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Ladbrokes SPFL season review: Celtic treble, Ayr aces and more

| 23.05.2018

The dust has settled on another memorable campaign in the Ladbrokes SPFL. Along the way, we’ve seen everything from Celtic’s treble-winning joy to dramatic title races in Leagues 1 and 2 which went down to the final day.

So it’s time to grab a cuppa and look back over the campaign…


Champions – Celtic:

It was seventh heaven for Celtic, as they continued their title-winning streak. The Hoops’ seventh consecutive league crown was secured in the closing weeks, before they wrapped up a second successive domestic treble.

As with the previous campaign, the likes of Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths all played their part.

However, the gap does look to be closing. Aberdeen finished second in 2016-17, a full 30 points behind the hoops. This time out, the difference was just nine points.

Surprise Package – Kilmarnock:

After an eighth-placed finish in 2016-17, Killie cracked the top five this time out – thanks in large part to the October 2017 appointment of Steve Clarke.

He turned the Ayrshire side into a well-organised, defensively solid unit with strong attacking options.

Veteran Kris Boyd rolled back the years to finish the season as top scorer with 18 goals, while aerial threat Lee Erwin and Eamonn Brophy were also key.

And the rest…

Rangers’ transition period continued with a third-placed finish, while Hibernian secured fourth spot – equalling their highest league position since 2005.

In the bottom half, Hamilton Academical ensured a fifth straight season of top-flight football by the skin of their teeth. A 10th-place finish was achieved on goal difference alone.

The Prem said goodbye to bottom club Ross County, before Partick Thistle succumbed to the drop in the play-offs.


St Mirren breezed to the title, with Jack Ross’ talented young squad putting together a quite astonishing run of home wins. The Buddies won 14 of their 18 league games at the Paisley 2021 Stadium, bagging seven clean sheets on the spin.

There was also promotion joy for second-placed Livingston. They outclassed Dundee United and then Premiership Partick Thistle, in the play-offs. Much of that credit goes to Keaghan Jacobs, who netted home and away against the Jags.

Elsewhere, high-scoring Dunfermline Athletic made the promotion play-offs. An early relegation befell Brechin City, but their continued workrate won them plenty of admirers.

League 1

In League 1, the title race went down to the final day. Raith Rovers needed simply to match the result of Ayr United to win the title.

But the former drew with Alloa, while the Honest Men saw off Albion Rovers 2-0 to grab a spot in next season’s Championship. And Rovers would suffer more heartbreak as Alloa grabbed the play-off promotion spot on offer.

After four wins in the last eight games, Forfar Athletic avoided the drop. Queen’s Park and Albion Rovers weren’t so lucky.

League 2

Talking of final-day title tussles, Montrose grabbed the draw they needed to edge out Peterhead at the top by a single point.

David Goodwillie was the league’s top marksman. The former Scotland international grabbed 26 goals for Clyde, but the Bully Wee again missed out on the promotion play-offs.

At the other end, Cowdenbeath secured their SPFL status for another year following a dramatic comeback to beat Highland League Cove Rangers 3-2.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Dave Burin

Dave graduated with an MA in English Literature at Durham University, and worked in marketing before joining the Ladbrokes News team. A Man United fan and avid groundhopper, he’s also an ardent follower of Rugby League. You can usually find him at a ground near you, clutching a big cup of tea.