2017–18 Irish Cup

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2017–18 Irish Cup
Country Northern Ireland
ChampionsColeraine
Runners-upCliftonville

The 2017–18 Irish Cup (known as the Tennent's Irish Cup for sponsorship purposes) was the 138th edition of the premier knock-out cup competition in Northern Irish football since its introduction in 1881. The competition began on 19 August 2017 and concluded with the final at Windsor Park in May 2018.

Linfield are the defending champions, having defeated Coleraine 3-0 in the 2017 final.

A new system for penalty shoot-outs will be trialled as sanctioned by the International Football Association Board to test a different sequence of taking penalties. Known as "ABBA", it mirrors the serving sequence in a tennis tie-break i.e. team A takes the first penalty, team B takes the second penalty, team B takes the third penalty, etc.[1][2]

Format and schedule[edit]

All ties level after 90 minutes used extra time to determine the winner, with a penalty shoot-out to follow if necessary.

130 clubs entered this season's competition, an increase of four clubs compared with the 2016–17 total of 126 clubs. 94 regional league clubs from tiers 4–7 in the Northern Ireland football league system entered the competition in the first round, 12 of whom received a bye into the Round 2A. (Strabane Athletic were originally excluded, but were reinstated after the first-round draw had been made, necessitating a further draw for 'Round 2A' between Strabane and the eleven clubs that had received a first-round bye, with one tie drawn and ten further byes.[3][4]). The 41 first-round winners were joined by winner and the ten byes from Round 2A and the 12 clubs of the NIFL Premier Intermediate League in the second round. After two further rounds, with the eight surviving clubs joining the 24 senior NIFL Premiership and NIFL Championship clubs in the fifth round. All ties level after 90 minutes used extra time to determine the winner, with a penalty shoot-out to follow if necessary.

Results[edit]

First round[edit]

Matches were played on 19 August 2017[5]

Round 2A[edit]

Strabane Athletic were originally excluded from the competition, but were reinstated after the first-round draw had been made, necessitating a 'Round 2A' involving Strabane and the eleven clubs that had received first-round byes. One tie drawn was drawn and the following ten teams received further byes: Albert Foundry, Ballywalter Rec., Brantwood, Cookstown Youth, Desertmartin, Mossley, Newcastle, Strabane Athletic, UUJ and Wellington Rec.[5]

Match played on 23 September 2017

Second round[edit]

The twelve members of the NIFL Premier Intermediate League join the competition at this stage as well as the first-round winners, and the winners and byes from Round 2A.

Matches were played on 30 September 2017

Third round[edit]

Matches were played on 4 November 2017

Fourth round[edit]

Matches were played on 2 December 2017

Fifth round[edit]

Matches were played on 6 January 2018

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Knockbreda 0–2 Institute
Queen's University 0–1 Dundela
Lurgan Celtic 1–2 Glentoran
Larne 3–0 Dergview
Carrick Rangers 1–3 (a.e.t.) Glenavon
Coleraine 7–0 Lisburn Distillery
Crusaders 2–0 Maiden City
Ballinamallard United 4–2 Immaculata
Cliftonville 4–3 (a.e.t.) Warrenpoint Town
Loughgall 4–1 PSNI
Ballymena United 4–0 Moyola Park
Newry City 2–0 Harland & Wolff Welders
Portadown 1–2 (a.e.t.) Ballyclare Comrades
Ards 4–1 Crumlin Star
Linfield 5–0 Glebe Rangers
Dungannon Swifts 4–0 Limavady United

Sixth round[edit]

Matches were played on 3 February 2018

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Linfield (1) 1–0 Newry City (2)
Cliftonville (1) 4–1 Crusaders (1)
Loughgall (2) 2–1 Ards (1)
Ballyclare Comrades (2) 0–4 Glentoran (1)
Coleraine (1) 4–0 Institute (2)
Ballymena United (1) 2–2 (a.e.t.)
(4–3 p)
Ballinamallard United (1)
Larne (2) 6–1 Dundela (3)
Glenavon (1) 3–0 Dungannon Swifts (1)

Quarter Finals[edit]

Matches were due to be played on 3 March 2018 but only the Glenavon/Loughgall fixture was completed on this date. The three remaining fixtures were played on 13 March 2018.

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Ballymena United (1) 1–2 Larne (2)
Coleraine (1) 1–0 Glentoran (1)
Glenavon (1) 1–2 Loughgall (2)
Linfield (1) 0–1 Cliftonville (1)

Semi Finals[edit]

Matches were played on 31 March 2018. Cliftonville played Loughgall at the Oval, and Coleraine played Larne at Ballymena Showgrounds.

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Cliftonville (1) 4–1 Loughgall (2)
Coleraine (1) 3–1 Larne (2)

Final[edit]

The final was played on 5 May 2018 at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Cliftonville (1) 1–3 Coleraine (1)

References[edit]

External links[edit]