Lurgan Celtic travel to Newington in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League this weekend (c) Presseye

BLUEFIN SPORT PREMIER INTERMEDIATE: MATCHDAY 4 PREVIEW

For the third tier clubs the focus turns from the cup competitions back to Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League action on Saturday, we preview the fixtures of a full schedule of games.

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

In a game that has been switched from Moyola Park’s home ground, sees table toppers Annagh United seek to maintain their 100% record in the third-tier. Despite their fantastic start to the league campaign Ciaran McGurgan’s side have found themselves disappointingly knocked out in the Irish Cup (to Rosemount Rec) and the Mid-Ulster Cup (to Banbridge Town), however last week they bounced back with a 4-2 Bob Radcliffe Cup win over neighbours Armagh City last weekend.

With only one win from their first three games, Moyola Park currently find themselves in the wrong half of the table and just two points off the foot of the table. That win came in their last league outing against Lurgan Celtic three weeks ago, but like their opponents on Saturday – Moyola suffered defeat to non-league opposition in the Irish Cup, going down 2-1 to Crewe United last time out.

Banbridge Town v Armagh City (venue: Crystal Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Stuart King takes his Banbridge Town team into this Premier Intermediate League game on the crest of a five game unbeaten run in all competitions. Currently in fifth and despite only one point from their last two league games, they’ve comfortably progressed in the cup competitions – the Irish Cup, Bob Radcliffe Cup and Mid-Ulster Cup. On Saturday past they defeated rivals Lurgan Celtic, 3-0 in the Bob Radcliffe Cup.

It’s been a difficult season for Armagh City this season, currently propping up the table – they’ve suffered a turbulent couple of weeks firstly being unceremoniously dumped out of the Irish Cup by Dunloy, quickly followed up by the 4-2 defeat to Annagh United in the Bob Radcliffe Cup. The Eagles will be keen to get back on track with a first win of the season this week.

Lisburn Distillery v Sport & Leisure Swifts (venue: New Grosvenor Park; kick-off: 3pm)

The Whites are still in search of their first victory of the season, after picking up two draws from their opening three games. Colin McIlwaine’s Distillery side have had some success in the early season cup competitions – progressing to the quarter-finals of the Steel and Sons Cup after defeating Shankhill United by a single Matthew Ferguson goal last week.

Packie McAllister Sport and Leisure side have failed to win in the league since the opening weekend of the season and need to get back on track as they make the short trip to New Grosvenor Park on Saturday. Last time out they were knocked out of the Steel and Sons Cup by Crumlin Star last weekend.

Newington YC v Lurgan Celtic (venue: Solitude; kick-off: 3pm)

Newington remain one of only three unbeaten sides in the Premier Intermediate League and currently sit second, just two points behind leaders, Annagh United. The North Belfast side were successful last week in continuing their defence of the Steel and Sons Cup with a 1-0 victory over Ballynahinch Olympic.

Lurgan Celtic make the journey to Solitude on Saturday looking to find form in an inconsistent season so far since their relegation to the third tier. Gerard McMahon’s Hoops currently are eighth with only three points on the board and go into this game off the back of back-to-back defeats to Banbridge Town (Bob Radcliffe Cup) and Moyola Park (league).

Queens University v Dollingstown (venue: The Dub; kick-off: 3pm)

The Students from Queens University will be aiming to bounce back from defeat to leaders Annagh United in their last league outing, and keep their promotion push back on track. It’s been two weeks since the South Belfast club were in competitive action, defeating Saturday’s opponents Dollingstown, 4-3, in the Irish Cup second round.

Stephen Uprichard’s Dollybirds got over their Irish Cup exit two weeks ago with a comfortable 5-0 win over Cookstown RBL in the Bob Radcliffe Cup last weekend. Dollingstown are still finding their feet in the third tier following their promotion, with only one point on the board to date, and narrowly avoiding bottom spot on goals scored.

Tobermore United v Portstewart (venue: Fortwilliam Park; kick-off: 3pm)

Adrian Whiteside’s Tobermore United host Portstewart on Saturday after a two week break. Their last outing was a 5-3 win against Ardstraw in the Irish Cup as Tobermore aim to build on their first win of the league campaign with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Sport & Leisure Swifts in their last league outing.

Unbeaten Portstewart have enjoyed a fine start to the season with two wins and a draw in their three league matches to date, but like their opponents on Saturday – they have been without competitive action for a number of weeks. Their last game being the 0-0 draw with Banbridge Town in the league, the Seahawks are currently third in the division.

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