It’s a big weekend in local rugby as the Towns Cup Quarter Finals take place on Saturday afternoon and it pitches Championship 1 against Championship 2 teams in three of the fixtures.
After the big crowd at the league match between Ballyclare and Instonians last weekend lets hope a few more folk get out and about and support their local clubs for what should be a series of entertaining games.
The Towns Cup Quarter Finals are as follows:
|Clogher Valley||v||City of Armagh II|
All matches kick off at 2:30 Saturday 24th February 2018
Ballyclare v Limavady
Everything points to a comfortable win for Ballyclare who will be feeling pretty happy with themselves after their big win against Instonians last weekend. They certainly have the power up front in their Ricky Lutton led pack and in Robert Smith they have an out half that can control the game.
However, after a slow and shaky start to their season, Limavady have hit a rich vein of form in the New Year and it seems to have been sparked by their cup win against Banbridge II in the first round. They go into this match on the back of five wins and they’ll be keen to give it a go.
Unfortunately for the Roe siders, this is likely to be just too tough a challenge. Ballyclare will want to keep the momentum going on all fronts for what could be a memorable season for the East Antrim outfit.
Carrick v Randalstown
This match also pitches Championship 2 against Championship 1 and though Randalstown’s league season has lost a bit of momentum they will be keen to have a go at another Championship 1 side having disposed of Coleraine in the last round.
Carrick’s league campaign has also slowed of late and they look destined for a mid table finish. However, they won’t like the spotlight being on Ballyclare at the minute and they will be keen to progress in this competition with the hope they can get another bash at their local rivals. I expect it’ll be Carrick in the next round.
Clogher Valley v City of Armagh II
City of Armagh II’s became favourites for the Towns Cup after their second round win against Ballynahinch II’s and a comprehensive win it was at that!
With only two wins in the bag, in a disappointing league campaign, it would appear unlikely that Clogher will put up much resistance – until you see that big win against Dromore in the last round. That was a big result.
However, Armagh II’s will still be smarting from their Junior Cup Final loss and they’ll be keen to match their 1st XV in silverware this season so expect the Orchard County side to progress with something to spare.
Portadown v Ards
The final Championship 1 v Championship 2 match is perhaps the most difficult to predict.
Ards seem capable of punching above their weight in the cup and have impressive wins against Omagh II and Ballymoney behind them. While both those games were at home they can still travel to Portadown with a degree of confidence.
Portadown won’t be happy with their league standing but their home form has been impressive of late, with four from four in the New Year, and that will probably be enough to see them through.