CLUBS TO BEGIN CUP CAMPAIGN

FIVE local clubs begin their Intermediate Cup campaign this weekend as one of local football’s biggest competitions gets underway.

Moneyslane, Rathfriland Rangers, Banbridge Rangers, Dromore Amateurs and Dromara Vilage enter at round one of the competition this weekend with Banbridge Town and the rest of the Championship clubs to enter later.

The Amateurs probably have the pick of the ties with Glentoran Seconds making a visit to Ferris Park.

And Amateurs manager David Smylie has no illusions about the size of the challenge facing his players.

“From what I’ve heard, Glentoran Reserves are a very talented team,” he said.

“They’re very skilled, very athletic and like to play good passing football - everything you would expect from an Oval side with players who are desperate to impress and carve out a career at full Irish League level.

“So it’s not going to be easy for my boys.

“But one thing is for sure - we’ll be up for the challenge, we don’t fear anybody.”

Rathfriland Rangers this Saturday travel to UUJ who play a league above the Whites. Even though they can usually be found in the lower half of the table it should be a tough test for Brian Adair’s men. Rangers will be hoping to continue their good run of results this season with a passage to the next round of the competition.

Banbridge Rangers, who haven’t won a game in normal time since August, go to Dundonald who sit in second place in 1A of the Amateur League. There are a few spaces left on the team bus for anyone wishing to travel to the game.

There are also spaces left on the bus heading on Moneyslane’s trip to Sirrocco Works, details of which can be found on P51.

Finally Dromara Village host Ballywalter in the competition, a game which they should win. Kick-off in Saturday’s games is at the earlier time of 1.30pm

Meanwhile managerless Banbridge Town have a number of injury problems ahead of the visit of the PSNI to Crystal Park (3pm).

Simon Robb and Barry Tumilty will be unavailable but hopefully Paul Walsh, Stevie McArdle and Stephen O’Neill will return to the panel.

There are no further updates on the club’s search for a new manager, except to say that Chairman Andrew Cully told the Leader that while he hoped confirmation of a new boss could be made sooner rather than later he believed that it was important that the club took their time to make sure everything was in place.

The eagerly awaited Bob Radcliffe Cup semi-final against old foes Loughgall will take place at Stangmore Park, Dungannon on Wednesday November 7 with kick-off at 7.30pm with extra time and penalties if required.

This Friday night (October 26) Banbridge Town Reserves will play Annagh United Reserves at Cheney Park kick-off 8.15pm) in the Wilmur Johnston Cup.

This is a game well worth supporting as Barry Taylor’s charges have been going well of late and this should will be a very difficult encounter against a strong Annagh outfit.