TENNENTS IRISH CUP: Linfield to face Ballymena in fifth round draw

Glentoran star Michael Halliday and Portadown great Brian Strain made the draw for the fifth round of the Irish Cup, which is being sponsored by Tennent's over the next five years. Flanking them are Irish FA President Jim Shaw and Rod McCrory from Tennent's NI.
Glentoran star Michael Halliday and Portadown great Brian Strain made the draw for the fifth round of the Irish Cup, which is being sponsored by Tennent's over the next five years. Flanking them are Irish FA President Jim Shaw and Rod McCrory from Tennent's NI.

The Irish Cup, local football’s flagship knock-out competition, has a new backer. The iconic annual celebration of football which was first launched in 1881, and is now the fourth-oldest national cup competition in the world, has won the sponsorship of another iconic name, Tennent’s Lager.

The agreement marks a further extension of the partnership between the Irish Football Association and leading Northern Ireland drinks company, Tennent’s NI.

Tennent’s Lager is already the Northern Ireland team’s official beer partner and recently secured a five-year contract to supply draught beers and ciders at the new National Football Stadium for Northern Ireland at Windsor Park.

The new official sponsor was formally introduced at the Round Five draw for what will now be known as the Tennent’s Irish Cup. Delighted to have this opportunity to further support local football across Northern Ireland, Brian Beattie, Marketing Director at Tennent’s NI, said, “This new five-year partnership reinforces our brand’s commitment to football - and its many fans - at both local and international level.

“It’s a refreshing and exciting opportunity for Tennent’s Lager to engage with the sport right across Northern Ireland and show our long-standing and loyal consumers that we share their passion. Football is, famously, one of the most sociable of team sports so it’s a natural link for Tennent’s Lager which has always been at the heart of sporting and community sociability in Northern Ireland.

“With Round 5 matches of the Tennent’s Irish Cup taking place on Saturday 9th January, this will be a great start to 2016 – another great year for football in Northern Ireland!”

Welcoming the new sponsor of the Irish Cup, Jim Shaw, IFA President, added; “I am delighted that the Irish Cup has a new sponsor, especially a brand as prestigious as Tennent’s Lager. The Tennent’s Irish Cup is the centrepiece of our local game and with this new partnership I look forward to seeing the competition go from strength to strength in the coming seasons.”

The draw was conducted by two-time winners Michael Halliday and Brian Strain.

There are three all-premiership ties with Linfield hosting Ballymena United, Warrenpoint travelling to Dungannon Swifts and Coleraine taking on Ballinamallard.

Holders, Glentoran, will play Ards, while last season’s beaten finalists, Portadown, have a home tie against Wakehurst.

Irish Cup Fifth-Round draw

Glentoran v Ards

H&W v Glenavon

Linfield v Ballymena United

Armagh City v Portstewart or Moyola Park

Immaculata v Cliftonville (at Solitude)

Dergview or Sport & Leisure Swifts v Institute or Newtowne

Dungannon Swifts v Warrenpoint Town

Lisburn Distillery or Knockbreda v Annagh United

Portadown v Wakehurst

Crumlin Star v Oxford United Stars

Tobermore United v PSNI

Loughgall v Larne or Limavady United

Coleraine v Ballinamallard United

Lurgan Celtic v Bangor or Coagh United

Banbridge Town v Carrick Rangers

Abbey Villa or Rathfriland Rangers v Crusaders (at Seavew)