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Football: Odds favour Loughgall as Carlin's men fancy upset

By Colin Speer

Published 31/10/2007

The newly sponsored WKD Intermediate Cup takes centre stage this weekend as the first round gets under way.

First Division leaders Loughgall have an interesting home tie with Derry's Oxford United Stars. Neil Carlin's side are currently mid-table in the Carnegie Second Division and would relish an upset here, but a home win looks likely.

Another side fancied to lift the trophy are Carrick Rangers and they have an interesting game at Connor, while tie of the round sees Ballyclare Comrades host Crusaders Reserves.

Comrades will want to show the young guns from Seaview that they will be a match for them, while Crusaders Reserve players will aim to prove to first team boss Stephen Baxter that they are ready for making that step up.

Dundela travel to Armagh City Reserves, while Chimney Corner will certainly fancy their chances against a poor Ballycastle United side. There could be a shock at Mullaghacall when First Division whipping boys Portstewart host Malachians.

In form Malachians skipper Colin Downey, who netted himself a hat-trick during their 4-2 win over Warrenpoint Town in the second round of the Irish Cup on Saturday, will be hoping his goalscoring run continues against the bottom side in the First Division.

Tobermore United have a difficult tie against Glentoran Reserves, while Cookstown Olympic will fancy their chances of causing an upset when they host Coagh United.

Another side who'll be worried about falling at the first hurdle are Lurgan Celtic when they take on a youthful Bryansburn Rangers side. Banbridge Town are another First Division team who aren't having the best of seasons and they'll know that they won't get everything their own way when Laurelvale visit Crystal Park.

In the other two ties both Coagh United and Ards should have comfortable wins at Cookstown Olympic and Holywood respectively.

Meanwhile, last weekend in the Carnegie First Division leaders Loughgall made it four wins in a row when they easily defeated Coagh Untied 3-0, thanks to goals from Moffatt (2) and Adair.

Ards had the most comfortable win of the day in beating Lurgan Celtic 4-0, with veteran striker Justin McBride helping himself to a goal.

Title chasing Bangor came out on top in a seven-goal thriller at strugglers Portstewart, while Dundela had a hard fought 1-0 success at Ballyclare Comrades.

Carrick Rangers played out a scoreless draw with Harland & Wolff Welders, while two goals from David Irwin helped Banbridge Town win 2-1 at Tobermore United.

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