Queens University host Banbridge Town in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League (c) Presseye

BLUEFIN SPORT PREMIER INTERMEDIATE: MATCHDAY 5 PREVIEW

The Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League is back this weekend as we look ahead to all six games as the third-tier starts to heat up!

Dollingstown v Annagh United (venue: Planter’s Park; kick-off: 2pm)

It’s top versus bottom in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League as leaders Annagh United make the short journey across to neighbours Dollingstown on Saturday. Ciaran McGurgan have enjoyed a 100% start to the league campaign, winning four games from four – but go into this game off the back of a free week.

Dollingstown have struggled in the early stages of the season but claimed a morale boosting 4-3 victories over Saturday’s opponents, Annagh, in the Bob Radcliffe Cup quarter-finals. Stephen Uprichard’s side only have a single point to their name so far since their return to the third-tier this season, they lost 3-1 to Queens University last time out in the league but even a point could potentially lift them off the foot of the table this weekend.

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

Lurgan Celtic exited the Irish Cup to league rivals Portstewart last weekend and Gerard McMahon’s men will be looking to bounce back in their promotion push against a Tobermore United side two places but only one point ahead of them going into this game. The Hoops currently sit in mid-table with two wins and two defeats so far in the league this season.

Despite defeat to Queens in the Irish Cup last Saturday, Adrian Whiteside’s fourth placed Tobermore go into this game in good form, after won their last Premier Intermediate League outing against Portstewart by four goals without reply last month, they have progressed in both the Intermediate Cup and the Craig Memorial Cup with wins over Shankhill United and Desertmartin, respectively.

Portstewart v Lisburn Distillery (venue: Mullaghacall; kick-off: 2pm)

Despite defeat in their re-arranged league match with Queens University a fortnight ago, Johnny Law’s Seahawks bounced back with progression to the fourth round of the Irish Cup, defeating Lurgan Celtic away from home last Saturday. That result halted an alarming run of form with four defeats from their last five games in all competitions before last weekend.

With only one win from their opening four games, the pressure is on the Distillery management team of Colin McIlwaine and George O’Boyle to keep up with the front runners in the race for promotion from the third-tier. The New Grosevnor Park side currently reside in the bottom half of the table ahead of their trip to the North Coast this weekend, and lost 4-2 to Shankhill United last weekend in the Irish Cup.

Queens University v Banbridge Town (venue: The Dub; kick-off: 2pm)

Only goal difference is preventing Peter Thompson’s Queens side from topping the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League. The Students have been on a fine run of form since losing to leaders Annagh back in mid-September, winning their last four games in succession including a 6-3 win against fellow third-tier side Tobermore United last Saturday in the Irish Cup.

Visitors to the Dub this weekend, are Stuart King’s Banbridge Town, who are currently in eighth place in the table. The County Down side have had to endure being knocked out of two cup competitions in a week, losing in the Irish Cup (to Strabane Athletic) on Saturday and in the Mid-Ulster Cup (to Portadown) in midweek.

Sport & Leisure Swifts v Moyola Park (venue: Glen Road Heights; kick-off: 2pm)

These two sides meet in West Belfast on Saturday afternoon desperate for points to drag them away from the wrong end of the Premier Intermediate League table. Packie McAllister’s side were knocked out of the Irish Cup by Crewe United last Saturday and will be keen to re-capture some league form after a heavy 7-2 defeat to Lisburn Distillery in their last league outing.

Moyola Park have had ten days to regroup since their 4-1 defeat to Limavady United in their last competitive outing in the North West Cup. They start the day level on points with their opponents, having only won once in the league this season.

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

It was a free week for Armagh City in preparation for Saturday’s visit of Newington, the Holm Park club currently sit eleventh in the table and will be looking to make home advantage count against Newington on Saturday. Armagh are without a victory since the middle of September and without a win in the Premier Intermediate League this season going into this important clash.

Newington go into this trip to the Orchard County following a narrow 3-2 win over Brantwood in the Irish Cup last weekend, to book their place in the fourth round of the competition. The North Belfast side are currently third in the table having only been defeated once in their opening four games.

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