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Cliftonville Shield defence set to start against Comrades

By Stuart McKinley

County Antrim Shield holders Cliftonville will be hoping that history repeats itself after being drawn to face Championship 1 side Ballyclare Comrades in the first round of this season's competition.

The Reds also met the Comrades on their way to lifting the trophy last season and they will head to Dixon Park this time around on Tuesday, September 22.

The six Premiership teams in the competition all face intermediate opponents, with Newington of the Amateur League, the lowest ranked team in the draw, being handed a trip to Linfield.

Bangor, who shocked both Glentoran and Crusaders on the way to last year's final, will host last season's Championship promotion rivals Carrick Rangers.

There are two local derbies in the offing, with Glentoran facing H&W Welders, while Ballymena United will meet Glebe Rangers, who are from just up the road in Ballymoney.

Premiership champions Crusaders will make the trip to Donegal Celtic.

COUNTY ANTRIM SHIELD FIRST ROUND: Ards v PSNI, Ballyclare Comrades v Cliftonville, Ballymena United v Glebe Rangers, Bangor v Carrick Rangers, Donegal Celtic v Crusaders, Glentoran v H&W Welders, Larne v Sport and Leisure Swifts, Linfield v Newington. (Ties to be played on either Tuesday September 22 or Wednesday September 23)

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