Carrick Rangers manager Niall Currie goes up against Portadown on Saturday (c) Presseye
Thursday, 20 December 2018
We look ahead to the three games taking place in Saturday’s Bluefin Sport Championship, as Carrick Rangers manager Niall Currie goes head to head with former club Portadown in a crunch promotion clash.
HW Welders v Dundela (venue: Tillysburn Park; kick-off: 2pm)
Saturday’s Championship action kicks off with an East Belfast derby at Tillysburn as the Welders welcome neighbours Dundela. Both these sides suffered at the hands of last Saturday’s weather and were forced into postponement. Despite currently occupying sixth place in a tightly contested top half of the Championship, three wins from four games have left Norman Kelly’s side in a good place having defeated Carrick Rangers 4-1 last time out, a fortnight ago.
Dundela were also out of action, as their game at home to Knockbreda was called off on Saturday. It’s been an alarming drop in form in recent weeks for Bryan McCarroll’s side as they are five games without a league win and three defeats on the bounce going into this game, despite this they currently still lie second in the table but have lost touch with leaders Larne, who remain 17 appoints ahead.
Knockbreda v PSNI (venue: Breda Park; kick-off: 2pm)
Only a point separates these two Belfast based sides going into this game on the Upper Braniel Road venue. Despite a postponent for the home side last week, Knockbreda’s early season form has deserted them as four defeats in sucession has left Lee Forsythe’s side with a mammoth task of making the top half split now in four games time, with eight points to make up.
PSNI may not have had the same aspirations of making the top six, as their steady ascent away from the foot of the table has been impressive. Colin Malone’s South Belfast outfit had a free week last week but defeated Limavady United 4-3 last time out. In the previous meeting between the sides this season, it was Knockbreda who ran out comfortable 3-1 winners.
Carrick Rangers v Portadown (venue: Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena; kick-off: 3pm)
Two recently Danske Bank Premiership sides meet at Taylor’s Avenue, with both knowing how important three points will be towards a potential playoff place as they start the game level on 29 points. Portadown hold the marginal goal difference advantage over their opponents but were dealt a hammer blow by the shock retirement of captain Johnny Flynn in midweek.
Rangers are the only of this Saturday’s six competing sides to have had a game last weekend, they drew 1-1 with Loughgall. Niall Currie welcomes former club to Carrickfergus, having earned the bragging rights just over two weeks ago when a Michael Smith double sealed a 2-0 win for his current side at Shamrock Park.
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