Published: 14/11/2017 13:02 - Updated: 14/11/2017 13:09

It's Inverness Caley Jags v Crusaders in Irn-Bru Cup semis

Written byPaul Chalk

 

Caley Jags ace Connor Bell celebrates his winner in the Irn-Bru Cup quarter-final against Falkirk on Saturday night.
Caley Jags ace Connor Bell celebrates his winner in the Irn-Bru Cup quarter-final against Falkirk on Saturday night.
CALEY Thistle will host Crusaders from Northern Ireland in the Irn-Bru Cup semi-finals.


The draw took place today at the SEC Armadillo venue in Glasgow and it paired John Robertson's Highlanders, who beat Falkirk 1-0 in Saturday's quarter-final thanks to a Connor Bell strike, with Crusaders who knocked out Dundee United.

Robertson has never lost a tie in charge of ICT in this competition, having led the club to the silverware in 2003-2004 when the Caley Jags completed the double to win Division One and join the then SPL for the first time.

The Inverness team's route to the last four has involved a 4-2 win against Aberdeen Colts, a 3-0 home win against Peterhead from League Two and the weekend's victory over Paul Hartley's Bairns.

The New Saints and Dumbarton will do battle in the other semi-final.

The Crusaders defeated Dundee United 2-1 at Tannadice on Saturday in Csaba Laszlo's first game in charge of the Taysiders, having already beat Highland League leaders Cove Rangers 3-0 and Motherwell under-20s 3-2.

Part-timers Crusaders are third in Northern Ireland's Premiership, although nine points behind leaders Colraine.

The New Saints (or TNS), who are third in the Welsh Premier League despite being based in Shropshire, saw off Queen of the South 4-3 on penalties on Sunday after a goalless draw.

They had shoot-out success too in an earlier round when they beat in-form Championship side Livingston 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 draw and they defeated League Two's Elgin City 4-0 at home in the third round to set up their crack at the Queens last weekend.

Dumbarton, who like ICT play in the Championship, beat League One joint leaders Raith Rovers 2-0 to earn their last four spot. The Sons' journey began this year with a 2-1 home victory against Rangers' under-20s then they beat Connah's Quay from the Welsh top-flight by the same scoreline before posting another 2-1 victory, this time at home to Stranraer from League One.

The semi-final ties will take place on the weekend of February 17 and 18.

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