Dollingstown's Aaron Moffatt pictured with Alyn Spratt from Bluefin Sport (c) Presseye
Thursday, 05 December 2019
December’s Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League action gets underway on Saturday as we preview matchday seven.
Armagh City v Banbridge Town (venue: Holm Park; kick-off: 3pm)
After a three week hiatus with no cup action the Eagles return to competitive football with a home game against neighbours Banbridge Town at Holm Park. Shea Campbell’s side start the weekend in ninth place and only a point and a place above their visitors from County Down on Saturday, having lost 2-0 to Newington in their most recent Premier Intermediate League outing.
Banrbidge Town provided their supporters with a rare moment of glory this season as they progressed to the fifth round of the Irish Cup with a 3-2 win over Michael Gault’s Ballymacash Rangers on Saturday. Stuart King’s side are still without a league win this season after six games and currently remain second bottom of the table with three points to their name, only one behind this weekend’s opponents – Armagh City.
Bangor v Tobermore United (venue: Bangor Fuels Arena; kick-off: 3pm)
Hugh Sinclair’s Bangor will also be in the hat for the Irish Cup draw after they overcame Limavady United at the Showgrounds last Saturday. The Seasiders are currently fourth in the third-tier table with a game in hand over the three clubs above them, as they kept up their hopes of back-to-back promotions having defeated Moyola Park 6-2 in their last league outing on 16 November, with in-form Ben Arthurs bagging a hat-trick. They will be without the suspended Ethan Boylan for this game.
Tobermore United currently remain bottom of the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League and whilst there is no threat of relegation (following the withdrawal of Lurgan Celtic) – improvements will be required for Adrian Whiteside’s men as they aim to get their first win of the league campaign. They endured four successive defeats in all competitions including their latest outing losing at home to Dollingstown (23 November).
Lisburn Distillery v Limavady United (venue: New Grosvenor Park; kick-off: 2pm)
The Whites have now played the most games of any teams in the Premier Intermediate League but their inconsistent league form means that Stephen Hatfield’s side currently occupy sixth place in the standings going into this game-week. Distillery drew 0-0 with Newington at home last Saturday in their rearranged fixture, they could move into fourth if results go their way.
Limavady United manager Mark Clyde must pick this side up after being knocked out of the Irish Cup to Bangor. The Roesiders are in seventh place in the table but with only one league game from their opening five league games this season. This is the first league outing for the North West club since 9 November, when they drew 2-2 with Banbridge Town.
Moyola Park v Portstewart (venue: Mill Meadow; kick-off: 3pm)
Both these sides were not in action last week but return to the pitch in search of vital league points. Moyola Park will be aiming to make home advantage count and move away from the wrong end of the standings against Portstewart. Mervyn Pattison’s men won 1-0 against Dungiven to progress to the final of the Craig Memorial Cup on Boxing Day, thanks a goal from captain Steven McQuillan.
Their 100% record in November has extended the Seahawks’ winning run to six consecutive games in all competitions going into the return to Premier Intermediate action on Saturday. Johnny Law’s men are second in the table and only a point behind the leaders, Annagh United.
Newington v Annagh United (venue: Solitude; kick-off: 3pm)
The game of the day is at Solitude as third place Newington face an important clash with league leaders Annagh United in the battle for promotion. The home side currently are only two points behind Annagh and could move above the Portadown based club with a win on Saturday afternoon. Conor Crossan’s side missed the chance to go joint-top last Saturday as they could only manage a scoreless draw with Lisburn Distillery in their rescheduled fixture.
Ciaran McGurgan’s Annagh United continue to set the pace with five wins from six games in the league so far. In their most recent outing (16 November) it was a single Ruari McDonald goal that was enough to overcome Banbridge Town at Crystal Park. That strike extends McDonald’s lead in the divisional the goalscoring charts – he has struck seven times for the Tandragee Road club so far this term.