This years Irish Cup is starting heat up as we now are in the quarter final stage. The two stand out ties from this round are Larne vs Coleraine live on BBC and Crusaders vs Ballymena.
A great game comes this Friday evening under the floodlights in Larne. Soon to be Premiership new boys host the North Coast side in a mouth watering quarter final. Larne have never win an Irish Cup and what a chance they may have this year. Last time out they defeated Crumlin Star in a comfortable 3-1 victory. This game will no doubt be a tough task against current holders Coleraine. But with home advantage could an upset be on the cards?
Coleraine will be going into this game knowing that Larne are capable of an upset. Rodney McAree will have his side well drilled and ready for this one. The Bannsiders have win this famous cup a total of six times and will be hoping to go all the way this year again. They may well be boosted this weekend with the return of Josh Carson from injury.
This is the undoubtedly the tie of the round. Crusaders have not tasted much success over the years in the Irish Cup. Only winning it on three occasions and the last coming in 2009. With their league title hopes escaping them Stephen Baxter’s side will be putting all their efforts into a day out in May at Windsor Park. No easy tie for the North Belfast side as Ballymena have already tasted victory at Seaview this season.
David Jeffrey’s side lost the first cup final of the season two weeks ago to Linfield. They have done extremely well in cup competitions since DJ has took charge. The Sky Blues have win the Irish Cup a total of six times and have every chance this year. Their last success came back in 1989, defeating Larne 1-0 in the final. They are also second in the Danske Bank table could a double be on the cards? I think whoever wins this tie will lift the trophy come May!
Championship club Ballinamallard travel to face a Dungannon side who have been in good form of late. The Swifts did suffer a disappointing 2-0 defeat away at Institute last weekend but up until that they had been in terrific form picking up wins against the likes of Crusaders and Glenavon. The Co. Tyrone men have never win the Irish Cup. The closest they came was back in 2007 when they suffered heart break losing on penalties to Linfield.
Ballinamallard look like they will be spending another season in the Championship. Their inconsistent form this season has cost them in a push for promotion. The Fermanagh men will treat this game as free one with absolutely nothing to lose. The Ducks like Dungannon have never win the Irish Cup in their history.
What an opportunity Warrenpoint have to put themselves in an Irish Cup semi final! They have suffered three defeats in a row in the league but are heavy favorites in this one! Stephen McDonnell will have his players not to be underestimating their opponents in this one or they could end up with egg on their face.
Larne Tech OB are in dreamland! Quarter finals of the Irish Cup and they are the last amateur team left in the competition. They were deserved winners in the sixth round against Strabane Athletic. One final push and a massive upset could see them in an Irish Cup semi what a fairy tale that would be!