BLUEFIN SPORT PREMIER INTERMEDIATE LEAGUE: MATCHDAY 3 PREVIEW

There’s another five games in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League this Saturday, we look ahead to all the action in our gameweek preview.

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

Ciaran McGurgan’s Annagh United are the only team in the division to have played twice with a 100% record as they have their eyes firmly now set on promotion even at this early stage of the season. Last weekend they squeezed out a narrow 1-0 win over Moneyslane in the Bob Radcliffe Cup thanks to Ruari McDonald’s goal, but they go into this league clash without experienced striker Scott McCordick who was sent off in that game.

It’s top versus bottom in the Premier Intermediate League as Mark Clyde looks to get the Roesiders’ first points on the board this season after two defeats in their opening two league games since dropping back down into the third tier. Limavady United go into this game off the back of a ding-dong clash last Saturday in the Craig Memorial Cup, winning 6-5 in extra time against Ardstraw with Oisin Hassan scoring a hat-trick.

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

Armagh City will be pleased with their start to the new Premier Intermediate League season with four points from their first two games. The Eagles took their form into the Bob Radcliffe Cup on Saturday past as Fivemiletown United were dispatched by four goals without reply in the Bob Radcliffe Cup first round. Player-manager Shea Campbell will sit out this game through suspension.

Bangor returned to life back in the NI Football League with a 2-0 win over Banbridge Town two weeks ago. The Seasiders had a free week on Saturday and come back ready to keep their momentum going in their return to the third-tier of the NI Football League under Hugh Sinclair.

Banbridge Town v Tobermore United (venue: Crystal Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Stuart King’s Banbridge Town may still find themselves without a point after their opening two league games and a first round exit of the Mid-Ulster Cup ten days ago to Loughgall, but they started the defence of the Bob Radcliffe Cup last week in convincing form, defeating Dromore Amateurs 6-1 thanks to a Darren McGrath hat-trick – King will be hoping that result can kick-start their season against Tobermore United on Saturday.

Tobermore travel to County Down with only a single point on the board so far, they lost to Strabane Athletic in the Craig Memorial Cup last Saturday after also being unceremoniously dumped out of the North West Senior Cup to Dergview earlier that week. Adrian Whiteside will be hoping that his side can quickly recapture some of the form that seen them finish third last season.

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

Since Dollingstown’s last league outing they have only played once, as they were narrowly defeated in the Mid-Ulster Cup to Warrenpoint Town, ten days ago. Stephen Uprichard’s men start the weekend in fourth place after two games but know their form at Planter’s Park will be crucial to their ambitions for a league campaign with little margin for error.

Newington defeated Sirocco Works last Saturday to knock last year’s finalists out of the competition with goals from Gerard Dempsey and Jonathan Gowdy. The North Belfast side return to league action at Dollingstown on Saturday having only played one league fixture to date, winning against Limavady United on the opening day of the Premier Intermediate League season.

Lisburn Distillery v Portstewart (venue: New Grosvenor Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Distillery progressed to the last 16 of the Steel and Sons Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over Bloomfield last Saturday with two goals for Richie Nesbitt and one for Nick Beta. Stephen Hatfield’s side have won one and lost one to date in the league and will be keen to get back on the promotion hunt with three points at home against the Seahawks.

Portstewart travel to New Grosvenor Park in confident form following an fine start to the new season – the start the weekend in second place in the table and come off the back off a seven goal rout against Magherafelt Sky Blues last Saturday, as Zach Barr’s four goals sealed progression to the next round of the Craig Memorial Cup.