BLUEFIN SPORT CHAMPIONSHIP: MATCHDAY 10 PREVIEW

The Bluefin Sport Championship continues this weekend as the battle between Larne and Dundela continues in the race for promotion! We look ahead to this Saturday's games.

Ballyclare Comrades v Dundela (venue: Dixon Park; kick-off: 3pm)

The top four clash at Dixon Park brings together two of the surprise packages of the Championship season on Saturday. Bryan McCarroll’s Dundela continue to battle it out with Larne at the top of the table and kept the gap to just two points with TJ Murray’s double against Ballinamallard United last week sealing a 3-2 win.

The Comrades may be five points behind the Duns going into this weekend, but closing the gap is a distinct possibility for Stephen Hughes’ side. They had substitute Jamie Willighan to thank last week as his stoppage time winner away to Dergview to keep them within touching distance of the playoff places after back-to-back league defeats to Carrick Rangers and Larne in the last fortnight.

Knockbreda v HW Welders (venue: Upper Braniel; kick-off: 3pm)

There’s an East Belfast derby between Knockbreda and HW Welders at the Upper Braniel on Saturday with both sides occupying places in the top six of the Bluefin Sport Championship going into the weekend. Knockbreda maintained their impressive four game unbeaten run in the league with a 2-2 draw against promotion chasing Portadown last week, Brendan Bennett grabbing the headlines with his second half equaliser.

The Welders impressed during midweek against Ballymena United in the League Cup, losing out to a late Jude Winchester goal to narrow miss out on extra time and a shot at a place in the quarter-finals. Norman Kelly’s Welders were enjoying a decent run of form leading into the midweek fixture, having gone five games unbeaten including a convincing 4-1 win over Dundela two weeks ago.

Larne v Dergview (venue: Inver Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Unbeaten Larne continue their promotion push at home to Dergview on Saturday. Tiernan Lynch’s men continued their fine start to the campaign with a 3-1 win over Limavady United last Saturday on the road, with goals from Martin Donnelly, Paddy McNally and Davy McDaid. Larne currently top the Bluefin Sport Championship table, two points ahead of Dundela.

Peter Allen’s Dergview were in midweek League Cup action, but found Premiership side Ards too much to handle, losing 4-1 on Tuesday evening. It is not the ideal fixture for the Tyrone side to attempt to get their league season back on track having lost four consecutive Championship games before this fixture, after what had been an encouraging start to the season for a side that only retained their second tier status by virtue of the playoffs last season.

Loughgall v Ballinamallard United (venue: Lakeview Park; kick-off: 3pm)

The Villagers go into this game having picked up a valuable four points from their previous two games to lift them away from the relegation places in the league. Nathaniel Ferris was on hand to rescue a point away for Dean Smith’s men away to Carrick Rangers last weekend in a 1-1 draw that leaves Loughgall ninth in the table.

A close run encounter with Premiership champions Crusaders proved a welcome distraction for Harry McConkey’s side in midweek as their miserable season continued last Saturday with defeat number eight from nine games against high flying Dundela. The Mallards are rooted to the bottom of the second tier with only three points and are now four points adrift of next placed PSNI.

PSNI v Limavady United (venue: Newforge Lane; kick-off: 3pm)

It’s a big clash at he bottom end of the table between struggling PSNI and Limavady United at Newforge Lane. Colin Malone’s PSNI have closed the gap on the teams above them in recent weeks with only one defeat in their last four league fixtures and they will have been disappointed not to hold out for a win that would have propelled them up the table last week against HW Welders after leading through Kyle Crawford’s goal.

Sean Friars’ Limavady have struggled for points in recent weeks and are currently on a four game losing streak that they will look to bring to a close against a PSNI side they are locked at the bottom of the standings alongside. Limavady United were the latest side to come unstuck by Larne last weekend, losing 3-1 at the Limavady Showgrounds.