BETMcLEAN LEAGUE CUP: SECOND ROUND PREVIEW

The top-flight teams enter the BetMcLean League Cup tonight, as they start the quest for silverware. We preview the second round fixtures.

Holders Dungannon Swifts start the defence of the BetMcLean League Cup against Championship side Limavady United at Stangmore Park tonight, just over six months after lifting the trophy for the first time in their history. Last year’s beaten finalists, Ballymena United, start against Dollingstown at Dixon Park.

The game of the night could well be at The Oval as Ronnie McFall’s Glentoran are the first top-flight opponents of the season to go up against Tiernan Lynch’s new look Larne side. The Inver Park side have enjoyed an unbeaten start to life in the Championship this season

Premiership leaders Linfield are also at home to Moyola Park, whilst Cliftonville look to start another successful chapter of the League Cup history at Solitude against Lisburn Distillery. Gibson Cup holders Crusaders take on PSNI at Seaview.

Oran Kearney’s Coleraine face tricky home tie to Championship side Ballyclare Comrades. In some of the other seeded Premiership teams going up against second tier opposition; Glenavon welcome Peter Allen’s Dergview to Mourneview Park, Institute face Loughgall at the Brandywell and Newry City will play Knockbreda.

The only Premiership side without home advantage is Stephen McDonnell’s Warrenpoint Town, who are the only top flight side currently with no points on the board – they travel to third tier Annagh United. The Portadown based side managed by Ciaran McGurgan boast a number of players with Irish League experience, including Michael Gault as captain – they be looking to repeat their giant-killing from 2016 when they knocked out Glentoran at the same venue.

In the other second round games, Ards play Newington, Ballinamallard United host Lurgan Celtic, Carrick Rangers welcome Sport & Leisure Swifts and Portadown face Tobermore United, whilst H&W Welders take on Portstewart in an earlier 6.15pm kickoff owing to neither side having floodlights available.

BetMcLean League Second Round (all games kick-off: 7.45pm unless stated)
Annagh United v Warrenpoint Town
Ards v Newington YC
Ballinamallard United v Lurgan Celtic
Ballymena United v Dollingstown (match played at Dixon Park, Ballyclare)
Carrick Rangers v Sport & Leisure Swifts
Cliftonville v Lisburn Distillery
Coleraine v Ballyclare Comrades
Crusaders v PSNI
Dungannon Swifts v Limavady United
Glenavon v Dergview
Glentoran v Larne
HW Welders v Portstewart (kick-off: 6.15pm)
Institute v Loughgall
Linfield v Moyola Park
Newry City v Knockbreda
Portadown v Tobermore United (kick-off: 8pm)