Limavady United's Hugh Carlin pictured with Alyn Spratt of Bluefin Sport
Friday, 11 October 2019
The Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League returns this Saturday with three teams looking to keep up their 100% starts to the campaign, we look ahead to all the games.
Banbridge Town v Lisburn Distillery (venue: Crystal Park; kick-off: 3pm)
Stuart King’s Banbridge Town side must pick themselves up from being knocked out of the Bob Radcliffe Cup last week to neighbours Rathfriland at Iveagh Park, the County Down side were holders of the competition and lost 3-1 on Saturday. It’s been a difficult start to the season for the Crystal Park side who have only one point to show for their opening three league games as they look to move away from the wrong end of the table.
The Whites also go into this game after a cup exit last weekend, Stephen Hatfield’s men were defeated on penalties by Larne Tech OB in the Steel and Sons Cup. Distillery start the weekend in fifth place after drawing 2-2 in their most recent league outing against Portstewart three weeks ago.
Bangor v Portstewart (venue: Bangor Fuels Arena; kick-off: 3pm)
The Seasiders were one of only three third-tier sides in BetMcLean League Cup action in midweek and argubably produced the best showing of those clubs, as they pushed Premiership opponents Cliftonville all the way, though eventually losing 3-2. Hugh Sinclair’s maintain a 100% record in the league (albeit having played a game less) since their promotion back to the NI Football League.
The weekend can’t come soon enough for Portstewart, they had to endure a free week of no cup competitions last Saturday and will be aiming to move on from their Irish Cup first round loss to Belfast Celtic two weeks ago. The Seahawks are unbeaten to date in the Premier Intermediate League but have drawn their last two games against Lisburn Distillery and Tobermore United, respectively.
Dollingstown v Annagh United (venue: Planter’s Park; kick-off: 3pm)
Dollingstown got a wake-up call on Tuesday night in the League Cup as they came away from the Ballymena Showgrounds on the back of a 6-0 drubbing. The Dollybirds had enjoyed back-to-back five goal cup wins in the past fortnight against Annagh United (Bob Radcliffe Cup) and Lower Maze (Irish Cup) as they will be hoping for a first home league victory of the season at Planter’s Park on Saturday.
For Annagh United the back-to-back encounter with Dollingstown will be the best opportunity to quickly put the 5-1 defeat in the cup to bed as a bad day at the office. The early season pacesetters in the league have enjoyed three wins from three and need to keep that winning run going if they are to meet their pre-season expectations of promotion from a division with little margin for error this season.
Limavady United v Armagh City (venue: Limavady Showgrounds: kick-off: 3pm)
Mark Clyde’s Roesiders start the weekend bottom of the third tier and without a point to date in the league. The midweek BetMcLean League Cup third round defeat to Premiership leaders Crusaders was to be expected in their first game in ten days, Limavady United defeated Immaculata in the Irish Cup in their previous competitive outing.
Armagh City, like their opponents, come into this game off the back of a cup defeat – they were defeated 1-0 by Hanover in the Bob Radcliffe Cup last Saturday. Since their last league outing (the 6-3 defeat to Bangor three weeks ago) the Eagles have however progressed to the next round of the Irish Cup with a narrow win over Dunloy.
Moyola Park v Newington (venue: Mill Meadow; kick-off: 3pm)
It’s a first league game in over a month for Moyola Park as they go in search of their first league win against Newington at Mill Meadow on Saturday. Their last game came against Brantwood in the Irish Cup in which Mervyn Pattison’s men were squeezed out of the competition by the odd goal in seven.
Third placed Newington are one of three teams with 100% records in the division and Conor Crossan’s impressive side have won seven of their opening eight games in all competitions – and they still haven’t played a game at home yet. The latest victory was in the Steel and Sons Cup as they progressed to the quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Holywood thanks to two goals from substitute Robbie McVarnock.