Minnows are aiming to cause an upset in Herald Cup third round
THE Herald Cup Third Round gets under way this Saturday giving lower league sides another chance to punch above their weight and maybe bring down a big name or two.
There have been a notable lack of upsets in the competition so far but, with nine Premier sides still in situ, the stage is set for one of the surviving minnows to buck the trend.
But who is most capable of delivering the goods?
Last year's Division Three champions and cup winners Bovey Tracey Reserves have already deposed Abbotskerswell, and could pose a threat to perennial finalists Watcombe Wanderers.
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Watcombe lead Divison One though and will fancy their chances of another quarter-final spot.
Division Three side Teign Village have made steady progress in the cup competitions so far, having also reached the last eight of the Intermediate Cup.
An away win against Newton United in the Second Round of the Herald Cup may have raised some eyebrows but, with only one league win all season, it is difficult to see them toppling Kingsteignton Athletic.
Then there's the lowest-placed club in the last sixteen: Scott Hanks' in-form Bishopsteignton United.
Bishops are among the longest-running SDFL clubs, having played their first league game in September 1920.
The former Premier team folded in 2008 but have battled their way back up through the divisions since being reformed by former players David Morgan and Gary Zink, who is now club chairman.
They currently sit in Division Four, but a blend of youth and experience have so far proved a heady cocktail, and they have won all of the nine matches in which they have competed to date.
Two Division Two clubs have already fallen under the Bishops' sceptres, including leaders Broadhempston United who were sent out in Round Two.
Next up are last year's semi-finalists and Premier outfit Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves, and Zink admitted that a last eight place would be a tall order.
"There's always a chance in a one-off game but realistically we've got to be severe underdogs," he said.
"Having said that, we're not a Division Four side and we're fully fit apart from injury doubts about Paul Tucker and Robbie Cousins."
Elsewhere, there are two all-premier clashes on show: Watts, Blake and Bearne take on Kingskerswell and Chelston in a repeat of last season's George Belli Cup final, while Upton Athletic face a difficult trip to Loddiswell.
The Hoops are looking strong up front, having held Kingskerswell and Chelston to a 3-3 draw last Saturday.
Watts, Blake and Bearne return fresh from a comfortable 3-1 league win at Ipplepen Athletic.
Holders Buckland Athletic Reserves face last season's semi-final opponents Waldon Athletic at Windmill Hill. Waldon are flying high in Division One at the moment and should pose more of an attacking threat this time out.
Staverton and Landscove welcome Riviera Spurs to Erme Valley, and will have gained much-needed confidence after a narrow defeat to Buckland last weekend.
To complete the picture, free-scoring Premier leaders Brixham, who knocked Abbotskerswell for eight last Saturday, will host Dartmouth at Wall Park.