County Antrim Shield: Knockout competition set to kick off senior domestic club season

County Antrim Shield
Cliftonville defeated Ballymena United in the final of last season's competition

The County Antrim Shield is set to kick off the new domestic senior football season, with the first two rounds to be staged prior to the start of the Irish Premiership campaign.

The league season is scheduled to start on 17 October but the County Antrim FA plans to stage rounds one and two of their competition on 10 and 13 October.

Sixteen teams will go into the draw for the opening round.

Among the seven Premiership clubs involved will be holders Cliftonville.

The Reds secured a dramatic last-gasp 2-1 win over Ballymena United in last season's final on 21 January at Windsor Park.

The first round of the Shield will take place on Saturday 10 October, with the second round on 13 October.

Dates for the semi-final and final of the competition are to be confirmed.

Cliftonville will be joined in the draw by fellow top-flight sides Ballymena United, Carrick Rangers, Crusaders, Glentoran, Larne and Linfield.

The other competing clubs are Ards, Ballyclare Comrades, Bangor, Dundela, Harland and Wolff Welders, Knockbreda, Newington, PSNI and Queen's University.

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