By JOHN HUDSON
FINN HARPS will begin their defence of the SSE Airtricity Under 17 FAI Mark Farren Cup with a visit to Sligo Rovers in a mouth watering first round North West derby.
Harps defeated Cork City 1-0 in last season’s final with Daragh Ellison’s 88 th minute penalty deciding the game to complete the first leg of a cup and league double.
That was achieved later in the season with a 3-0 defeat of Shamrock Rovers in the league final at Ballybofey.
However things haven’t been going too well for Declan Boyle’s much changed side so far this season as they have only managed to register two wins in five outings.
While Sligo Rovers are three points ahead of Harps in the Northern Elite Division.
Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers the current leaders of their respective divisions have both been handed first round byes and Cork City visit Limerick FC in an all Munster tie.
The first round ties can be played between May 6 and May 27 due to the UEFA European Under 17 Championship taking place from May 3-19.
SSE AIRTRICITY UNDER 17 FAI MARK FARREN CUP
Drogheda United v Cabinteely FC
Limerick FC v Cork City
Shelbourne v Dundalk
Longford Town v Athlone Town
Sligo Rovers v Finn Harps
UCD. v St Patrick’s Athletic
Waterford FC v Carlow-Kilkenny FC
Byes: Bohemians, Bray Wanderers, Cobh Ramblers, Derry City, Galway United, Kerry League, Monaghan United-Cavan FP, Shamrock Rovers, Wexford FC.
All ties are to be played between May 6 and May 27 due to the UEFA Under-17 European Championships.