Locals target Irish Cup upsets

At the Irish Cup fifth round draw are IFA President Jim Shaw, Carrick Rangers secretary David Hilditch and manager Gary Haveron, Banbridge Town captain Ryan Moffatt and chairman Dominic Downey and Rod McCrory from sponsors Tennent's NI.
At the Irish Cup fifth round draw are IFA President Jim Shaw, Carrick Rangers secretary David Hilditch and manager Gary Haveron, Banbridge Town captain Ryan Moffatt and chairman Dominic Downey and Rod McCrory from sponsors Tennent's NI.
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Two local teams could become the talk of the Irish Cup this weekend.

Both Banbridge Town and Rathfriland Rangers come up against Danske Bank Premiership opposition and are in search of a Cup upset. The message from both camps - ‘Why not?’

Town face the marginally ‘easier’ tie of the two, at home to strugglers Carrick Rangers (kick-off 1.30pm), while Rangers face the toughest draw possible, away to Premiership champions and current league leaders Crusaders (kick-off 3pm).

Amateur League Division 1A side Rathfriland are a full 57 league places below their opponents and, on the surface, face an almost impossible task.

“It’s just about starting to sink in now,” said Rangers’ boss Clifford Sterritt.

“It’s an honour to take a junior side to the Irish League champions because it’s not every day that
happens.

“The supporters deserve it. They come out week on week and cheer on the boys, even at the away games they’re always there.

Town, meanwhile, are ‘only’ 24 league places below Carrick Rangers. Comparatively, then, their chances of upsetting the odds and making it through to round six aren’t all that
bad!

And after last weekend’s defeat to Coagh United, boss Ryan Watson is even more keen to return to winning ways.

“When the draw was made, we were delighted,” he told the ‘LEADER.’

“Hopefully they’ll bring a good travelling support and make it a good day. We want to do ourselves justice though and if they have an off day, who knows what could happen?

“It would be nice to get last week’s defeat out of the system and why not do it on Saturday in the Irish Cup?”