Queens University

BLUEFIN SPORT PREMIER INTERMEDIATE LEAGUE: MATCHDAY 18 PREVIEW

It’s still tight at the top of the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League going into the final month of a pulsating campaign! We look ahead to all the action.

Friday 5 April 2019

Newington YC v Annagh United (venue: Solitude; kick-off: 7.45pm)

It was a free weekend past for fifth placed Newington last week, they host Annagh United tonight to kick off the weekend's Premier Intermediate League action. The last encounter between these sides ended in a 6-1 defeat for the 'Ton - they will be keen to not repeat such a scoreline.

Annagh United comfortably put four goals past Sport & Leisure Swifts without reply last Saturday to return to the top of the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League on goal difference, having played a game more than their title rivals. With the title race destined to go to the wire there is no margin for error for Ciaran McGurgan’s side on Friday night.

Saturday 6 April 2019

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

The Eagles picked up a vital point on the road to neighbours Lurgan Celtic last weekend to halt an alarming sequence of five successive defeats. That takes Armagh five points clear of Sport & Leisure in the battle to avoid the drop this season, however having played three games more than their relegation rivals it will be imperative they pick up something from their remaining three league fixtures starting on Saturday against Moyola Park.

Moyola Park’s have lost back to back games now in the third tier after enjoying such a fine run of form in 2019 which has taken them within touching distance of the top half of the table. The last time these two sides met it was Armagh City who came out on top at Mill Meadow, in one of only three league wins this campaign.

Banbridge Town v Lurgan Celtic (venue: Crystal Park; kick-off: 3pm)

There’s a Mid-Ulster derby at Crystal Park as Stuart King’s Banbridge Town welcome Lurgan Celtic. They start the game in sixth place and will have ambitions of consolidating their top half position going into the final games of the season. Banbridge Town drew 2-2 with Portstewart last Saturday after surrendering an early two goal lead.

Gerard McMahon’s Lurgan Celtic have only three games left in a season to forget but are edging closer to ensuring their league safety and avoiding back to back relegations. The scoreless draw with neighbours and fellow struggler Armagh City last Saturday may not have been an overly inspiring encounter but is a valuable league point for the Hoops who have lost their previous two games against Banbridge this season.

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

Jonny Law’s Seahawks enjoyed a memorable Intermediate Cup semi-final victory over Queens University on Wednesday night which sees them face Crumlin Star at Windsor Park next month. With as many as three games in hand on some of the teams around them Portstewart have the chance to end the season on a high and finish in the top half of the table ahead of their cup final, they drew 2-2 with Banbridge Town in their last league outing on Saturday past.

It was a shock 2-0 defeat for Tobermore United as their title hopes were dealt a major blow last Saturday at Dollingstown. The third placed side are now three points off the top two but with a game in hand on leaders Annagh United. Adrian Whiteside’s men will look to get back to winning ways on Saturday against a Portstewart side they defeated 4-0 back in September at Fortwilliam Park.

Queens University v Lisburn Distillery (venue: The Dub; kick-off: 3pm)

There’s a short trip down the Malone Road for Lisburn Distillery as they face a Queen’s University who will be eager to bounce back from being knocked out of the Intermediate Cup semi-final in midweek. The Students currently sit second on goal difference but have a game in hand on their title rivals. Peter Thompson’s side haven’t been in league action since defeating Sport & Leisure a fortnight ago.

The Whites go into this game in a great run of form having won four out of four in the month of March and taking them within sixth points of the top of the league. It is likely to be too little to late for Colin McIlwaine’s side though as with only two games remaining after Saturday, they seem consigned to another season in the third tier. These two sides have met three times already this campaign so far, with a win apiece and one draw making f

Sport & Leisure Swifts v Dollingstown (venue: Glen Road Heights; kick-off: 3pm)

There’s a huge clash at the bottom of the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League as Sport & Leisure must start picking up points if they are to stay in the division next season. Packie McAllister’s side went to Annagh United last Saturday and chalked up their seventh straight defeat in the league dating back to January and are now five points from safety and rooted to the bottom of the table.

Dollingstown may only be two places above their opponents but their shock 2-0 win against title challengers Tobermore United last week has now taken the Dollybirds a full seven points clear of the bottom of the table with games running out. Three points in West Belfast on Saturday would go a long way to ensuring their league survival but they will be conscious that the Swifts’ last victory game at Planter’s Park back in January – with Michael McMullan scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win.

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