Chal­lenge Cup week­end

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - READER TRAVEL - John McNaught

The South’s most pres­ti­gious cup com­pe­ti­tion, the Chal­lenge Cup, en­ters the sec­ond round this week­end.

The first of the ties will be played on Fri­day evening when New­ton Ste­wart play hosts to a young Queen of the South side.

This match could well be a very even af­fair that will un­doubtably pro­duce more than a few goals and should be a good match for the spec­ta­tors.

There are a fur­ther five ties be­ing played on Satur­day with the pick of the bunch be­ing in Dum­fries where Lochar This­tle and St Cuth­bert Wan­der­ers lock horns for another match that looks very evenly bal­anced.

Saints’ re­cent form has been im­pres­sive while Lochar are en­joy­ing a very good sea­son and both are now se­ri­ous chal­lengers for this sea­son’s league ti­tle. This tie could well go to ex­tra time to find a win­ner.

Edus­port Academy and Bon­ny­ton This­tle meet at Gal­a­bank when the home side will start as favourites to progress while the same could be said for Mid An­nan­dale who play hosts to Stran­raer at Locker­bie.

Abbey Vale travel to Mof­fat to play Up­per An­nan­dale and on present form should make it through to round three but Up­pers are more than a match for most teams on their own ground and are more than ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing some good form to over­come Vale’s chal­lenge.

Wig­town and Blad­noch have formed a team to take part in this par­tic­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion and will play Lochmaben at Blair­mount Park, New­ton Ste­wart with the Burgh boys favourites to progress at their ex­pense al­though the home side will be an un­known quan­tity that could pro­duce a sur­prise re­sult.

There is only one South of Scot­land match be­ing played with the Niths­dale Wan­der­ers ver­sus He­ston Rovers match be­ing post­poned and that is at Cas­tle Cary Park where Cree­town en­ter­tain Th­reave Rovers.

The Cas­tle Dou­glas side can go back to the top of the ta­ble if they record a vic­tory in this con­test and al­though the home side are ca­pa­ble of hold­ing their own against the ti­tle chal­lengers, the vis­i­tors will go into this match as strong favourites to take the three points.

On Wed­nes­day evening, Th­reave will have another op­por­tu­nity to add three points to their tally when they play He­ston Rovers at Meadow Park and al­though He­ston are them­selves en­joy­ing a very good sea­son, the home side are ex­pected to use home ad­van­tage to record a vic­tory.

Fix­ture, Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 9 (kick-off 7.30pm):

South Chal­lenge Cup sec­ond round: New­ton Ste­wart v Queen of the South.

Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 10:

South Chal­lenge Cup round two: Edus­port Academy v Bon­ny­ton This­tle (kick off 3pm); Lochar This­tle v St Cuth­bert Wan­der­ers (kick off 2pm); Mid An­nan­dale v Stran­raer (kick off 3pm); Up­per An­nan­dale v Abbey Vale (kick off 2pm); Wig­town and Blad­noch v Lochmaben (kick off 3pm).

South of Scot­land League: Cree­town v Th­reave Rovers (kick off 2pm); Niths­dale Wan­der­ers v He­ston Rovers match post­poned.

Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 14 (kick off 7.30pm):

South of Scot­land League: Th­reave Rovers v He­ston Rovers.

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