Season in Review: 1999/2000

League: 1st

FAI Cup: Semi-Final.

League Cup: Semi-Final.

Bray had a pretty memorable year. They recovered from their relegation last season to regain their status as a Premier Division team, topping the First Division deservedly after a long season.

Indeed, the Seasiders topped the table for the last five weeks of the season, but strangely enough up to that they'd only spent 12 of the 31 previous weeks in first place.

Having got trashed in Europe, Wanderers made a good start to the new campaign, which earned them the top spot for four consecutive weeks.

However, a home loss to Dundalk triggered a poorer run of form. Bray only won two of the next six - a period during which Kilkenny inflicted a humiliating 5-1 hammering on Wanderers.

While Bray mixed some of the good with the bad after that, they always looked capable of gaining automatic promotion.

Even on the odd day they dropped below the top two places, a swift return looked anything but improbable.

Promotion was secured in the second last League game of the season - Philip Keogh's injury time equaliser against Dundalk sent the Seasiders up. A 1-0 win at home to Limerick in the season's final game earned Bray the title of Division 1 champions again.

A League Cup campaign included impressive victories at the expense of Kilkenny, UCD and Shamrock Rovers, before Derry City enjoyed a 2-1 semi-final win over Bray.

The FAI Cup meanwhile, ended in controversy. Wanderers were plagued with bad luck and bad treatment, as Bohemians beat them 2-1 at Dalymount in the semi-final. The suspension beforehand of Jason Byrne and the performance of the referee in the match enraged the club.

Before that, Derry, Fairview and Kilkenny had been taken care of, but two away defeats (both on a 2-1 scoreline) in the two national semi-finals was tough justice on the side.

The good:

14 victories out of 18 matches - Wanderers had a brilliant record at the Carlisle Grounds. Only Dundalk beat them in the League, and the venue was a fortress of sorts in the cup competitions.

A strong finish to the League campaign was crucial. In their last six games, 4 victories and 2 draws were recorded.

The bad:

The Seasiders' defensive record was quite disappointing - they let in 38 goals in 36 games.

On their travels, Pat Devlin's men won only seven League games in 18 attempts.

From www.eircomleague.net

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