Annagh United host Queens University in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League this weekend (c) Presseye

BLUEFIN SPORT PREMIER INTERMEDIATE: MATCHDAY 3 PREVIEW

After a two week break for cup competitions the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League returns on Saturday for matchday three!

Annagh United v Queens University (venue: Tandragee Road; kick-off: 3pm)

It’s second against third in the Premier Intermediate League in Portadown as Queens Unversity travel to Annagh United. Both sides go into this league game with 100% league records from the opening two games, so therefore something has got to give! Ciaran McGurgan’s home side go into the game off the back of a disappointing 5-1 Mid Ulster Cup defeat to Banbridge Town on Tuesday night.

Early title favourites Queens University came unstuck by Glentoran twice in the past week, firstly losing on Saturday to their Seconds in the Steel and Sons Cup before nearly causing the upset of the County Antrim Shield first round, having led for a large chunk of the game only to be unstuck by two late goals at the Oval.

Armagh City v Lisburn Distillery (venue: Holm Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Both teams go into this clash at Holm Park looking to kick start their league seasons as they currently share a single point between them, which belongs to the visitors. Armagh City go into this off the back of a Mid Ulster Cup defeat on penalties to Banbridge Rangers, having lost their two opening Premier Intermediate games to Lurgan Celtic and Sport & Leisure Swifts. Their only success in a dismal start to the season came on Saturday with a narrow 3-2 win over Seagoe in the Bob Radcliffe Cup.

Distillery have faired a bit better in the cup competitions to date this season, but will be disappointed with their league start, having only picked up a single point (from their draw against Newington). In their last match they were undone by five Cliftonville goals for the second time this season, this time in the County Antrim Shield first round – but they have been at their freescoring best in the Steel and Sons Cup this season, with 17 goals in three matches as they progressed to round four on Saturday.

Dollingstown v Newington YC (venue: Planter’s Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Newly promoted Dollingstown continue their NI Football League adventure with the visit of Newington to Planter’s Park on Saturday. Nathan Lavery’s late equaliser in stoppage time was enough to earn Stephen Uprichard’s side their first point of the league campaign three weeks ago against Tobermore United and since then they have go into this game with a win (v Dungannon Tigers in Bob Radcliffe Cup) and a defeat (v Warrenpoint Town in Mid Ulster Cup) in the last week.

Newington remain unbeaten with four points from their opening league games and also will be looking to retain their Steel and Sons Cup crown, having comfortably dispatched Albert Foundary on Saturday in round three. Newington go into this game having exited the County Antrim Shield in midweek to Championship side Ballyclare Comrades.

Lurgan Celtic v Moyola Park (venue: Knockramer Park; kick-off: 3pm)

The Hoops from County Armagh look to continue their push to bounce back to the Championship at the first attempt against bottom placed Moyola Park at Knockramer Park this weekend. Gerard McMahon’s side go into the game off the back of three consecutive wins, the most recent two in the Bob Radcliffe Cup following their win over neighbouring Armagh City in the last league outing three weeks previously.

It’s been a miserable start to the season for Mervyn Pattinson’s Moyola Park, with only three games played to date they have conceded 14 goals and have yet to find the back of the net themselves. There would be no better time to get off the mark than against one of the title favourites on Saturday.

Portstewart v Banbridge Town (venue: Mullaghacall; kick-off: 3pm)

Johnny Law’s side may surprise some as the early leaders of the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League following wins against Moyola Park and Dollingstown but go into this game having been brought down to earth with a bump after Saturday’s surprise defeat in the Craig Memorial Cup to Strabane Athletic. The Seahawks also ran Championship side HW Welders close in BetMcLean League Cup just over a week ago, losing on penalties in their rearranged fixture.

Banbridge Town’s last league game was a 3-2 defeat to Annagh United, after fighting back from 2-0 down to equalise – only to be undone by Scott McCrodrick’s late winner, but Stuart King’s side return to league action following two morale boosting victories in the Bob Radcliffe Cup (v Moneyslane) and the Mid Ulster Cup (v Annagh United).

Sport & Leisure Swifts v Tobermore United (venue: Glen Road; kick-off: 3pm)

Pat McAllister’s Swifts side go into this home game looking to get back to winning ways after defeat in the last league game to Queens University two weeks ago. The West Belfast defeated Lisburn Rangers to progress in the Steel and Sons Cup on last weekend.

For Tobermore United, they have just a single point on the board so far, having drawn 1-1 with Dollingstown at the start of the month but go into this game having defeated Newtowne in the Craig Memorial Cup on Saturday past.

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