Friday, 15 March 2019
The Bluefin Sport Championship title may have been decided but there's still a race on to see who could join Larne in promotion to the top flight!
Ballinamallard United v HW Welders (venue: Ferney Park; kick-off: 3pm)
Harry McConkey’s Mallards have a chance to leapfrog their visitors in the table on Saturday with a point. Ballinamallard have only won once in the three meetings between the sides this season, with the visitors having won twice. Ballinamallard failed to spoil the coronation party at Larne in in their last game, losing 3-0 at Inver Park.
The Welders are without a permanent manager following the dismissal of Norman Kelly this week, Laurence Fyfe takes temporary charge of the East Belfast side for their trip to Fermanagh. HW Welders are without a win in x games and go into this game off the back of a 4-1 defeat to neighbours Dundela last Saturday at Wilgar Park.
Ballyclare Comrades v Loughgall (venue: Dixon Park; kick-off: 3pm)
The Comrades and Loughgall go into this game at Dixon Park both locked on points with only goal difference separating the sides in seventh and eighth positions in the Championship table. Ballyclare Comrades have had back to back draws in the previous two outings against PSNI and Knockbreda.
Dean Smith’s Loughgall also go into this game off the back of a draw following their stalemate against Dergview. The Villagers go into the clash unbeaten in four games dating back to the last time these two sides met, when the Comrades ran out 5-3 winners in February.
Carrick Rangers v Larne (venue: Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena; kick-off: 3pm)
Carrick Rangers’ comeback from two goals down against Portadown last week leaves them in pole position with five games left to secure second place in the Championship table heading into the promotion playoffs. They maintained four point lead over promotion rivals Portadown thanks to a double from Championship Player of the Month Caolan Loughran and now face champions Larne at home in another East Antrim derby.
Larne celebrated their league championship victory last week with a comfortable 3-0 win over Ballinamallard United at Inver Park last Saturday and now preparations must begin for life in the Danske Bank Premiership. There is still plenty of pride to play for and Tiaran Lynch will be wary that Niall Currie’s Rangers are one of only two sides to have defeated the champions in the league this term.
Dergview v Limavady United (venue: Darragh Park; kick-off: 3pm)
Ivan Sproule continued his miraculous run as Dergview manager as their 0-0 draw with Loughgall took the Castlederg side to six league games unbeaten as they start the afternoon in ninth place and two points above the relegation playoff places. Dergview won 4-1 in the previous league meeting between the sides in January as they moved off the bottom of the table.
Limavady United gave themselves a fighting chance of survival last weekend as Sean Friars’ side defeated Knockbreda 3-1 to reduce the gap at the foot of the table to six points on eleventh placed PSNI. It was their first win in six attempts in the league.
Dundela v Portadown (venue: Wilgar Park; kick-off: 3pm)
Bryan McCarroll’s Dundela managed to capitalise on Portadown dropping points last Saturday to close the gap on third place to just three points with a derby win over HW Welders. The Duns’ form had fallen away since the turn of the year, but the win last weekend gives some hope to a chance of breaking into the playoff places provided they can overcome Portadown at home tomorrow.
The Ports have edged the last two meetings between the sides in the Championship this season going into this trip to East Belfast. However it’s only been one win in their last five games in all competitions for the Shamrock Park side who surrendered a 2-0 lead to draw against Carrick Rangers last weekend at home.
Knockbreda v PSNI (venue: Breda Park; kick-off: 3pm)
There’s a game of significant importance at Breda Park on Saturday as these two cross city rivals are battling for survival now. Knockbreda’s form in recent weeks has suffered, most recently losing to bottom side Limavady United. They are without a win in four games, dating back to their last meeting with the PSNI which they won 4-1 in January. They hold a narrow two point advantage over their opponents and the relegation playoff zone going into this game.
PSNI have only one of their last nine Championship games and have failed to beat Knockbreda in any of the three previous attempts this season to date. Colin Malone’s side drew 2-2 with Ballyclare Comrades last week and currently sit in eleventh place with the threat of a relegation playoff looming with five games to go.
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