The road to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park begins in earnest this evening as round one of the Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup kicks off.
Eight ties will be played this evening as teams from across Northern Ireland battle it out for a spot in the next stage.
And tonight in the cup there will be a fine show of footballing talent on the domestic front with all teams aiming to have their name in the hat as the knockout competition returns. The 2020 edition was cancelled with the agreement of participating clubs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ballymena United FC Women host Lisburn Rangers Ladies in the tie of the round while Craigavon Ladies travel to Lisburn Ladies who eased to a 9-0 win over Bangor Ladies in the qualifying round.
Elsewhere Belfast Celtic Ladies welcome St Oliver Plunkett Ladies while Killen Rangers Ladies are away Belfast Ravens. St James’ Swifts Ladies go head-to-head with Comber Rec Ladies and Carnmoney Ladies face north west outfit Foyle Belles.
Rosario Ladies welcome Mid Ulster Ladies and East Belfast Ladies will face the challenge of Larne Ladies.
Crewe United Ladies and Camlough Rovers Ladies received a bye to round two after Dromara Village and Belfast Swifts Ladies withdrew from the competition.
First contested in 2005, the Irish FA Women's Challenge Cup, sponsored by Electric Ireland is Northern Ireland's premier knockout competition for women's football teams.
The current holders are Glentoran who lifted the trophy in 2019 with a 1-0 win over rivals Linfield thanks to a first-half strike from Emma McMaster.
Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup R1 fixtures
St James’ Swifts Ladies v Comber Rec Ladies
Carnmoney Ladies v Foyle Belles
Lisburn Ladies v Craigavon City Ladies
Belfast Ravens v Killen Rangers Ladies
Rosario Ladies v Mid Ulster Ladies
Ballymena United Women v Lisburn Rangers Ladies
East Belfast Ladies v Larne Ladies
Belfast Celtic Ladies v St Oliver Plunkett Ladies
Crewe United Ladies (BYE)
Camlough Rovers Ladies (BYE)