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Friday 22nd March 2019

Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup

IRN-BRU preview in numbers

Resident statto @splstats looks at some of the numbers ahead of Saturday's IRN-BRU Cup final between Connah's Quay Nomads and Ross County...

5 – Ross County have reached the IRN-BRU Cup final for a record fifth time. The Staggies have won two and lost two of their previous four finals; they beat Clyde on penalties in 2006/07 and defeated Queen of the South 2-0 in 2010/11, but went down 2-1 to Falkirk in 2004/05 and lost on penalties to Airdrie in 2008/09. Co-manager Stuart Kettlewell was part of the side which won the trophy in 2010/11. If Ross County win on Saturday they will become just the third side to lift the trophy more than twice, after Falkirk and Airdrieonians.

1 – Connah’s Quay Nomads are the first non-Scottish side to reach the final of the IRN-BRU Cup. The Nomads are two points clear of The New Saints – who play tonight – at the top of the Welsh Premier League and are aiming to win the Welsh title for the first time in their history. The Nomads are, however, no strangers to trophies – last season they won the Welsh Cup for the first time, and have also won several other cup competitions, including the Welsh League Cup, Welsh Amateur Cup, North Wales Intermediate Cup and the Clywd League Challenge Cup. 

10 – The Caledonian Stadium in Inverness will host the final for the first time - it will be the 10th different stadium to stage the showpiece event. McDiarmid Park has been the most frequently-used venue – 10 of the previous 27 finals have been held in Perth, including all four of Ross County’s ties. The final has also been held at Fir Park (5), Broadwood (4), Almondvale (2), the Excelsior Stadium (2), Dens Park, Easter Road, Love Street and Hampden.

14 – This year’s final will be the 14th meeting between Welsh and Scottish sides in the IRN-BRU Cup. Wales lead with eight wins to five, with The New Saints responsible for five of those victories. The Nomads have played four previous ties against Scottish sides – they lost 2-1 to Dumbarton last season, but this campaign they beat Falkirk, Queen’s Park and Edinburgh City on their way to the final. The final will be Ross County’s first competitive match against non-Scottish opposition. 

6 – Edinburgh City’s Blair Henderson is the IRN-BRU Cup top scorer with six goals in this season’s competition. The player with the most realistic chance of catching him is Ross County’s Brian Graham, who has four goals, all of which were scored in a 5-0 win over Raith Rovers in round two. The Staggies’ Ross Stewart and the Nomads’ Michael Wilde each have three so would need a hat-trick to match Henderson’s tally. The only previous players to net three times in the final were Billy Dodds for Dundee in 1990/91 and Paul Sheerin for Inverness Caledonian Thistle in 1999/2000.