The ECAP-sponsored FA Cup springs into action this weekend with a whole host of preliminary round fixtures.

Reigning champions Ayre United begin the defence of their title with a potientially tricky trip to Balleira Road where they face Division Two high-fliers Michael United.

In fact, the draw has thrown up several intriguing clashes between Premier League and second tier teams as Manx football begins 2023 with a bang. Division Two leaders St Mary’s - back in football following a temporary enforced hiatus - will gauge their progress when they travel to top flight relegation battlers Marown at the Memorial Playing Fields.

Promotion-chasing Castletown will be hoping to cause a ‘cupset’ when they head up the east coast to take on Premier League strugglers DHSOB at Blackberry Lane.

Foxdale will be aiming to do likewise when they travel to the Nivison Stadium to face newly-promoted Onchan, while Div Two side RYCOB will pit their wits against midtable Premier League outfit Douglas Royal.

An intriguing all-Premier League affair takes place at Ballacloan Stadium where Ramsey host one of the competition’s favourites, Corinthians, while elsewhere Douglas and District will be hoping to stun in-form Premier League high-fliers Union Mills and Douglas Athletic host Braddan.

Saturday, January 7

Douglas Athletic v Braddan

DHSOB v Castletown

Marown v St Mary’s

Michael United v Ayre United

Onchan v Foxdale

RYCOB v Douglas Royal

Ramsey v Corinthians

Union Mills

v Douglas and District

(all kick-off at 1.15pm)

Away from cup football, there will also be one game in the Canada Life Premier League, with leaders Peel heading east to take on Laxey at Glen Road.

Two games will also take place in Canada Life Combination One, with Ayre United hosting Rushen United in Andreas, while St John’s entertain Marown at Mullen-e-Cloie.

There is a near full fixture list in DPS Ltd Combination Two, with four games scheduled to go ahead this Saturday.

Braddan host Douglas and District at Victoria Road, Colby welcome Michael United to the Station Fields, Foxdale entertain Gymns at Billy Goat Park and Malew are the visitors to Pulrose United’s Springfield Road ground.

On Sunday, Douglas Royal v Governor’s Athletic and Peel v Ayre United take place in the Masters League, while Peel v Corinthians and Onchan v Douglas Royal are played in the Canada Life Women’s League.