Sign up to the Irish FA Newsletter today

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news from the Irish FA including ticket updates, match information, competitions, articles and much more.
Thank you

Friday 02 Feb 2024
Ballymacash and Glens to get Irish Cup ball rolling

A David v Goliath clash will kick-start the sixth round of the Clearer Water Irish Cup this weekend.

NIFL Premier Intermediate League side Ballymacash Rangers will be aiming to cause a major upset when they take on Glentoran from the NIFL Premiership later today.

The Glens have a strong pedigree in the competition. The east Belfast team have won it 23 times, with their most recent success coming in 2020.

By contrast Ballymacash are in the sixth round of the Irish Cup for the first time in their history.

Lee Forsythe, who manages The Cash, knows his side will be up against it when they face Warren Feeney’s men, however he believes the lowest ranked team left in the competition will give it their all.

"We understand there's a difference in quality and it's daunting in that respect but they shouldn't run or work harder than us. The key thing is to close those gaps as much as we can. It's a magical occasion for us,” Forsythe, who just happens to be a Glentoran fan, told the BBC.

"It is beyond everyone at the club's wildest dreams and a really exciting occasion that we are really looking forward to. As a big Glentoran fan it's the draw that I wanted and it brings the spotlight onto the club in terms of all the good work that has gone on,” he added.

The game at the Bluebell Stadium in Lisburn’s Rushmore Drive is due to be streamed live by BBC Sport NI (7.45pm kick-off).

The seven other matches in the Clearer Water Irish Cup sixth round are scheduled to be played tomorrow (Saturday 3 February - all 3pm starts).

There are three tantalising all-Premiership affairs.

High flying Cliftonville, who are staying in touch with Linfield and Larne at the top end of the table, are at home to Loughgall, the Premiership new boys who have had a superb season to date.

Premiership leaders Linfield face Ballymena United, who have featured in three of the past four Irish Cup finals, at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

And current league champions Larne, who are second in the league just now, will welcome fellow Premiership side Glenavon to Inver Park.

There are also two all-Championship ties. Current league leaders Institute are set to welcome Ards to Derry-Londonderry, while Portadown and Bangor, who are fourth and third respectively in the Championship just now, are due to meet at Shamrock Park.

The remaining ties will see two Championship teams taking on Premiership opposition.

Ballyclare Comrades were drawn to play Dungannon Swifts at their Dixon Park home, however the game has been switched to Stangmore Park in Dungannon because a new 3G surface is currently being installed at Dixon Park.

Newry City are at home to Newington. That game had to be switched to Newry as north Belfast-based Newington have been ground sharing with Larne of late – and Larne were also drawn at home in round six.

As it is Larne’s home ground, and Newington merely rent it, the Inver Reds get to play their sixth round tie at Inver Park tomorrow. Newington asked Newry to play at Inver on another day, however their request was declined and the competition rules dictate that the game had to be switched to Co Down.