BANN READY TO GO WEST-ON

BANBRIDGE begin their Irish Cup campaign this weekend with a trip to Co Dublin side Weston.

It's a game that, in all honesty, should see Bann progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.

The Lucan club are currently playing their first season in the Leinster Premier League but so far it hasn't gone so well for them, having taken just one point all season and with a goal difference of -25.

It's clear to see why Bann are going into the game as favourites but their coach, Mark Tumilty, is insisting that the locals should do a professional job.

"If we score an early goal or two we will be fine," he said.

"We have a great chance of reaching the quarter-finals and with a couple of the bigger teams playing each other at this stage of the competition we have a great chance of progressing.

"Garvey have to go to Dublin YM and Annadale have to play Glennanne so that improves our chances if we get through.

"I believe that we have a great chance anyway. I would prefer a home draw should we get through but that said I wouldn't be particularly fearful of going away to anyone either.

The draw for the quarter-finals will take place after Saturday's games with the games to be played on February 26.

Tumilty will be boosted by the return of Bruce McCandless from his trip to Seville with the Irish squad but the recent performance by his replacement, Hugh McShane, in the game against Kilkeel has presented the coach with something of a headache.

"Bruce should come straight back into the eleven - he gets back on Wednesday from Spain so we'll check him over and make sure he has no knocks that we should be worried about.

"He has been outstanding all season and hopefully that form will continue for us.

"Hugh was outstanding against Kilkeel for us though and I would imagine that he will be playing a part in some way in the game, whether that be with a place in the midfield or in another way.

"That said Philip Brown and Stephen Dowds also played well against Kilkeel so it would be hard to drop anyone in the midfield."

Meanwhile a date has finally been set for the Kirk Cup semi-final against Annadale.

It will be played at Havelock Park on Sunday February 20 - one day after a tough trip to Cookstown. The final will be played in March.