Steven Crawford: Who will make it through to the Irish Cup final?

Coleraine take on Crusaders at The Oval. Credit �INPHO/Stephen Hamilton
Coleraine take on Crusaders at The Oval. Credit �INPHO/Stephen Hamilton

It’s D-Day in the Irish Cup as four teams do battle to reach May’s showpiece final.

Cup holders Coleraine take on Crusaders at The Oval, while earlier in the day Warrenpoint Town face Ballinamallard United at Mourneview Park.

Both ties are intriguing. For Warrenpoint and Ballinamallard this is the furthest either team has ever gone in the competition, and both will be determined to make their own history by reaching the final.

The similarity in the two side’s seasons is remarkable.

Both suffered terrible starts to the campaign with long winless runs.

That has long been forgotten now as both Stephen McDonnell and Harry McConkey have led their sides to amazing recoveries.

They are at either end of their managerial careers but both deserve so much credit for what they have achieved to date.

Reaching the Irish Cup final, given the limited resources available to both clubs, would be the icing on the cake.

The other semi final carries equal intrigue as last year’s top two teams battle it out for a major honour.

It’s fair to say that neither Coleraine or Crusaders have hit the same heights as last term, but both sides are jam packed full of quality.

The stage is set for an epic battle with little to choose between the sides.

All in all it will come down to who performs on the day.

Who will prove to be the hero come the full time whistle?