The race for promotion is about to get underway as the fixtures for the 2022/2023 Lough 41 Championship can now be revealed.
The second tier is as competitive as it has ever been as Newry City lifted the Championship trophy in April to take their place back in the top-flight, with derby rivals Warrenpoint Town passing them on the way down.
North Belfast giant-killers Newington take their place in the twelve team division and will be keen to make their mark having won the Premier Intermediate League last term.
Mirroring the Premiership, the Championship clubs will undertake a marathon 38 game season starting on Saturday 13 August with 33 regular season games before the ‘split’ at the end of March to decide the business end of the campaign.
The reward for the winners of the Lough 41 Championship will be a place in the 2023/2024 Premiership, and runners-up will qualify for a two-legged playoff against the eleventh placed team in the top division for a shot a promotion.
Newington’s first outing in the Championship will be against Dergview at Solitude on the opening day of the campaign - with fellow newcomers Warrenpoint Town starting their journey on the road to Loughgall.
Last season’s runners-up Annagh United host Knockbreda at the BMG Arena, with Ballinamallard United travelling to Ballyclare Comrades.
Dundela kick off their campaign at home to Institute whilst down the road HW Welders will start their first full season at the Blanchflower Stadium against Matthew Tipton’s Ards.
Fixtures for the eagerly anticipated Danske Bank Premiership schedule will finally be revealed tomorrow (Saturday 18 June) at noon.
Opening Gameweek Fixtures
Saturday 13 August 2022
Annagh United v Knockbreda
Ballyclare Comrades v Ballinamallard United
Dundela v Institute
HW Welders v Ards
Loughgall v Warrenpoint Town
Newington v Dergview