Belfast Telegraph

Lower league sides dreaming of emulating '76 Carrick heroes

 

By Keith Bailie

It's been 42 years since a team from outside the top division of Irish League football reached the final of the Irish Cup.

Back in 1976, Carrick Rangers rocked the local game by defeating Linfield in arguably the most famous Irish Cup final of all time.

This year, 20 non-Premiership clubs will start today's fifth round dreaming of following in their footsteps. We are guaranteed at least six lower league sides in this evening's draw, with six ties not featuring a Premiership club.

Queen's University and their manager Peter Thompson have fond memories of the Irish Cup. In 2014, the Students reached the semi-finals before losing to Ballymena. Tomorrow, they welcome fellow Premier Intermediate League side Dundela to The Dub.

There are five all-Championship ties today. At Lakeview, Loughgall will give former Glenavon and Portadown man Gary Liggett a debut against the PSNI.

At the Newry Showgrounds, Newry City face Harland & Wolff Welders while at Breda Park, Jeff Montgomery's Knockbreda host Paddy McLaughlin's Institute.

With his focus on winning the Championship, McLaughlin has promised to make a few changes.

"I'm not going up there with a weakened team, but it does give us the opportunity to give certain players some minutes," he said.

Elsewhere, Ballyclare Comrades host Niall Currie's in-form Portadown and Larne welcome Richard Clarke's Dergview to Inver Park.

Belfast Telegraph

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