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Friday 03 Mar 2023
Welders and Larne kick off weekend of Irish Cup action

NIFL Premiership leaders Larne and NIFL Championship side Harland and Wolff Welders will kick-start the quarter-final stage of this season’s Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup.

And the Welders will be looking to cause another upset when they welcome the Inver Reds to the Blanchflower Stadium this evening (7.45 start).

Paul Kee’s side have already claimed two Premiership scalps since top flight and second tier sides entered the fray at the fifth round stage of Northern Ireland’s premier cup competition.

In round five the Welders won 2-1 away at Newry City and they enjoyed another away success against Glenavon in round six. They won that game 1-0.

Larne reached the last eight after defeating Amateur League Premier Division outfit Crumlin United 3-0 at Inver Park in the fifth round and edging past NIFL Premiership rivals Linfield on penalties in the following round.

Tonight’s quarter-final tie at the Blanchflower is being livestreamed on BBC iPlayer and on the BBC Sport NI website.

The other Championship side still in the competition, Ballyclare Comrades, will be in action tomorrow when they host Premiership side Ballymena United.


Ballyclare, who are currently sixth in the Championship just behind the Welders in fifth, defeated Dollingstown 1-0 at home in the fifth round before easing past Institute on a 1-0 scoreline away in round six.

They will fancy their chances against a Ballymena side who have been having a mixed season form-wise. They have played quite well in the cup, however. In round five they held their nerve to win a penalty shootout against Carrick Rangers (away) and in the next round they beat Newington 4-1 at home.

There are also two all-Premiership affairs in the Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup tomorrow.

Cup holders Crusaders are arguably involved in the heavyweight tie of the round. They are up against Glentoran at Seaview.

Samuel Gelston's Irish Cup | Sixth Round recap

The Crues have seen off Dergview (6-0 at home) and Bangor (2-1 away) in the competition to date, while the Glens have beaten Moyola Park (2-0 away) and Portadown (3-0 away).

Cliftonville, who are second in the Premiership just now, welcome Dungannon Swifts to Solitude.

The Reds have reached the last eight by putting five past Dundela without reply (away) and then easing past Coleraine on penalties (home). The Swifts beat Ards 3-1 at Stangmore Park before defeating Knockbreda 2-1 away in round six.

All three of Saturday's cup matches are scheduled to kick off at 3pm.

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