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IRN-BRU’s Zara Shaw is aboard the IRN-BRU Bus along with the players and managers the launch of the 2012/13 IRN-BRU League Cup (Picture: William Cherry/Press Eye)


THE IRN-BRU League Cup 2012/13 competition launched today, with the draw for Rounds 1 and 2 throwing up some exciting ties.

The Championship clubs entered the draw in Round 1 with 10 sides receiving byes into Round 2, whilst the remaining 20 teams battle it out for a chance to play the Premiership clubs in the next round. Loughgall face Lurgan Celtic in what is potentially the tie of the round, with Knockbreda welcoming Warrenpoint Town to East Belfast. Ballyclare Comrades, who came within seconds of knocking Linfield out of last season's competition, face a trip to Dergview.

The draw for Round 2 was seeded with the Premiership clubs and the top four finishers in last season's Championship avoiding each other.  Holders Crusaders begin the defence of their trophy with a home tie against the winner of the Glebe Rangers v Larne Round 1 match, whilst last season's runners-up, Coleraine, have a local derby ahead of them with a trip to Ballymoney United.  The winner of the Ards v Annagh United Round 1 tie have a home game against Linfield to look forward to, and Glentoran await the winners of the PSNI v Chimney Corner Round 1 match.

Head of Marketing at AG Barr, Adrian Troy said "This is the second year of the IRN-BRU League Cup sponsorship and we are delighted to be supporting football in Northern Ireland. Last year's competition was exciting, dramatic and packed with goals. This year we will again be recognising some great goals with our ‘Ginger Boot' award and we will highlight outstanding performance in each round with our ‘IRN Man' award. We look forward to another phenomenal season of football."

Chairman of the Premiership Committee, Aubry Ralph said: "Last season was a brilliant introduction into domestic football in Northern Ireland for IRN-BRU with their sponsorship of the League Cup, and I have no doubt that this season will be another success.  Their unique approach to promoting the competition has been a breath of fresh air and I am sure that this season will be no different."

Fixtures and Dates:

Round 1 - 14 August 2012 (745pm kick-off)
1.     Banbridge Town v.Queen's University
2.     Moyola Park v. Tobermore United
3.     Sport & Leisure Swifts v. Wakehurst
4.     Ards v. Annagh United
5.     Loughgall v. Lurgan Celtic
6.     Portstewart v. HW Welders
7.     PSNI v. Chimney Corner
8.     Knockbreda v. Warrenpoint Town
9.     Dergview v. Ballyclare Comrades
10.   Glebe Rangers v. Larne

Byes: Carrick Rangers, Newry City, Bangor, Institute, Killymoon Rangers, Armagh City, Dundela, Banbridge Town, Sport & Leisure Swifts, Ballymoney United

Round 2 - 27 August 2012 (745pm kick-off)
1.     Crusaders v. Glebe Rangers or Larne
2.     Killymoon Rangers v. Carrick Rangers
3.     Ards or Annagh United v. Linfield
4.     Glentoran v. PSNI or Chimney Corner
5.     Dergview or Ballyclare Comrades v. Newry City
6.     Ballymena United v. Loughgall or Lurgan Celtic
7.     Cliftonville v. Moyola Park or Tobermore United
8.     Portstewart or HW Welders v. Donegal Celtic
9.     Knockbreda or Warrenpoint Town v. Ballinamallard United
10.   Bangor v. Armagh City
11.   Dundela v. Portadown
12.   Banbridge Town  or Queen's University v. Institute
13.   Limavady United v. Lisburn Distillery
14.   Sport & Leisure Swifts or Wakehurst v. Glenavon
15.   Ballymoney United v. Coleraine
16.   Dungannon Swifts v. Coagh United