Ardee Celtic and Square United have both been handed ties against lower league opposition in the next round of the Tully Bookmakers Challenge Cup – with Celtic looking in particular looking to continue their eye-catching cup exploits in 2017/18.
Conor Lynch’s Premier Division outfit will face Division 2’s Virginia Celtic at Townspark in the second round of the competition while Square United have also been handed a third tier opponent. They will play Dundalk’s Redeemer Celtic in round two.
Ardee Celtic sealed their place in round two of the competition with an 8-1 win over Kells-Blackwater last month. The Font were unceremoniously dumped out of the cup by Navan Comsos last season, losing 7-0 in Navan at the start of the year. This year though, they look far more equipped to mount a serious challenge.
So far this term, they are unbeaten in seven cup outings across four competitions – winning six of those games and scoring 28 goals in the process. Virginia have won just two of their 10 games in the NEFL Division 2 this year.
Square had a much less straightforward job in securing their place in round two of the Challenge Cup. They required extra time to see off BMC United 5-3 in Thomastown last month, despite playing 70 minutes with ten men. Mark Quinn was sent off but two goals from Darren MacNeill as well as strikes from Aaron Kerley and Paudy Clarke and Jamie Rooney secured progress for United.
They have been handed a tricky away assignment against in-form Redeemer, who sit in fourth place in the league – four points off the summit with a game in hand. This is the Dundalk sides’ first Challenge Cup outing of the year after they received a bye past the first round.
Celtic and Square met in an Ardee Derby in the last 16 of the Challenge Cup in February 2016, with Ardee Celtic running out 4-2 winners over their rivals courtesy of a James McMullen hat-trick. Brian Corcoran hit Square’s goals.
In the draw for the Brady’s SEAT Reserve Cup, Square United reserves will travel to play OMP United reserves. Ardee Celtic’s second and third team will play OMP United’s thirds and Donacarney Celtic respectively.
Meanwhile, Ardee Celtic have found who they will face in round five of the FAI Junior Cup, should they beat Collinstown this Friday night. The Deesiders will travel to play Clonmel Town should they win their next encounter.