2023 Gallagher Challenge Cups and Women’s Challenge Plate

Feb 6, 2023 | Cups, General News, Men's News, Women's News

The draw for the first and second rounds of the 2023 Gallagher Challenge Cup, and Gallagher Women’s Challenge Plate took place on Monday 6 February 2023 at Belmont Road, the home of 2022 winners CIYMS. Shane Matthews, NI Managing Director of Gallagher and Brian Walsh, the new NCU President conducted the draw.

Shane Matthews from sponsors Gallagher pictured at the draw in CIYMS Sports complex in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Picture By: Pacemaker Press.

The Gallagher Men’s Challenge Cup draw threw up a few intriguing ties with Belfast, who are making their debut in the competition after only being formed in 2022, drawn to play Armagh. Should Armagh win, it will set up a repeat of the 2022 round 2 match against their local rivals Waringstown.

The first round draw also threw up a tasty eastern derby between Dundrum and Saintfield, who will battle it out for the right to play the mighty CIYMS. Laurelvale, back in the competition after winning Section 2 in 2022, start their campaign at home to Muckamore, whilst Donacloney Mill host Templepatrick in the other first round tie. All first round ties are to be played on Saturday 6 May 2023.

The second round, which is due to be played on 27 May 2023, produced three all premiership ties with Cliftonville Academy hosting Lisburn looking like the most tricky one to call. North Down host top flight newcomers Derriaghy, whilst Woodvale will enjoy home advantage against CSNI. Instonians and Carrickfergus will hope for easy passage to the quarter finals, although the latter’s potential local derby against Templepatrick could be a cracker.

The Gallagher Women’s Challenge Cup was not drawn on the evening as it will be played as a group stage involving CSNI CC, Lisburn CC, Muckamore CC, North Down CC and Waringstown CC, with the top two meeting in the final on 9 July 2023.

For the first time the Gallagher Women’s Challenge Plate sees twelve teams enter the competition, with Bangor and Ballymena the newcomers for 2023 drawn against each other in the first round. The stand out fixture in the draw pitted North Down 2’s against last seasons Section 1 winners Lisburn in Comber. And we have the potential for a Holywood derby, with their first and seconds scheduled to face each other should their prevail in their first round ties against Dundrum and Carrickfergus respectively.

Sandi Harrison (North Down), sponsors Shane Matthews from Gallagher, Andrea Adair (CSNI), president of the NCU Brian Walsh and Beth McCrea (Muckamore) pictured at the draw.
Picture By: Pacemaker Press.

Thanks to Shane Matthews from Gallagher and NCU Chairman Brian Walsh for conducting the draws and to Gallagher for their continued sponsorship of these fantastic competitions.

Picture By: Pacemaker Press.