Armagh City travel to Tobermore United this weekend in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League (c) Presseye

BLUEFIN SPORT PREMIER INTERMEDIATE LEAGUE: MATCHDAY 11 PREVIEW

The games are now coming thick and fast in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League with a full suite of fixtures on Saturday afternoon, we preview all the games.

Banbridge Town v Moyola Park (venue: Crystal Park; kick-off: 2pm)

Goals from Neil Clydesdale and Chris McGrath were enough to give Stuart King’s Banbridge victory over Lurgan Celtic last Saturday which keeps the Town in the mix amongst the top half clubs. That result extended the County Down side’s unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions as they continue their good form into the second half of the season in which a promotion push is on the cards for the club.

Moyola Park were not so fortunate in their first outing of 2019 last Saturday, losing 3-2 to Armagh City – a result which leaves the Castledawson side still perilously close to the foot of the third tier table. The loss marked a fourth straight league reverse for Mervyn Pattison’s side.

Lisburn Distillery v Dollingstown (venue: New Grosvenor Park; kick-off: 2pm)

A dismal 6-0 Irish Cup exit to league rivals Queens University leaves the Whites the opportunity to focus solely on their faltering league campaign. One of the early promotion favourites currently reside in sixth place, with nine points of difference between them and the leaders – as they have to now face life without the division’s leading goalscorer Matthew Ferguson who has joined HW Welders.

Stephen Uprichard’s Dollingstown suffered a fourth consecutive defeat last Saturday, as they failed to beat Sport and Leisure Swifts for the chance to move off the bottom of the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League table. They go again this Saturday at New Grosvenor Park this Saturday looking to take advantage of a Distillery side low on confidence.

Lurgan Celtic v Annagh United (venue: Knockramer Park; kick-off: 2pm)

Chances of Lurgan Celtic bouncing back to the Bluefin Sport Championship at the first attempt seem to be rapidly fading after another defeat last Saturday to Banbridge Town which leaves the County Armagh club in eighth place and trailing the leaders Queens University by a full ten points.

The mood down the road at visiting Annagh United is much different as they continue to hold the only remaining unbeaten record in all three NI Football League divisions. It’s the first outing of 2019 for Ciaran McGurgan’s side as they drew 0-0 with Armagh City at the end of December.

Portstewart v Sport & Leisure Swifts (venue: Mullachcall; kick-off: 2pm)

It’s ninth versus tenth on the North Coast, as Pat McAllister’s Sport and Leisure Swifts side travel to face Portstewart. Inspired by new signing Stephen McAlorum last weekend, they picked up a 1-0 win on the road at Dollingstown. Michael McMullan’s early goal halted a four game losing streak which allowed the West Belfast to kick-off 2019 with a win.

For Jonny Law’s Seahawks it’s a first competitive outing of the year as they look to get back to winning ways after finishing last year with three defeats on the bounce, most recently against Lurgan Celtic.

Queens University v Newington YC (venue: The Dub; kick-off: 2pm)

The Students continue to the top the table and their impressive season continued last Saturday with a 6-0 demolition of Lisburn Distillery to progress to the sixth round of the Irish Cup. Peter Thompson’s side continue to lead the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League table by three points, but having played two games more than second placed Annagh United.

Fourth place Newington will go into this game with no fear but will be keen to get back to winning ways to keep their promotion hopes alive with back-to-back draws against Banbridge Town and Tobermore United in recent weeks. The two Belfast based sides met earlier in the season in the Irish Cup, with Queens coming out on top, winning 4-1 in their fourth round clash.

Tobermore United v Armagh City (kick-off: 2pm)

Adrian Whiteside’s third placed Tobermore United side were denied a sixth successive league victory against Newington last week that would have moved them second in the third tier table. They could move into the second place for the first time this season if results go their way on Saturday,

The evergreen Shea Campbell proved the hero last week with a brace that moved Armagh City away from the wrong end of the Premier Intermediate League table. The Eagles are currently in seventh place and in the cusp of breaking into the top half of the table.

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