Portstewart host Moyola Park in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League on Saturday (c) Presseye
Thursday, 30 August 2018
It's gameweek two in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League on Saturday, we look ahead to each of the fixtures.
Annagh United v Banbridge Town (venue: Tandragee Road; kick-off: 3pm)
Ciaran McGurgan’s Annagh United side started their Premier Intermediate League campaign with a 1-0 win against Tobermore United two weeks ago thanks to Ben Eagle’s first half strike. They lost on Tuesday night to Premiership strugglers Warrenpoint Town in the BetMcLean League Cup, losing 3-1 at home.
Banbridge Town also enjoyed an opening day victory to start their league season in style with a 3-1 victory over fellow promotion chasers, Lisburn Distillery at Crystal Park. Goals from Stephen Acheson, Stephen McCavitt and Conor Downey gave new Town manager Stuart King the perfect tonic to start the season, and the County Down side will go into the game having enjoyed a two week rest and not having competed midweek in the League Cup.
Armagh City v Lurgan Celtic (venue: Holm Park; kick-off: 3pm)
Armagh City were on the wrong end of a 5-1 hammering to Sport & Leisure Swifts on the opening weekend, Adam Pedlow’s late consolation was the only positive moment of a season that has also included a 4-0 League Cup defeat to Saturday’s opponents Lurgan Celtic at the start of the month.
Lurgan Celtic have regrouped following their relegation under new boss Gerard McMahon, but have suffered back to back defeats since that early season victory over Armagh. Defeat to Queens University in the league was followed on Tuesday evening with a convincing 4-1 reverse away to Ballinamallard United in the League Cup. Both sides will be looking to get their first Premier Intermediate League points on the board this weekend.
Dollingstown v Tobermore United (venue: Planter’s Park; kick-off: 3pm)
Both teams go into this game looking to get off the mark in this season’s Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League after a pair of opening day defeats coupled with a pair of League Cup second round reverses as well.
Stephen Uprichard’s newly promoted Dollingstown started well against Portstewart in their first game, but falling away in the second half to a 4-1 defeat after leading at the break. It was a similar story in their spirited League Cup performance against Premiership opponents Ballymena United, losing 5-1 after equalising midway through the first half. Tobermore United on the other hand were narrowly defeated by Annagh United and went onto take Championship promotion hopefuls Portadown to extra-time on Tuesday before conceding three goals in extra time to crash out of the League Cup.
Lisburn Distillery v Newington YC (venue: New Grosvenor Park; kick-off: 3pm)
The Whites have endured a busy start to the season by comparison of some of their third-tier peers, their midweek 5-1 defeat to Cliftonville in the League Cup was their fifth game of the season, which included an impressive 9-1 demolition of Ballymena United Reserves in the Steel and Sons Cup last Saturday. Distillery will be looking to get their first league points of the season having been defeated by Banbridge Town in their only league game to date.
From all the Premier Intermediate League teams, Newington arguably came closest to a cup upset against a Premiership side, as they narrowly lost 3-2 to Ards, having gone three goals behind early on. It’s been a strong start to the season for the North Belfast club as they followed up their impressive 4-0 league win over Moyola Park, with another four goal performance against Ballymacash Rangers to progress in the Steel and Sons Cup.
Portstewart v Moyola Park (venue: Mullaghacall; kick-off: 3pm)
Both sides had unenjoyable yet contrasting experiences in the midweek BetMcLean League Cup – as Portstewart’s game with the Welders was abandoned in extra time following a horrific injury to the Welders’ defender Dan McMurray. The Seahawks (pictured), started the campaign in style under new manager Johnny Law with a 4-1 win over Dollingstown a fortnight ago.
Mervyn Pattinson’s trip to Windsor Park with Moyola Park turned into a second half nightmare as they came back to Castledawson having gone down eight goals without reply against Premiership leaders, Linfield.
Sport and Leisure Swifts v Queens University (venue: Glen Road Heights; kick-off: 3pm)
It was wins apiece for both Belfast clubs on the opening day of the league season. Peter Thompson's Queens started their promotion push with a 2-0 victory over recently relegated Lurgan Celtic to kick start their season, they weren't in action in midweek League Cup action.
Packie McAllister's Swifts may have suffered a heavy defeat to Carrick Rangers in midweek but they enjoyed a fine 5-1 win over Armagh City in their first league game with Darren Gallagher scoring twice.
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