Friday, 24 August 2018
The Bluefin Sport Championship has already been living up to it's billing this season, we look ahead to the third installment of the action - starting tonight.
Friday 24 August
Ballyclare Comrades v Limavady United (venue: Dixon Park; kick-off: 7.45pm)
In the first of two Friday night matches in the Bluefin Sport Championship, it’s Ballyclare Comrades who host Limavady United at Dixon Park. Stephen Hughes’ Comrades have enjoyed a fine start to the season with two wins from two games (against PSNI and Loughgall) and will be hoping to maintain their 100% record.
In contrast new Limavady United manager Sean Friars is without a point yet since taking over the Roesiders, they’ve lost both their opening games to both Ballinamallard and then Knockbreda last Saturday.
Loughgall v Larne (venue: Lakeview Park; kick-off: 7.45pm)
Dean Smith’s Loughgall followed up their opening day point against Portadown with defeat to Ballyclare Comrades last Saturday, but they will need to find some form for the visit of Larne to Lakeview Park on Friday night.
Larne got their first three points last Saturday in front of a huge four figure home crowd against Ballinamallard United last Saturday. Martin Donnelly’s strike after an hour was enough for Tiernan Lynch’s side as they maintained their unbeaten start to the season amidst a wave of optimism around the East Antrim club this season.
Saturday 25 August
Ballinamallard United v Dergview (venue: Ferney Park; kick-off: 3pm)
The Irish League’s two most western clubs meet at Ferney Park on Saturday afternoon. Harry McConkey’s Mallards are with one win and one defeat in their return to the second tier following last season’s relegation from the Premiership. Boosted by the return of Ryan O’Reilly last week to the squad, they will be looking to bounce back from the narrow defeat to Championship favourites Larne.
Following last year’s great escape, some onlookers expected Peter Allen’s Dergview to struggle this season but they chalked up an impressive 2-1 victory against last year’s third place side HW Welders at Darragh Park last week thanks to early goals from Adam Dougherty and Garth Falconer.
HW Welders v Portadown (venue: Tillysburn Park; kick-off: 3pm)
The Welders entertain Matthew Tipton’s Portadown side in East Belfast on Saturday, and Welders boss Norman Kelly will be looking to get back on track after the defeat to Dergview last week.
Portadown are currently unbeaten to date as their promotion challenge fully started last weekend with a 2-0 win over PSNI and they will be hoping to utilise their experience of the likes Kevin Braniff, Darren Murray and Kyle Neill to get one over a tough Welders side that finished above them in the Championship last season.
Knockbreda v Carrick Rangers (venue: Upper Braniel; kick-off: 3pm)
It has been a disastrous start to the season for Niall Currie and his Carrick Rangers, the 5-0 defeat to Dundela last Saturday prompted the move into the transfer market to recruit defenders Daniel Kelly (Glentoran) and Chris Rodgers (Ballyclare Comrades). Two defeats from two have may have knocked confidence and dented their early promotion hopes but the Amber Army will hope to get back on track on Saturday against Knockbreda.
Lee Forsythe’s Knockbreda side have four points from six with a win against Limavady United being the follow up performance to their 1-1 draw with Larne on opening Saturday.
PSNI v Dundela (venue: Newforge Lane; kick-off: 3pm)
The home side go into this game as one of three sides in the division with two defeats from their opening games having lost to both Ballyclare Comrades and Portadown in the last fortnight.
They face the surprise league leaders, with newly promoted Dundela enjoying maximum points to date and top position on goal difference following a ruthless five goal display against Carrick Rangers. Last season’s top goalscorer Jordan Hughes currently leads the way in the division with three goals.