Old Boys take on Peel in round’s top tie

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THERE’S some tantilising ties on the cards in Saturday’s first round proper of the Paddy Power FA Cup.

Arguably pick of these will take place at Blackberry Lane where 2009 winners Douglas High School Old Boys host the competition’s most successful side Peel.

Just two points and one place separate the two sides in the Canada Life Premier League, meaning this should be a cup cracker.

Old Boys will perhaps enter the match as slight favourites after putting together a tremendous run of form that has seen them only lose once since the beginning of October.

Peel’s form has been patchier, but an 11-1 rout over Castletown last week shows what the westerners are capable of on their day.

A 1-1 draw in the pair’s sole meeting thus far this season suggests this one could require extra time to produce a winner.

Douglas Royal will hope to replicate their ‘giant killing’ feats of the prelim round when they welcome 2006 winners Laxey to Ballafletcher.

The Division Two outfit disposed of Union Mills in the last round showing plenty of spirit to overcome their top-flight opponents.

Nicky Gerrard and Nicky Smith’s hosts, however, will do well to claim another scalp against a Laxey side eager to spoil St George’s back-to-back Grand Slam aspirations.

Geordies also face lower league opposition this weekend making the trip to Foxdale’s Billy Goat Park ground.

The two sides met at the same stage of the Cup last season, Chris Bass Sr’s Premier League pacesetters triumphing 0-9 on that occasion. Expect a similar scoreline this weekend.

In one of the round’s all top-flight affairs, Castletown and Gymns have a chance to put their relegation worries to the side for a week when they go head-to-head at the Stadium.

The pair drew 2-2 in September, but Gymns should just sneak this.

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