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Six teams missing as FA Cup kicks off

An FA Cup ban for non-payment of club fees means that only 15 clubs will begin their quest for cup glory this weekend.

Bermuda Football Association made the decision back in late October to omit six First Division clubs — league leaders St. David’s, Shield champions Hamilton Parish, X-Roads, Prospect, Ireland Rangers and Paget — from what was to be the preliminary round draw, with matches originally scheduled for the first weekend of November.

The competition will now begin this weekend with seven first round matches, from which the winners, plus Somerset Eagles who have a bye, advance to the quarter-finals.

“At the beginning of the season the executives said that all clubs had to have paid all their outstanding fees by the FA Cup draw to participate in the competition,” explained BFA Competitions Committee chairman Cal Blankendal at the time.

“The clubs paid up for the league competition to participate this year but anything outstanding had to be paid up by the draw for the FA Cup.”

Blankendal said in some cases the unpaid fees were a few thousand dollars. “We also have bills to pay, as well as managing football for everyone,” the chairman stressed.

Dandy Town open the defence of their FA Cup title tomorrow when they meet Flanagan’s Onions in one of three all-Premier Division preliminary round ties.

Town, who also landed league and Dudley Eve titles last season, have not been finding the going easy this campaign, having failed to defend the Dudley Eve and under threat from the likes of Devonshire Cougars, PHC and Southampton Rangers in the league race.

Last weekend Town beat Somerset Trojans 2-0 in the league to climb to second in the standings, the highest they have been for several weeks, just three points behind the leaders Cougars.

This weekend the focus switches to the Cup and mid-table Onions are capable of causing problems for the holders at St. John’s Field, but Town should have that little something extra to get through the tie.

Another 2.30 fixture will see North Village hosting bottom team Robin Hood at Bernard Park in a repeat of last year’s semi-final which saw Village squeeze out a 1-0 win to reach the final before losing heavily to Town 5-2.

St. George’s Colts, unbeaten in their last two league matches with a win and a draw, will hope to make home advantage count again when they host Southampton Rangers at Wellington Oval. The teams met just before Christmas in the Friendship Trophy where two late goals gave Rangers a 2-1 win at Devonshire Rec. after St. George’s had taken an early lead. Southampton are riding high in the league and after last weekend’s exciting 4-3 derby win over PHC will come into this match with plenty of confidence.

Three other FA matches are scheduled for 12 noon starts as Premier Division sides faces First Division opposition. Young Men’s Social Club host Wolves at Bernard Park, Devonshire Colts welcome Somerset Trojans to Police Field and former cup winners Boulevard and PHC Zebras clash at BAA Field.

Tonight’s lone fixture sees BAA playing Devonshire Cougars at BAA Field at 9 o’clock.

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Published January 19, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated January 18, 2013 at 10:48 pm)

Six teams missing as FA Cup kicks off

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