Queens University top the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League (c) Presseye

BLUEFIN SPORT PREMIER INTERMEDIATE LEAGUE: MATCHDAY 16 PREVIEW

Another busy weekend in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League - who will take a step closer to promotion in this round of fixtures?

Armagh City v Banbridge Town (venue: Holm Park; kick-off: 3pm)

The Eagles find themselves in trouble after back-to-back defeats in March’s Premier Intermediate League games which leaves them hovering over the bottom of the table with only a four point advantage over Sport & Leisure Swifts, having played three games more. It Armagh City without a league win since the start of January, totalling seven league games as they look to hold onto their league status with five games to go.

Seventh placed Banbridge Town travel to Holm Park with a six point and two game advantage on their opponents this Saturday. Stuart King’s side have lost their last five games in succession to fall away out of contention for promotion since their Bob Radcliffe Cup victory on Boxing Day. The two sides last met back in October at Crystal Park – drawing 1-1.

Dollingstown v Lisburn Distillery (venue: Planter’s Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Dollingstown welcome the Whites to Planter’s Park as they also aim to preserve their league status as the final stages of the season approach. The Dollybirds may have lost their last outing 5-1 to Annagh United last weekend but they start the day in tenth place still optimistic of staying in the NI Football League in their first season back.

Lisburn Distillery look resigned to another season of third tier football, but have secured back-to-back wins this month against both Lurgan Celtic and Banbridge Town in recent weeks. Dollingstown won the reverse fixture between the sides earlier in the season, winning 3-2 at New Grosvenor Park in January.

Moyola Park v Newington YC (venue: Mill Meadow; kick-off: 3pm)

Mervyn Pattison’s Moyola Park will be buoyed by a superb derby win over Tobermore United last weekend, which took them into the top half of the table for the first time this season and could ensure their safety from once threatened relegation. They have now gone seven games unbeaten in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League since the turn of the year.

Newington sit only one place ahead of their opponents but with a gap of five points to the advantage of the fifth placed North Belfast side. You have to go back to the opening game of the season for the last time the two sides met, with Newington winning comfortably by four goals without reply, Connor Crossan’s side are unbeaten in their last five games.

Portstewart v Annagh United (venue: Mullaghcall; kick-off: 3pm)

Johnny Law’s Portstewart host title chasing Annagh United in the North Coast and the eighth placed club will be hoping to pull away from the bottom half of the table with three points on Saturday. Their match against Sport and Leisure fell victim to the weather last Saturday, their last match was the Intermediate Cup quarter-final win over Newbuildings.

Annagh United lost on penalties in the Intermediate Cup in midweek to Crumlin Star in a disappointing defeat. Up until then Ciaran McGurgan’s side had enjoyed a return to form in the league with ten goals in their last two games, winning 5-1 against both Dollingstown and Lurgan Celtic. The Portadown based side are currently in second place going into the weekend’s fixtures, trailing leaders Queens University by a single point.

Queens University v Sport & Leisure Swifts (venue: The Dub; kick-off: 3pm)

It’s top versus bottom in the third tier on Saturday, as Peter Thompson’s Queens University look to keep their title charge on track against an out of form Sport and Leisure Swifts side. The Students have a narrow one point lead in the three horse race for the Premier Intermediate League title, having defeated Armagh City 5-0 in their last outing.

Sport and Leisure Swifts’ luck didn’t improve last weekend, as their game at home to Portstewart was postponed. Pat McAllister’s team are still four points adrift at the foot of the table, losing their previous league game 8-2 to Tobermore United on 2nd March.

Tobermore United v Lurgan Celtic (venue: Fortwilliam Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Last Saturday’s shock derby defeat to Moyola Park has rocked Tobermore United title hopes, albeit they remain in third place with a game in hand on the front two. It was a first league defeat since the opening day of the season for Adrian Whiteside’s team.

Lurgan Celtic have endured a disappointing season in the third tier following their relegation. Tobermore United ran away comfortable 5-1 winners in the last meeting between the sides back in November. Gerard McMahon’s Hoops are without a league win in their last four games.

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