Waterford and Bohemians have learned their opponents after the third-round draw for the Scottish Challenge Cup was made this morning.
International travel seems just not meant to be for Waterford, after the scandal which saw St Patrick’s Athletic replace them in the Europa League, the Blues won’t be heading to Scotland just yet – as they’ve been handed a home tie to Hearts Colts. Hearts U21 side will make the journey to the RSC, which may come as some bit of welcome news to the Waterford supporters given that they already face the 400km trip to North Donegal to face Glengad in the FAI Cup.
For Bohemians, they will be able to get the passports out – as Keith Long’s side face a trip to Airdrieonians. The Excelsior Stadium holds a capacity of 10,000, with no doubts that the Dubs’ loyal supporters will be looking forward to a big away day. Bohs made it to the quarter-finals last time out before choosing to pull out of the tournament as their tie with East Fife was called off given Dalymount Park was frozen over. Given that the league season was about to begin, the decision was made to avoid fixture congestion.
The competition represents a good opportunity for Irish sides to ply their trades overseas and is a reward for finishing 5th and 6th in the Airtricity Premier Division. Waterford will be the happier of the two with the draw, with many expecting Alan Reynold’s side to progress to the next round, while Bohs will be keen to build upon this season’s league form – as they currently sit in 4th despite a recent run of poor results.
Despite being called the Scottish Cup, the tournament is open to sides from England, Ireland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well – Bohs having faced Conference side Sutton United in 2018.
While not as glamourous as the call of Europe, it is a good opportunity for silverware, and these teams hold the ability to go far. It is a competition League of Ireland supporters should certainly keep an eye on.
Ties will be played on the weekend of September 7th and 8th, and with the cup now rebranded as The Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup, the name will really prove a mouthful for supporters.