Irvine Meadow

West of Scotland  1st Division
Irvine Meadow 0 Girvan 0
Gate £6
Atten 250+

View all photos from Irvine Meadow

Formed in 1897 'Medda' are one of the more successful junior clubs still playing today and at one stage they were invited to become a Scottish senior team but declined preferring to stay as they were. Irvine Meadow were the first junior club in Scotland to have a home game televised when the 1958 Scottish junior cup tie against Fauldhouse United was shown on Scottish TV. 
The mention of junior football in Irvine conjures up thoughts of Irvine Meadow XI, Irvine Victoria, cross-river rivalries and annual Marymass derbies. But in the days before the Meadow and the Vics were founded there was a varied bunch of junior clubs in the town. Irvine Eglinton, Irvine Roslin, Irvine Caledonia, Vale of Clyde and Irvine Celtic all had relatively short life spans of just a few years. Irvine Celtic, incidentally, were the inhabitants of Meadow Park and it was there that a newly formed juvenile club began playing, taking on the ground name as the club name. The fledgling Irvine Meadow XI, sometimes mistakenly called Irvine Celtic Meadow XI in the local press at the time, began to make a name for them selves, but it was to be another two years before they moved up to the junior grade in 1897. 

Where there was an Irvine Celtic, it was perhaps inevitable that there should be an Irvine Rangers, too. Irvine Rangers had originally formed in 1890 as a juvenile club, but later became juniors. The club had a nomadic existence, playing home matches on Irvine Moor then, as juniors, moving to Quarry Road, then moving again to a pitch just behind Bank Street, which later became a greyhound racing track. The club’s most successful season was 1892-93 when they became the first Irvine junior club to win the Ayrshire Cup. They also won the Irvine & District Cup that season. But it was hard to keep the club going due to the heavy unemployment in the area and eventually they closed down due to dwindling support in 1895.

That same year, some young lads from the Quarry Road area of the town formed Meadow XI as a juvenile club. They successfully asked Irvine Celtic for the use of Meadow Park and its pavilion when Irvine Celtic were not playing at home. The new club’s first ever game was a 2-1 defeat at home against Overton Thistle 2nd XI and after a few more disappointing results, they finally settled into a better organised manner of playing and began to win matches regularly. Then in December 1895, Irvine Celtic, who had been struggling for some time, decided to close down, leaving Meadow XI as sole occupants, though not owners, of Meadow Park.

Meadow Park is a lovely little ground and is dominated by the impressive main stand painted in team colours.The rest of the ground is open terracing.

Decent tea bar purveying the usual goodies found north of the border. All at sensible prices.
The game itself was a cagey affair with few clear cut chances. The blustery wind and spells of precipitation made it awkward for both teams.
Both teams are within touching distance from the leaders with games in hand. So both have all to play for. 

 A friendly welcome from the locals made this a most enjoyable visit despite the lack of goals.


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