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Irish Cup fourth round: Welders avoid the list of upsets with win over Dollingstown

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Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

Brian Little

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Action from Harland & Wolff Welders v Dollingstown, December 6

On a day when Ards Rangers, Brantwood, Crumlin Star and Derriaghy CC made the headlines, Steel & Sons Cup finalists Harland & Wolff Welders made sure they weren't on the wrong end of an Irish Cup upset.

Two second half goals from Michael McLellan and Chris Middleton gave the Welders a 2-0 win over Championship Two new boys Dollingstown at Tillysburn. Gary Smyth's men could be forgiven for being a little tired. His side gave their all in Monday night's 6-1 Steel & Sons semi-final victory over Sport & Leisure Swifts, to set up a Christmas morning final with Carrick Rangers.

Manager Smyth was delighted with the 2-0 win over Gary Duke's men, but he's also looking forward to the Christmas morning cup final.

“The Steel & Sons Cup is a massive competition for us. Realistically, it would take something extra special for a Championship team to win one of the Irish Cup, the League Cup or the County Antrim Shield. In the entire history of the Irish Cup, I believe Dundela in the 50s and Carrick in the 70s are the only two teams from outside the top flight to win it. That tells you something.

“With that in mind, this is our best chance of winning a cup. It's also a competition with a lot prestige. The Christmas Day final is a great occasion and that's something the club want to be part of.

“When the Welders won it, the final was played in early January and there wasn't a great crowd at it. It would mean a lot to the committee to win it on Christmas Day.”

Smyth's no stranger to Irish Cup success either. He won the trophy four times; twice with Glentoran, once with Glenavon and once with Crusaders.

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Fellow Steel finalists Carrick Rangers also booked their place in the fifth round, with a comfortable 4-1 win over Albert Foundry. Ben Roy scored twice with Miguel Chines and Graeme Arthur also on target.

Championship One leaders Bangor continued their extraordinary run with a 2-1 win over Championship Two leaders Lurgan Celtic. Andy Hall and Ethan Boylan got the goals for the County Antrim Shield finalists.

Bangor's rivals Ards ended their four-game stretch without a win, by beating Banbridge Town 4-1 at Crystal Park. Ross Arthurs, Josh Cahoon, Craig McMillen and James Cully scored for the Red and Blues.

There were three all-Championship One ties on Saturday afternoon. A Paul Maguire goal gave Larne a hard-fought win over Dergview at Darragh Park, while the PSNI beat Knockbreda 2-1 thanks to goals from Joe McWilliams and Mark Anderson. In an enthralling encounter, Ballyclare Comrades beat Donegal Celtic 3-2 in extra-time at Celtic Park with manager Eddie Hill grabbing the winner.

Armagh City knocked out Ards and took Glentoran to a replay last season. They started this year's campaign with a 3-0 win over Shankill United, with Stephen Murray getting the goals. Elsewhere, Dundela beat Ballymoney United 4-1, while Loughgall beat Tandragee Rovers 6-2.

The only Championship One club to lose to a side from outside their own division was 12-times Irish Cup winners Distillery. The Whites lost 1-0 to Crumlin Star at New Grosvenor, with PJ O'Neill grabbing the winner for the Amateur League outfit.

That wasn't the only shock of the fourth round. Amateur League leaders Ards Rangers came back from two goals down to hammer Championship Two club Sport & Leisure Swifts 6-2. Glen Upton hit a hat-trick, Tony Tumelty got a brace and Ricky Rutherford got the other.

The Amateur League Premier Division scored another success over Championship Two, when Derriaghy CC beat Wakehurst 3-2. Ballymena & Provincial League side Brantwood also caused a shock, beating Championship Two strugglers Coagh United 2-0 at Hagan Park.

They won't be the only Ballymena League side in the fifth round. Newtowne beat Crumlin United 4-1.

It wasn't all bad news for Championship Two clubs. Portstewart beat Newry City 2-1 and Annagh United beat 1st Bangor 3-0, while Moyola Park and Tobermore United all reached the fifth round.

There will be no great cup run for Peter Thompson's Queen's University this year. Last season's semi-finalists lost 3-2 to fellow Belfast club Newington YC, at Dub Lane.


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