Dollingstown secured their first victory of the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League last weekend (c) Presseye

BLUEFIN SPORT PREMIER INTERMEDIATE LEAGUE: MATCHDAY 8 PREVIEW

The battle continues in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League with a full round of fixtures on Saturday afternoon.

Annagh United v Portstewart (venue: Tandragee Road; kick-off: 2pm)

Title chasing Annagh United were left frustrated as last week’s game against Sport and Leisure fell victim to the weather. The County Armagh side still maintain a 100% record in the division but have fallen further behind leaders Queens University, albeit with three games in hand.

Johnny Law’s Portstewart still sit comfortably in the top half of the table despite last week’s 2-1 defeat away to Newington. They are only one of three sides to have completed eight league fixtures to date but could go within a point of Saturday’s opponents should they secure an away victory.

Banbridge Town v Newington (venue: Crystal Park; kick-off: 2pm)

It’s been an inconsistent season to date for Stuart King’s Banbridge Town who currently sit just outside of the top six. Their game with Tobermore United last weekend fell victim of the weather having won 2-1 against Sport & Leisure Swifts last time out two weeks ago.

Newington moved up to fourth with a win against Portstewart last weekend as they trail leaders Queens by six points but with a game in hand. Gavin Taggart’s penalty proved the match-winner against the Seahawks, it was the former Ballymena United midfielder’s third goal of the league campaign.

Dollingstown v Armagh City (venue: Planter’s Park; kick-off: 2pm)

The Dollybirds may have picked up a welcome first win of the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League season last Saturday against Lurgan Celtic but it wasn’t enough to lift the County Down side off the bottom of the table. Another win could potentially see last year’s promoted side move as high as eighth in a tightly contested bottom half of the division.

Visiting Planter’s Park in this clash of the bottom two is eleventh placed Armagh City, who have endured a difficult season to date. A narrow 1-0 defeat to Queens University last weekend leaves the Holm Park side only a point above their opponents going into this important fixture in the third tier.

Lisburn Distillery v Tobermore United (venue: New Grosvenor Park; kick-off: 2pm)

The Whites extended their unbeaten run to six games with Matthew Swann’s winner against Moyola Park moving Distillery up into third place in the standings, but still trailing the leaders by six points having played the same number of games.

Adrian Whiteside brings his Tobermore United side to Lisburn for their first league game in five weeks, following last week’s postponement due to the weather. The 5-1 win against Lurgan Celtic showed what the Fortwilliam Park side are capable off this season – as they have three games in hand over the leaders and nine points of a difference.

Lurgan Celtic v Sport & Leisure Swifts (venue: Knockramer Park; kick-off: 2pm)

These two sides meet in Lurgan on Saturday with an identical record to date this season with two wins and five defeats apiece in a frustrating campaign for both. Gerard McMahon’s Lurgan Celtic became the first side to suffer defeat to Dollingstown in the league last weekend, as the Hoops now look to bounce back for their first league victory since October against the Swifts.

Packie McAllister’s side weren’t in action last Saturday due to the weather but also go into this game out of form after three successive defeats, which has left the West Belfast side only two points off the bottom of the table. They lost 2-1 to Banbridge Town a fortnight ago at Crystal Park in their last Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League outing.

Queens University v Moyola Park (venue: The Dub; kick-off: 2pm)

The Students opened up a four-point gap at the top of the third tier last weekend with their 1-0 win over Armagh City, thanks to Ronan Young’s first half strike. It was a ninth game unbeaten for Peter Thompson’s side in all competition as they continue their march for promotion.

Moyola Park sit perilously close to the wrong end of the table, with only two points separating their ninth place berth from the foot of the table and potential relegation. They suffered a 1-0 defeat to Lisburn Distillery last weekend.

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