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Tension high ahead of Belfast ties

TONIGHT'S games in Belfast in the Setanta Sports Cup have been overshadowed by events in the city on Saturday which forced the PSNI to call off a league match between Crusaders and champions-elect Cliftonville due to a flag protest, which also saw three arrests, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

Saturday's game was unable to go ahead due to fears about an escalation of loyalist protests over the flag issue, with the police stating that they were "attacked with bottles and other missiles" as they tried to move on a union flag protest outside the ground.

Security is bound to be tight tonight as Cork City (v Cliftonville) and St Patrick's Athletic (v Glentoran) are due to play in Belfast.

"This is a regrettable outcome for the clubs, the many genuine fans who wanted to watch the match and indeed the wider North Belfast community," said the PSNI in a statement.

SETANTA SPORTS CUP FIXTURES

Cliftonville v Cork City (Solitude, 7.45)

BETTING: Cliftonville 6/5, Cork 15/8, draw 11/5

FORECAST: Cliftonville win

Coleraine v Shamrock R (Showgrounds, 7.30)

BETTING: Coleraine 12/5, Rovers 20/21, draw 11/5

FORECAST: Draw

Glentoran v St Pat's Athletic (The Oval, 7.45)

BETTING: Glentoran 2/1, Pats 11/10, draw 11/5

FORECAST: Glentoran

Portadown v Drogheda (Shamrock Park, 7.45)

BETTING: Portadown 13/10, Drogheda 17/10, draw 11/5

FORECAST: Draw

*Prices courtesy of Boylesports


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