THE eagerly-anticipated Irish Cup tie between rivals Dergview and Ballinamallard United would appear to be back on.
Yesterday (Wednesday) the Irish Football Association confirmed that their domestic flagship competition had been granted elite status by the Northern Ireland Executive as part of a relaxation of lockdown measures announced on Tuesday.
That essentially means the competition will kick-off on April 27 with the showpiece final pencilled in for May 21.
In a statement the IFA confirmed that everything, including testing, was in place to complete the 2021 tournament.
“Protocols have been drawn up to ensure the Irish Cup can take place safely with all arrangements subject to change depending on any further government guidance,” the statement read.
“The competition has been designated as ‘elite’ and, as such, participating clubs will be afforded elite status for the period of time they remain in the competition. Clubs will be permitted to commence full training under elite protocols from 31 March which will include testing for players and coaching staff.
Ballinamallard announced earlier this month their desire to take part providing they had sufficient time to prepare. Dergview hadn’t officially confirmed their participation but following yesterday’s confirmation by the IFA a source within the club said it was “game on.”
Ties involving Premiership clubs will be played on Tuesday, April 27 but the Ducks versus Derg clash is likely to be played at Ferney Park on Saturday, May 1.
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