouncing back from injury hell and Institute boss Kevin Deery chats about what has been a happy return to 'Stute.
The Score - Trust The Process
Journalist Keith Bailie helps us preview those ties and assesses the injury issues that have plagued the squad.
Plus we talk to Irish League managers Rodney McAree (Dungannon Swifts) and Stuart King (Carrick Rangers).
The Score - Midweek Madness
The latest round of the League Cup had one of the longest ever penalty shootouts, upsets and extra-time drama so we've rounded up some of the key protagonists to share an insight into what went on.
We speak to Coleraine 'keeper Gareth Deane, Larne striker Andy Ryan and Portadown midfielder Ryan Mayse.
Plus we are joined by David Kerr from NIFL to discuss his new documentary 'Inside Cliftonville'.
The Score with special guest Andy Waterworth
The Score - Past and Future
On this week's show journalist Mark McIntosh gives his honest assessment on all 12 Premiership clubs and offers his predictions for the weekend and the season as a whole. We also catch up with former Newry City boss Darren Mullen who has helped the club set up a Past Players Association and interim Ballinamallard boss Mark Stafford shares his thoughts on a winning start in the hotseat.
The Score - In The Game
Cliftonville's Rory Hale, Daniel Larmour of Crusaders and new Dergview boss Emmet Friars join Michael on this week's episode, which kicks off with some big breaking news.
The Score - It's Coming Home
The Euros are coming to Belfast in 2028 after the UK and Ireland won the right to host the tournament. We speak to Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson and journalist Keith Bailie about what this news means for the country, for funding prospects, qualification hopes and we discuss the decision to play games at Casement Park.
We preview Northern Ireland's next two Euro Qualifiers with the help of internationals Dan Ballard and Isaac Price, whilst Paul O'Neill of Larne and Chris Shields of Linfield help to provide a perspective on the latest round of Premiership fixtures.
The Score - Wins Of Change
Goals change games and they can also change seasons. Our guests this week reflect on winning their last two matches and hoping that trend can continue, in the form of Ballymena United boss Jim Ervin and Carrick Rangers forward Danny Purkis.
We also speak to Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill after he named his squad to face San Marino and Slovenia.
The Score - Movin' On Up
Our guests this week are all on the move. Stephen McDonnell is Lurgan-bound having landed the job as new Glenavon boss, Premiership new-boys Loughgall are represented by their captain Ben Murdock who is hoping their upward trajectory can continue and Niall Currie is in a happier place after a recent run of wins has seen his promotion-favourites Portadown climb up the Championship table.
The Score - Forward Thinking
NIFL CEO Gerard Lawlor discusses the league's new 5 year strategy which could see a change to the league calendar introduced, Coleraine striker Andrew Mitchell opens up about why he was out of the game for so long and the relief to be back amongst the goals and Linfield striker Chris McKee reflects on his own excellent start to the season.
The Score - Runs, Rants and Grants
Michael is joined by Ballymena United captain Colin Coates, Jordan Jenkins talks about hoping to make a positive impression at Dundela, journalist Keith Bailie discusses some of the big stories of the week and manager Paul Owens reflects on an impressive start to the season with Limavady United.
The Score - Goals In Mind
The Score - Great Expectations
Glentoran winger Daire O'Connor, Larne 'keeper Rohan Ferguson and Ballymacash Rangers boss Lee Forsythe join Michael on this week's episode.
The Score - Building Something
The Score - Refs, Rules and Reactions
The Score - Ready For Kick-Off
It's the beginning of a new Premiership season and Michael helps get you ready for all of the action by speaking to representatives from each of the 12 top flight teams.
The Score - Irish Cup Final Special
The Score - Inver A Treat
The Score - Are We There Yet?
This week we are joined by Loughgall manager Dean Smith, Portadown boss Niall Currie and Ben Arthurs from the Seasiders.
The Score - 3 Games To Go
The Score - Good Friday
The Score - Irish Cup SF Special
The Score - Around The Grounds
The Score - Mid Ulster Motivations
The Score - Decisions and Deciders
The Score - Gunning for Glory
Jonny Frazer and Chris Ramsey join Michael to preview H&W Welders and Ballyclare Comrades ties in the Irish Cup respectively as they prepare to welcome Premiership opposition in the quarter finals of the competition.
Then we turn attention to next weekend and the League Cup final between Linfield and Coleraine. From the Blues we chat to manager David Healy, defender Daniel Finlayson and midfielder Chris Shields whilst the Bannsiders are represented by their boss Oran Kearney, Lee Lynch and top scorer Matthew Shevlin.
The Score - Milestones and Motivation
The Score - Bigger Picture
The Score - Last 16
The Score - Piece of Cake
The Score - Targets Acquired
The Score - Kicking On
The Score - Festive Footie
It's our final show of 2022 and on it we preview the Steel and Sons Cup final with Dunmurry Rec manager Dan Thornton and Bangor boss Lee Feeney, we find out about how a club called Borussia Newtownabbey are using football to help people open up about their mental health and journalist Mark McIntosh joins us to assess the Premiership season at the half-way stage and make some big predictions for the football yet to come.
