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Friday 03 Jan 2020
Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup: Big guns enter fray in Northern Ireland’s premier knockout competition

Wannabes against big guns, David v Goliath clashes, minnows facing minnows and heavyweight pairings… they will all be part of the heady mix in the Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup fifth round tomorrow.

The Irish Football Association’s Challenge Cup, Northern Ireland’s premier cup competition, always livens up when teams from the Premiership and Championship enter the fray.

And this season’s fifth round - with new sponsor Sadler’s on board promoting its Peaky Blinder Lager - promises plenty of thrills and spills. 

Glenavon against Coleraine at Mourneview Park in Lurgan takes top billing at heavyweight level. Both sides have won the trophy in recent years and will be keen to get their hands on it once again.

It’s not the only all-Premiership clash, however. Institute take on Dungannon Swifts at the Brandywell and no doubt both sides will be relishing an opportunity to register a morale-boosting cup victory away from the relegation dogfight.

Falling into the David v Goliath category are ties between Premiership side Ballymena United and Amateur League Premier Division outfit Crumlin Star at Ballymena Showgrounds and Ballymena and Provincial League intermediate team Belfast Celtic and Premiership side Larne at Inver Park.

And in a similar vein current Premiership leaders Cliftonville will be welcoming Mid-Ulster Intermediate League outfit Hanover to Solitude.

There are several Premiership v Championship fixtures, including cup holders Crusaders at home to Dundela, Queen’s University against Linfield at the Dub, Glentoran v Championship leaders Portadown, Ards against Carrick Rangers plus Warrenpoint Town versus PSNI.

There are also a few Championship v Intermediate clashes, including 2019 finalists Ballinamallard United against Dollingstown, Bangor v Newry City and Loughgall against Rathfriland Rangers.

Banbridge Town v East Belfast, meanwhile, is an all-intermediate tie, while Championship sides Ballyclare Comrades and Harland and Wolff Welders along with Knockbreda and Dergview will be facing each other tomorrow.

This season’s Irish Cup competition kicked off last August and will culminate in a showpiece final at the National Football Stadium in May.