PSNI picked up their first points of the season last week in the Bluefin Sport Championship (c) Presseye

BLUEFIN SPORT CHAMPIONSHIP: MATCHDAY 7 PREVIEW

There's another round of big fixtures in the Bluefin Sport Championship this Saturday - with a huge top of the table clash at Inver Park as well!

Carrick Rangers v Ballyclare Comrades (venue: Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena; kick-off: 3pm)

There’s a feisty East Antrim derby in the Bluefin Sport Championship this Saturday as Carrick Rangers host Ballyclare Comrades. Rangers will once again be looking to kick start their season, as they risk losing pace with the early front runners after four defeats from their opening six games. Niall Currie’s side were defeated by the previously winless PSNI last Saturday at Newforge Lane and are currently ninth in the table.

By contrast the East Antrim neighbours, Ballyclare Comrades, have enjoyed a fine start to the season and currently sit fourth, just three points off the top of the table. Stephen Hughes’ side missed out on the opportunity to go joint top last week with their 3-1 defeat to Portadown but bounced back in midweek with a win over Newington in the County Antrim Shield.

Dergview v PSNI (venue: Darragh Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Dergview’s impressive four game unbeaten run came to an end last week with defeat to Limavady United, but since then Peter Allen’s side have chalked up a morale boosting 4-0 win against Newbuildings United in the North West Cup. They host the Championship’s bottom placed side on Saturday, whilst currently occupying fifth place themselves.

Colin Malone also halted PSNI’s run of five league defeats in succession with a hard fought 2-0 win over Carrick Rangers last time out, earning their first points of the season for the Newforge Lane side. The South Belfast side can also take confidence from a spirited showing in the County Antrim Shield in midweek, narrowly losing out to Premiership leaders Linfield.

HW Welders v Ballinamallard United (venue: Tillysburn Park; kick-off: 3pm)

It’s been a disappointing start to the season for both these sides as they meet at Tillyburn Park on Saturday afternoon. The Welders put a difficult run of league defeats behind them as they picked up their first Championship win since the opening day of the season against Loughgall last weekend.

Harry McConkey will be alarmed at Ballinamallard United’s dip in form following relegation from the Danske Bank Premiership, his side are only being propped up from the bottom place on goal difference after five defeats from six games which included a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Knockbreda last Saturday.

Knockbreda v Loughgall (venue: Upper Braniel; kick-off: 3pm)

Zach Barr’s goal gave Lee Forsythe’s Knockbreda a vital three points on the road last week against Ballinamallard United and lifted the East Belfast side within a point of the top six.

Dean Smith’s Loughgall team are currently in tenth place and periously close the relegation playoff places after an indifferent start to the campaign. Last week’s Championship defeat to HW Welders was followed up by a 5-2 midweek win in the Mid-Ulster Cup against Fivemiletown United.

Larne v Portadown (venue: Inver Park; kick-off: 3pm)

It’s a blockbuster game in the Bluefin Sport Championship as the two favourites for the league title clash for the first time this season at Inver Park. Tiernan Lynch’s Larne went top of the table last week having leapfrogged Dundela, following their 2-0 win over the Wilgar Park side.

Portadown alongside Larne, are the only two unbeaten sides in the division – with Matthew Tipton’s side two points behind the leaders in third place. The Shamrock Park outfit comfortably defeated Ballyclare Comrades last Saturday with goals from Adam Salley, Chris Lavery and Darren Murray. The Ports also defeated Valley Rangers in their midweek Mid Ulster Cup fixture.

Limavady United v Dundela (venue: Limavady Showgrounds; kick-off: 3pm)

After defeats in their first two games of the season, Limavady United have pulled together a four game unbeaten run under new boss Sean Friars. Last week they defeated Dergview 2-0 to move into sixth place in the Championship table.

Dundela’s remarkable start to the season came to an end with defeat to Larne at Wilgar Park last week. They still remain in second place in the table and have the opportunity to return to the top should results go their way at Inver Park and elsewhere.

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