Co Antrim Shield: Ballymena start defence against Welders

Ballymena players celebrate with the Co Antrim Shield after defeating Linfield in the decider
Ballymena players celebrate with the Co Antrim Shield after defeating Linfield in the decider

Ballymena United will begin their bid to retain the Co Antrim Shield with a home game against Championship side H&W Welders on 20 September.

United won last season's final by beating Linfield, who host Donegal Celtic in the first round.

Crusaders make the trip to Larne, Cliftonville host Bangor and Glentoran are away to Ballyclare Comrades.

Ards will take on Knockbreda, Carrick Rangers welcome PSNI and Newington YC face Albert Foundry.

Ballymena edged out Linfield 3-2 in a thrilling Shield final at Windsor Park in January.

Goals from Paddy McNally, David Cushley and Eoin Kane gave the Showgrounds side their sixth success in the competition.

Toals Co Antrim Shield first round

Ballyclare Comrades v Glentoran

Ballymena United v HW Welders

Carrick Rangers v PSNI

Cliftonville v Bangor

Knockbreda v Ards

Larne v Crusaders

Linfield v Donegal Celtic

Newington YC v Albert Foundry

Ties to be played on Tuesday, 20 September at 19:45 BST.

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