The BetMcLean Cup is back! The road to the Final starts now with the draw for the First Round of the 2023/24 competition.
In the biggest game of last season over 11,000 fans packed into the National Stadium at Windsor Park in March to witness Linfield overcome Coleraine in the BetMcLean Cup Final.
For some clubs, the road to this year’s final has already begun - with six teams progressing through the preliminary round of the competition last month.
The seeded Round One draw seen the current twelve Premiership clubs and the top four ranked Championship clubs from last season take their place in the seeded pot, with the remaining Championship clubs (x8), Preliminary Round winners (x6) and two Premier Intermediate League clubs that received a BYE in the unseeded pot.
A further draw was determined for each fixture to determine the home club, however, any clubs without floodlights were automatically drawn away from home.
The draw was conducted today (Monday 4 September) at the Mervyn Brown Suite at the National Football Stadium, by Paul McLean (BetMcLean), Colin Kennedy (NIFL Chairman) and Sophie Glendinning (NIFL Competitions and Operations Lead).
In the pick of the ties, Premier Intermediate League club Dollingstown will welcome Glentoran to Planter’s Park whilst holders Linfield have been drawn a home tie against Queen’s University.
Current championship leaders Newington make the trip to 2018 winners Dungannon Swifts and there is also a first round battle between two previous winners of the Cup, as 2017 champions Ballymena United host Lisburn Distillery, who lifted the League Cup back in 2011.
Ties will be played on Tuesday 3 October 2023, with matches played to a finish.
Full Round One Draw
Ties to be played on Tuesday 3 October 2023
Loughgall v Ballyclare Comrades
Cliftonville v Institute
Annagh United v Portstewart
Limavady United v Dundela
Carrick Rangers v Moyola Park
Coleraine v Bangor
HW Welders v Newry City
Ballinamallard United v Ards
Glenavon v Dergview
Warrenpoint Town v Crusaders
Ballymena United v Lisburn Distillery
Larne v Knockbreda
Portadown v Coagh United
Dungannon Swifts v Newington
Linfield v Queen’s University
Dollingstown v Glentoran