The draw for the opening round of this year’s Powerade Towns’ Cup has thrown up a tantalising derby clash, writes John Gillespie.
Carrick will host neighbours Ballyclare in what’s sure to be a huge New Year battle at Tom Simms Memorial Park.
Earlier this month, the White Hare men came close to landing a second successive Junior Cup final appearance, but they were edged out at home by Qualifying 2 high-flyers Omagh Accies.
Robert Boyd’s men will be keen to avoid a similar result when they meet a Carrick outfit who will be gunning for victory to kick off their 150th anniversary year in style.
Ballyclare shared the Towns’ Cup with City of Derry II in 2013, but you have to go back to 1992 for Carrick’s last appearance in the final. They won the trophy that day on a 9-3 scoreline. Their opponents? Ballyclare.
So, the January 3 showdown promises to be an interesting encounter for fans of both clubs.
Before that, it’s league action for Warren McClean’s men as they welcome Coleraine in Qualifying 2 on Saturday. Ballyclare have no game. Their next match is the visit of Portadown on December 20.
Towns’ Cup draw: Armagh II v Omagh; Carrick v Ballyclare; Coleraine v Ballymoney; Dungannon II v Ballymena II; Enniskillen v Randalstown; Holywood v Lisburn; Lurgan v Larne; Portadown v Limavady; Rainey OB v Dromore.