At a time when the winter months are at their darkest and most clubs have already played their league rivals at least twice, the return of top flight sides to the Irish Cup can often breathe life back into the local football season.
And so it has proved again, with a number of junior outfits getting a dream outfit against illustrious opponents from the Irish Premiership. Local football’s flagship knock-out competition also comes with a new backer after three sponsorship-less campaigns - the iconic name of Tennent's Lager.
The competition, launched in 1881 (the fourth oldest national cup tournament in the world) see's all the Premiership heavyweights enter at the fifth round but a number of outsiders still remain.
Immaculata, fresh on the back of a superb win at Dundela, get a dream match at Solitude against Cliftonville. The reward for the winners of Abbey Villa's game with Rathfriland Rangers is a trip to Premiership champions Crusaders. Championship Two side Banbridge Town will welcome Carrick Rangers, while fellow third tier side Wakehurst travel to Portadown.
Holders Glentoran start their defence with a tricky home tie against Championship One pacesetters Ards, while Linfield - who have won the tournament 42 times - host 2014 finalists Ballymena United. Glenavon, who beat the Sky Blues in the decider two seasons ago, face a tough examination at HW Welders where their defence ended last season.
Bring on the magic of the cup!
Irish Cup 5th round:
Armagh City v Portstewart or Moyola Park
Banbridge Town v Carrick Rangers
Cliftonville v Immaculata
Coleraine v Ballinamallard United
Crumlin Star v Oxford United Stars
Crusaders v Abbey Villa or Rathfriland Rangers
Dergview or Sport & Leisure Swifts v Institute
Dungannon Swifts v Warrenpoint Town
Glentoran v Ards
HW Welders v Glenavon
Linfield v Ballymena United
Lisburn Distillery or Knockbreda v Annagh United
Loughgall v Larne or Limavady United
Lurgan Celtic v Bangor
Portadown v Wakehurst
Tobermore United v PSNI