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Page last updated at 09:37 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Setanta matches moved to weekends

Glentoran lost 2-1 to Cork City in the 2008 final at Turner's Cross
Glentoran's Philip Simpson in action against Lawrie Dudfield of Cork City during the 2008 final

This year's Setanta Cup Sports Cup will see group matches being staged at weekends, it has been announced.

In previous years games in the early stages were mainly played on Monday and Tuesday nights.

The group stages are to run from August to November and there will then be a break until the spring when the semi-finals and final will be played.

Setanta have dismissed concerns about their continued sponsorship, saying they will continue to back the cup.

Niall Cogley, the chief executive of Setanta Sports Ireland told the Irish Times he was confident the competition would continue.

"I do not think there is any reason to believe that anything will interfere with our commitment to the Setanta Sports Cup," he said.

Some clubs from Northern Ireland had been critical of the way last year's competition was run.

Glentoran were angry because they had to play the semi-final and final on their opponents' grounds.

There was also concern about what impact arranging matches for weekends would have on domestic schedules.

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