The ninth Annual Banbridge District Cup for Cancer Research UK starts on Monday evening (20th July) with a highly anticipated local derby.
Banbridge Town and near neighbours Banbridge Rangers kick off with the first quarter-final at Cheney Park.
The competition has proven to be a superb fund raiser to supplement the work of the Relay for Life events that support Cancer Research UK. It also doubles as a way for local football teams to prepare for the season with as competitive as possible warm up matches.
Eight of the ten football clubs in the Banbridge District have put their name in the hat to support the charity and put their reputations on the line.
The opening game between the Town and Rangers is a repeat of the 2012 Final which saw the boys in blue earn the upset via a solitary Neil Clydesdale penalty in front of a packed Cheney Park. Who would bet against another Clydesdale winner after his hat-trick against Bourneview Mill last week?
In the 2013 final, Rangers secured their fourth title in a row, thrashing Rathfriland Rangers 4-0 in a dynamic display.
The whites exacted revenge last season with the same teams lining up in the Semi Final but a very different scoreline as Rathfriland won 3-1 to pick up the trophy for the first time.
Rathfriland will be out to win back to back trophies and begin their defence against the lowest ranked team in the competition in the form of Banbridge YCOB who almost made the Final after a spirited display against Seapatrick who eventually lost out to Rathfriland Rangers.
The other Quarter Finals will see Dromore Amateurs play Gilford Crusaders on Tuesday 21st July with Seapatrick playing Dromara Village on Wednesday 22nd July. All of the Quarter Finals and Semi Finals will take place at Cheney Park with 8.00pm kick offs.
The Final will be played at Crystal Park on Thursday 30th July with kick off at an earlier time of 7.30pm.
The organisers have asked for local people to come out and support Cancer Research UK with donations at the gate and also to support local footballers and clubs who have invested their time to support such a worthwhile cause.