AMATEUR LEAGUE: Weekend preview

Stephen Smyth on the ball for Barn United against Orangefield OB at Hasslett Park last weekend. INNT 40-536-SO
Stephen Smyth on the ball for Barn United against Orangefield OB at Hasslett Park last weekend. INNT 40-536-SO

It’s the last 16 of the Border Regiment Cup this weekend and East Antrim’s remaining sides, Nortel and Barn United, both face tricky assignments.

Barn may still looking for their first win in Division 1A, but they have taken the Premier Division scalps of Malachians and Crumlin United in the Border. This time, however, they don’t have home comfort as they travel to Ards Rangers.

Nortel are on their own patch against Premier table-toppers Downpatrick. Striker Adam Irwin is still suspended, but back in the frame could be Davy Freyne, Mark Wilkinson, Adam Richmond and William Bingham. The club have also brought in Stephen Coppen as second-team manager.

“He’s bringing in some players from his old club, Rathcoole, which will bring greater competition for places,” said first-team boss, Lee McCartney.

Elsewhere, there’s a 1B derby as Rathfern Rangers host second-placed Wellington Rec. Rathfern have lost four away on the spin, but are unbeaten at The Diamond. Rangers will feel they should have come away with something at Millbrook back in August when Rec came from 2-4 down to win 5-4. Wellington could be missing a few with Stuart Hilditch unavailable and suspensions looming for Michael Moore and Scott Cowie. Craig Cowie, Dean Shaw and Andy Waide all sat out Saturday through injury.

Sunday’s Northern Ireland match in Finland could take its toll on Mossley’s squad, who are away to second-bottom Holywood. “It will be like their cup final,” said boss, Garry Campbell. “They’ll be doing everything to break our 100 per cent league record!”

Larne Tech entertain Lisburn Rangers. Manager Johnny Hastings said: “Paul Kirk’s teams are always well organised and they have two of the better players around in midfielders Davy Graham and Peter McCann.”