Reds get hot draw against St Pat’s
Cliftonville’s clash with St Patrick’s Athletic is the pick of the Setanta Sports Cup first-round games after the draw was made at Lansdowne Road yesterday.
Liam Buckley will take charge of the Saints for the first time since being re-appointed in the game at Solitude against the Reds who sit third in the Carling Premiership.
Pat’s are hotly fancied this season after a complete overhaul of their squad during the winter break.
The sides met last year with Cliftonville going through 3-2 on aggregate.
Bohemians face a rematch with Portadown — who knocked them out of last year's competition — with the first leg at Dalymount, while newcomers Bray Wanderers host Glentoran.
For the Glens it will be an opportunity to salvage some pride in a season which has failed to produce a trophy and seen Scott Young quit the hotseat.
Derry City will take on Lisburn Distillery.
The first legs of the first-round games take place on February 13, with the returns on February 20.
Irish League leaders Linfield, winners in 2005, Crusaders, holders Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers are all seeded and come into the competition at the quarter-final stage.
The Blues had threatened to withdraw from the all-Ireland competition but the club’s fans informed the board that there is still an appetite for the tournament.
David Jeffrey’s side have often had to cope with stringent security measures when travelling to and from matches.
Setanta, who are committed to the competition until the end of next season, have maintained last year's sponsorship rates with the winners receiving €50,000 (£41,715) and the runners-up €30,000 (£25,029).
The overall prizepot is €180,000 (£150,175).