1980 - 1990
1980/1981 – 1984/1985
The first years of the new decade were, in truth, years of consolidation rather than major success. The club did not feature when league silverware was being given out and the glory days of the seventies seemed well in the distant past.
That’s not to say that there was not the odd success to cheer about. The club reached the final of the McGeehan Memorial Trophy in 1983/1984 and in an otherwise bleak period won it considerably easily 4-1.
In addition, the club was now an established fixture in childrens’ soccer and was able to win, if you like, its first sponsorship. Our first sponsor was The Tatler, whose owner, Mr Dick Sherry, presented the club with a new kit.
1985/1986 – 1989/1990
The second half of the eighties perked up considerably from the first half with two cups installed in the trophy room, which, incidentally, does not exist, but no matter. Nonetheless, compared to the previous decade, the haul was disappointing.
The first cup was won decisively, with a 6-0 mauling of Whitewell Colts at Ballyskeagh. Later in the decade, in 1988/1989, our Under 13s reached the semi-final of the SBBL cup, only to be knocked out by the eventual winners, St. Andrew’s. Cup joy would be regained the following year, 1989/1990, when the Under 15s reached the final of the cup and carried it home after at 2-0 win against Hillsborough Boys at the Crewe United grounds. Paul Sheeran scored from the spot, with Alan Barrett getting the second. The remainder of the squad that day was: David “Bolo”, Patrick Fleming, Keith McKenna, Hugh O’Kane, Kieran Harvey, Stevie McKeown, Piero D’Agostino, Mickey Donnelly, Neil Duffy and Peter Grant. The team was managed by Gab Devlin.
As the eighties drew to a close, the heady days of the previous decade might have seemed a distant memory. The old trophies were gathering dust, and we had only three cups to add to them from the entire decade. Success is relative. For most clubs, three cups in a decade represents a tremendous achievement, and, to be fair, even in the context of the seventies, the eighties can be seen in that light. However, it is also true to say that, after the level of success of the previous ten years, three cups might be seen as somewhat of an anti-climax. Nonetheless, in typical Aquinas fashion, we entered the next decade undeterred, our spirits high, as always.