Rangers face a ferry tough trip

Dromara Village (white) and Banbridge Rangers (red) will both be in Irish Cup action next month. INBL1525-296EB
Dromara Village (white) and Banbridge Rangers (red) will both be in Irish Cup action next month. INBL1525-296EB
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As many as five local clubs will be in Irish Cup first round action on Saturday 22nd August, while Rathfriland Rangers have been handed a bye.

The draw for the first round of the historic competition was made last week and it revealed that Richard McMinn’s Banbridge Rangers side might even get a boat trip out of their tie.

That’s because they will get their campaign underway against Portaferry Rovers at Cloughey Road Playing Fields (all game scheduled to kick-off at 1.30pm).

The hosts are enjoying a rise through the Amateur League ranks, having won Division 2A and Division 1C in successive seasons before finishing a credible fourth in Division 1B last season. They’ll be gunning for promotion and a Cup run and will provide formidable opponents for Rangers.

Seapatrick will face Ballymena & Provincial League Premier Division side Killymoon Rangers. Killymoon were an IFA Championship side for six seasons until last year, when they were relegated and finished ninth in the BPL Premier last season.

Moneyslane, meanwhile, have been handed a home tie against Amateur League Division 1A side Barn United. The visitors struggled into 12th position last season, below both Rathfriland Rangers and Dromara Village, who may or may not be willing to give some key info to their near neighbours.

Dromara will also be at home up against last year’s NAFL Division 1C champions Colin Valley. Used to success, they will be no pushovers even though they are still a league below Gerard McMahon’s side.

Dromore Amateurs will need to bridge a gap of 29 league positions on last year’s standings if they are to reach round two.

They’ve been drawn at home to NAFL Division 1A side Lisburn Rangers.