Round one of the 2022 edition of the Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup gets under way tonight.
Teams from the various NIWFA divisions, including a handful from the top flight (Championship), have entered this season’s competition and they are set to compete in the early rounds.
Camlough Rovers faced 1st Bangor Ladies at home in the solitary preliminary round tie earlier this month and ran out 13-0 winners. Their reward is a trip to face Strabane Athletic Ladies.
Five matches take place this evening with all the clubs vying to have their names in the hat for the next stage. Three teams – Lisburn Ladies Rangers, Ballyclare Comrades Ladies and Craigavon City Ladies – have already progressed to round two courtesy of walkovers.
In total eight teams will make it through from round one to be joined by NIFL Danske Bank Women’s Premiership sides in the second round in early August when reigning holders Glentoran Women will begin the defence of their crown.
The Glens have won the past three Women’s Irish Cup finals – Covid meant the 2020 decider was not played – and they will no doubt be going all out for four in a row in 2022.
Pictured, above: Elaine Junk, chair of the Irish FA Women’s Challenge Cup Committee, and Electric Ireland’s Anne Smyth.
Round One – 17 June (KO 7:30pm unless stated)
Antrim Rovers Ladies v Bangor Ladies
Kilmore Rec Ladies v St James’ Swifts Ladies
Larne Ladies v Comber Rec Ladies
Lisburn Distillery Ladies v Ballymena United Women
Strabane Athletic Ladies v Camlough Rovers Ladies (7:50pm)
Walkovers: Lisburn Rangers Ladies, Ballyclare Comrades Ladies, Craigavon City Ladies