Pentland United to start defence of Highland Amateur Cup with tie against Thurso Swifts
Highland Amateur Cup holders Pentland United have been handed a tricky preliminary round home tie against Thurso Swifts later this month.
United are the most successful club in the tournament and won the trophy for an eighth time when they defeated Lerwick Spurs 2-1 in last year's final. Co-manager Michael Gray hopes the holders can get off off to a winning start but knows it will be tough.
“It's a tricky one," he said. "Swifts have several players that can cause us damage. If we don't perform on the day we could be in a bit of bother. But it is a home tie so that's a bonus.”
The teams met in the first round a couple of years ago in Thurso, with United winning 2-1.
Gray recalled: “We were 2-0 up and the tie was a bit flat until the last 10 minutes when they scored – it got a bit hectic after that.”
If United get through the preliminary round, they will be home to either Lairg Rovers or Kinlochbervie in the first round.
In an all-Wick affair, past winners Wick Thistle and Wick Groats clash in the first round.
North section – Preliminary round (ties to be played on Saturday, April 27): Pentland United v Thurso Swifts; Invergordon Social Club v Thurso Pentland; Lairg Rovers v Kinlochbervie; Golspie Stafford v Lybster; Watten v Top Joes.
First round (ties to be played on Saturday, May 18) – Keiss v Helmsdale United; Halkirk v Brora Wanderers; Wick Thistle v Wick Groats; Thurso Academicals v Lochinver; John O'Groats v High Ormlie Hotspurs; Watten or Top Joes v Invergordon Social Club or Thurso Pentland; Tain Thistle v Staxigoe United; Castletown v Dornoch City; Pentland United or Thurso Swifts v Lairg Rovers or Kinlochbervie; Golspie Stafford or Lybster v Inver.