Knockbreda manager Lee Forsythe goes into the final game of the season needing a win © Matt Mackey / Presseye
Friday, 27 April 2018
It’s the final day of the Bluefin Sport Championship season and the only matter left to confirm is who will be in the relegation playoff place on Saturday!
It’s a straight shootout between Knockbreda and Dergview for survival in the Championship with both teams level on 33 points, with the East Belfast side holding a two goal advantage in their goal difference. Both teams will be playing to avoid a potential playoff against the second placed team in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League in May.
The two key games see Knockbreda host Limavady United at their Upper Braniel home. Manager Lee Forsythe will know that despite last week’s dropped points in the defeat to PSNI means that they still have safety in their own hands against ninth placed Limavady, however there is little between the two clubs in meetings this season with a win apiece and a post-split draw back in March.
In Castlederg, it will be Dergview hoping to capitalise on any potential slip up at Knockbreda, with their game against PSNI at Darragh Park. The midweek win over Larne for Dergview thanks to Adam Buchanan’s goal gives them a fighting chance of automatic survival as they go into this game with only one defeat in their last six games, although having lost all three of their games against the PSNI this season in the league.
Champions Institute were crowned last Saturday following their comfortable 3-0 win over Loughgall at Wilton Park and they can now prepare for life back in the Danske Bank Premiership next season after their game against Portadown. The Ports have already started rebuilding for next season in the second tier after missing out on the playoffs, they have announced the impending departures of John Connolly, Fra Brennan, Kyle McVey, Niall Henderson, Gary Warwick, Stefan Lavery and Peter Duffin.
Newry City confirmed their spot in the playoffs in midweek and they can now look ahead to facing either Ballinamallard United or Carrick Rangers in the first leg of the playoffs, as they look to bring top flight football back to the city of Newry. Whilst the playoff position has been confirmed by virtue of this week’s licencing decisions – their game against next placed HW Welders game is also a battle for second place in the division with both teams level on points going into the game, the Welders will need a win to capitalise on Newry’s superior goal difference.
Managerless Ballyclare Comrades travel to Loughgall as fifth meets sixth at Lakeview Park, Comrades boss Clifford Adams departed the East Antrim club last weekend but they will be looking to end the season on a high. Also the final game of a vastly contrasting season for both Lurgan Celtic and Larne in County Armagh, the Hoops are already relegated after a dismal season, but it is nothing but optimism for Larne going to the summer as they look to set their stall out for promotion to the Premiership next season.