Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Millpark minnows handed huge tie against Cup holders

Millpark pulled out the plum draw in the NCU Challenge Cup last night when they were paired with holders North Down in the second round of the 2011 competition.

The David v Goliath clash was something the Co Armagh side could not even have dreamed off two years ago when they were in the bottom section of the Senior League.

Since then a second place finish in 2009 earned them promotion to Section Two and last season they stunned the league with another runners-up finish, behind Donacloney, to win back-to-back promotions and a place in this year’s Challenge Cup.

And, in their first ever appearance alongside the big boys, the luck of the draw was with them all the way as they received a bye in the first round and then, in match seven of round two, they were first out of the hat against the team that has played in nine of the last 11 cup finals and won seven of them. It promises to Millpark's biggest ever day at Banford Green.

Of the other ties pencilled in for the last Saturday in May, last year’s beaten finalists CIYMS start out away to Ballymena, one of three all Premier League ties, the pick of which is Instonians’ home clash with Lisburn, The other game is at Middle Road where Carrickfergus host newly promoted Bangor.

The date of the final, to played at Wallace Park, is Friday July 29.

In the Junior Cup, Academy begin their quest for a fourth successive success, as they did last year, with a trip to Larne.

NCU Challenge Cup second round draw: Carrickfergus v Bangor, Civil Service North v Downpatrick, Lurgan or Holywood v Donacloney or Woodvale, Ballymena v CIYMS, Instonians v Lisburn, Waringstown v Derriaghy or Dundrum, Millpark v North Down, Muckamore v Cliftonville or Saintfield. Games to be played on Saturday May 28.

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