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Tuesday 07 May 2024
Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup set to power up

This year’s Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup competition is due to begin this weekend.

Ten teams will be taking part in preliminary round ties this Friday and the following Friday. Four of the matches are set to be staged on Friday (10 May).

The tie of the round is an encounter in the North-West on Friday between Strabane Athletic Ladies and Maiden City Ladies from Derry-Londonderry.

The other ties this Friday are Ballymena United Women against Portadown-based Hanover Ladies, Greenisland Women v Ballyclare Comrades Ladies and Portadown Ladies against Antrim Town Women.

The game on Friday 17 May will see Valley Rangers Ladies (Kilkeel) take on Bangor Ladies.

The five winners of the first set of matches in the Irish FA-run competition will then advance to round one in June. The draw for the first round will be staged later this month.

Nine teams have received byes into the next round. They are: Oxford Sunnyside Ladies (Lurgan), Sion Swifts Ladies, Coleraine Women, Donegal Celtic Ladies (Belfast), Craigavon City Ladies, Civil Service Ladies (Belfast), Belfast Celtic Ladies, Wellington Rec Women (Larne) and Comber Rec Ladies.

The teams competing in the early rounds all play in Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association leagues, from Division One to the Development League (Div 7).

The two lowest ranked teams in the competition are Civil Service Ladies and Hanover Ladies, who both play in the NIWFA development league.

The teams from the NIFL Women’s Premiership will enter the competition at the round two stage in July.

Image: Glentoran Women celebrate winning the Irish FA Women’s Challenge Cup, sponsored by Electric Ireland, in 2023. This year’s competition gets under way this weekend when 10 teams compete in the preliminary round.