Crusaders and Coleraine begin Scottish Challenge Cup campaigns

Eoin Bradley and Mark McChrystal
Coleraine and Crusaders will represent the Irish League in this season's Scottish Challenge Cup

Irish Premiership clubs Crusaders and Coleraine begin their Scottish Challenge Cup campaigns on Saturday.

League champions Crusaders are away to Queen of the South in their second round tie while Coleraine host Highland League outfit Fortmartine United.

William Murphy, Trevor McKendry and Paul Owens take charge of Coleraine this weekend after Oran Kearney moved to become manager of St Mirren.

Crusaders reached the semi-finals of last year's competition.

The Challenge Cup features clubs from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, although two English National League sides, Sutton United and Boreham Wood, will also take part this year.

Fortmartine hail from Pitmedden, Aberdeenshire, and are managed by former Celtic player Paul Lawson, while Queen of the South lie third in the Scottish Championship.

The competition is in its third year but this will be the first time that 2017-18 Irish Cup winners and Irish Premiership runners-up Coleraine have taken part.

Last season Crusaders defeated Motherwell Under-20s 3-2, Cove Rangers 3-0 and Dundee United away 2-1 as they progressed to the last-four stage.

Stephen Baxter's side lost out 3-2 to eventual winners Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the semi-finals.

A 3-0 defeat by Coleraine on Monday night left the Crues languishing in what is for them a lowly seventh place in the league.

"We want to bounce back and find a bit of rhythm - the lads always give 100% effort and we'll give of our best again on Saturday against Queen of the South," said Baxter.

Scottish Challenge Cup, second round draw

Airdrieonians v Sutton United

Arbroath v Annan Athletic

Boreham Wood v Dunfermline Athletic

Coleraine v Formartine United

Dumbarton v Montrose

Dundee Colts v Motherwell Colts

Dundee United v Alloa Athletic

East Fife v Partick Thistle

East Kilbride v Edinburgh City

Falkirk v Connah's Quay Nomads

Peterhead v Bohemians

Queen of the South v Crusaders

Ross County v Raith Rovers

Sligo Rovers v Livingston U21

St Mirren Colts v Hamilton Academical Colts

The New Saints v Queen's Park

Ties to be played 8 September

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