Setanta Sports will screen the Setanta Sports Cup Quarter-Final First Leg tie between Shamrock Rovers and Linfield at Tallaght Stadium on Monday night 7.30, March 4.
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The game is one of three Quarter-Final first leg ties tonight as Sligo Rovers and Derry City join Linfield in making their first appearances in this season’s competition. There is also one second leg tie as Crusaders host Cork City in a match that has been re-arranged to facilitate Cork City’s trip to Limerick on Sunday, March 10, in the Airtricity League Premier Division.
The second legs of the other three quarter-finals are scheduled for Monday, March 11, when the draw for the semi-finals will take place.
Sligo Rovers v Glentoran, Showgrounds, Sligo, 7.45pm.
Last year was a fairytale one for Sligo Rovers as they bridged a 35 year gap to lift the Airtricity League Premier Division and while there have been a few personnel changes at The Showgrounds over the close-season most observers believe manager Ian Baraclough has actually strengthened his squad. This is their first competitive outing of the season and they will get a stern test from a Glentoran side that edged past St Patrick’s Athletic in the last round thanks to a piece of individual magic from winger Martin Murray. They beat Knockbreda on Saturday to reach the semi-finals of the Irish Cup so they’ll head to The Showgrounds with plenty of confidence.
Referee: R.Crangle. Assistants: G Eakin, M Adamson. Fourth Official: R Matthews.
Derry City v Drogheda United, Brandywell Stadium, 7.45pm.
These two dominated the cups south of the border last season with Derry winning the FAI Ford Cup and Drogheda taking the EA SPORTS Cup so the ingredients are there for a couple of rip-roaring legs. Drogheda were the surprise packets in last season’s Airtricity league where they also finished runners-up in the Premier Division and they served noticed with their comprehensive 8-2 aggregate win over Portadown in the First Round that they don’t intend to be one-season wonders. Derry were beaten on penalties by Crusaders in last year’s Setanta Sports Cup Final so they’ll be keen to go one better this season.
Referee: R Hetherington. Assistants: J McElholm, G McDaid. Fourth Official: M Courtney
Shamrock Rovers v Linfield, Tallaght Stadium, Dublin, 7.30pm. Live on Setanta Sports.
This is the first meeting of these two giants in the Setanta Sports Cup so it’s not surprising that Setanta Sports have chosen it has their live game. Both these clubs won the competition at the first attempt with Linfield winning the inaugural tournament in 2005 and Rovers taking the title in 2011.
Incidentally, when the sides met in the 1984-85 European Cup, Linfield’s crucial awaygoal was scored by current manager David Jeffrey. While Jeffrey has been in charge at Windsor Park for 16 years, his opposite number Trevor Croly is only taking charge of his third competitive game but he will have been heartened by his side’s 2-0 victory away to Coleraine last time out which gave them a 2-1 aggregate win.
Referee: N Doyle. Assistants: A Lynch, M Gavin. Fourth Official: D McKeon.
Crusaders v Cork City, Seaview, Belfast, 7.45pm
Danny Morrissey’s late winner and a clean sheet last Tuesday in Turner’s Cross gives Cork City something to hang on to when they travel to Belfast for the second leg of their quarter-final tie against Crusaders. The Rebels managed a 2-2 draw with Cliftonville on their last visit to Belfast two weeks ago and will happily settle for that again but the holders were missing six players through suspension for the First Leg so Stephen Baxter will have a better hand to play with this time around in addition to home advantage. Crusaders were held to a 1-1 draw in the Irish Cup by Lisburn Distillery on Saturday and know only a two-goal win will do on Monday.
Referee: D Malcolm. Assistants: S Campbell, T McKnight. Fourth Official: A Black.