The Score - Keeper Lit
With the weather playing havoc with the fixture list we decided to turn our attention to a misunderstood bunch in the football world - goalkeepers. Joining us to discuss their craft and shed a light on the highs and lows between the posts is Bam Neeson (Ballymacash Rangers), Conor Mitchell (Warrenpoint Town) and Dwayne Nelson (Dungannon Swifts).
Plus we kick off the show by revealing who has won our big Christmas competition with Connected Fitness!
The Score - Happy Returns
Michael O'Neill joins us to discuss his decision to return as Northern Ireland manager, Keith Bailie offers a journalist's perspective on the news plus we talk to Ballymena Utd skipper Josh Kelly and Ards boss Matthew Tipton about their seasons so far.
The Score - Numbers Game
Football is a numbers game and our guests this week, like us, are weighing them up. Jonny Addis is part of a Cliftonville team that are re-building defensive foundations as they accumulate clean sheets, Declan Caddell came out of retirement to make his 511th career appearance for Crusaders and Tony Gorman is a happier man after 3 points last weekend moved Dungannon Swifts 6 points clear of relegation rivals Portadown.
In a week where we learned we are ranked in the top 10% of podcasts globally based on both follows and shares, we are on the happy side of the number-crunching and pay tribute to you, our listeners, in this episode for your amazing support.
The Score - Tier It Up
Michael is joined by guests from all 3 tiers of the NI Football League, as he chats to returning Limavady Utd boss Paul Owens, Dundela ace Tony Kane and Carrick Rangers forward Emmett McGuckin.
The Score - Forward Momentum
NI international Sarah McFadden reflects on a remarkable year for women's football, which ended in victory for the Green and White Army against Italy in Belfast on Tuesday night and we chat Irish League with Linfield's Chris Shields and Larne boss Tiernan Lynch.
The Score - Looking Up
Sean Ward reflects on 20 years in the Irish League as Glenavon prepare to face another of his former clubs, Daniel Hughes discusses Newry City's mission for Premiership survival after winning the Championship last season and Cliftonville assistant manager Declan O'Hara assesses their quest for silverware in this campaign and opens up about his relationship with Paddy McLaughlin.
The Score - Competition Time
The Premiership's top scorer Matthew Shevlin reflects on his blistering start to the season, Northern Ireland international Julie Nelson shares her thoughts on the introduction of the Nations League to the women's game and Bobby Burns discusses Glentoran's bid to stay grounded as everyone guns for them and pays tribute to his former coach Frankie Wilson, who passed away last week.
The Score with special guest Stephen Baxter
Michael heads to North Belfast for an exclusive hour-long interview with Crusaders boss Stephen Baxter.
The Score - Easy as 1,2,3
The Premiership's current top 3 clubs are represented on this week's show with Lee Bonis (Larne), Aidan Wilson (Glentoran) and Jarlath O'Rourke (Crusaders) keeping Michael company on the programme.
The Score - Clash of the Titans
Larne FC fans' favourite Tomas Cosgrove discusses the table-toppers start to the season ahead of their game against his former club Cliftonville, Linfield and Glentoran legends Michael Gault and Elliott Morris assess Friday night's derby match at Windsor Park and sports journalist Keith Bailie joins us to talk about the BetMcLean Cup draw, a change to the Irish Cup schedule and his thoughts on Northern Ireland's qualifying group for Euro 2024.
The Score - Cup to the Challenge
The Score - The Kids Are Alright
This week's show reflects the contrasting fortunes between youth and senior football in Northern Ireland. We discuss the success of Coleraine Youth, recording the first UEFA Youth League victory recorded by an Irish League side, with their manager Martin Smith and are also joined by Gerard Lyttle who this week guided Northern Ireland's U19s to the elite round of Euros qualifiers. We also reflect on Northern Ireland's struggles in the Nations League with journalist Mark McIntosh before getting his predictions for this weekend's Irish Premiership action.
The Score - Pressure Is On
On this week's show we have an in-depth chat with Ballymacash Rangers boss Lee Forsythe ahead of their PIL clash with Bangor, who have also enjoyed three wins from three. Queen's Park manager Owen Coyle helps us preview their SPFL Trust Trophy match with Cliftonville this weekend and we hear from Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis and manager Ian Baraclough as they prepare to face Kosovo and Greece in the Nations League.
The Score - Play Resumes
On this week's show we're joined by Dundela boss Niall Currie, Portadown shot-stopper Jethren Barr and midfielders Leroy Millar and James Singleton of Larne and Glentoran, respectively.
The Score - Shocks and Swaps
Andy Mitchell and John McGovern of Carrick Rangers and Newry City join us to reflect on big wins in recent days and Aaron Traynor opens up about his move to Cliftonville and pays tribute to Coleraine for the past 5 years.