The draw for the first round of the 2016 EA Sports Cup has been made with a total of 24 teams, including four non-league sides, taking part in the competition this year.
The first two rounds of the competition will again run on a regional basis with four pools of six teams. Two sides from each pool have received byes to the second round of the competition, where they will face the winners of the games in the first round of their pool.
In Pool 1, Premier Division sides Cork City and Wexford Youths receive byes while Cobh Ramblers and Waterford United have home ties against Limerick and Cork club Rockmount respectively.
Pool 2 features teams from the north and west of the country, with Finn Harps and Galway United both playing non-league opposition while Derry City and Sligo receive a bye.
Dundalk and St. Pat’s will go straight through to the second round in Pool 3, where they will face either Drogheda United, Bluebell United, UCD or Bray.
And finally, Pool 4 sees Bohemians take on top flight counterparts Longford Town, Shelbourne host Cabinteely while Athlone Town and Shamrock Rovers advance straight through to the second round.
The draw for the first round, courtesy of the league’s official website is as follows:
Pool 1: Cobh Ramblers v Limerick; Waterford United v Rockmount. Byes: Cork City, Wexford Youths.
Pool 2: Finn Harps v Cockhill Celtic; Galway United v Mayo League. Byes: Derry City, Sligo Rovers.
Pool 3: Drogheda United v Bluebell United; U.C.D. v Bray Wanderers. Byes: Dundalk, St Patrick’s Athletic.
Pool 4: Bohemians v Longford Town; Shelbourne v Cabinteely. Byes: Athlone Town, Shamrock Rovers.
First round matches will take place on Monday, March 21 and Tuesday, March 22.
Gerard Grimes, Pundit Arena
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