11 Nov 2023

Just three points separate the leading trio in the Playr-Fit Championship after leaders Dundela were held to a scoreless draw while Portadown and Institute picked up significant victories.

There were also wins for HW Welders and Newington while Knockbreda picked up their first point of the campaign.

Dundela travelled to Ferney Park to face Ballinamallard United but had to settle for a share of the spoils after a scoreless draw, although Josh McIlwaine did see a header cleared off the line for the home side while Jordan Jenkins struck the woodwork for the visitors.

Portadown are now just a point adrift after their 4-1 defeat of Dergview at Shamrock Park.

Niall Currie’s side raced into a three-goal lead inside half-an-hour through finishes from Eamon Fyfe, Eoin Bradley and Kenneth Kane. Substitute Sean McDonagh pulled one back for Dergview just before the hour but Luke Wilson restored Portadown’s three-goal cushion late in the game.

Institute left it very late to get past Ballyclare Comrades at Dixon Park.

Ballyclare had led from a Gary Donnelly spot-kick after just 15 minutes, an advantage they held until two minutes from time when Shaun Leppard levelled for ‘Stute.

The Drumahoe side then stunned their hosts a minute into stoppage time with Michael Harris’ header from a free-kick before the same player struck again a few minutes after that to seal what looked for so long to be an unexpected three points.

Fourth placed HW Welders also struck late on to defeat Annagh United at the Blanchflower Stadium.

Scoreless for most of the game, the Welders edged in front on 86 minutes through Kyle Owens before, in the third minute of added time, Tiarnan O’Connor doubled up to make sure of the win.

And Newington, just behind the Welders on goal difference, got the better of Bangor by the odd goal in three at Inver Park.

Neil Cummings opened the scoring for the Swans early in the second half, with Zach Barr adding another midway though the half. Ben Arthurs did pull one back late on for the Seasiders but it wasn’t enough to spark a late comeback.

Meanwhile, at Clandeboye Park, bottom of the table Knockbreda picked up their first point of the season thanks to Ashton McDermott’s stoppage time leveller after Ards had held the lead through Connor Maxwell’s 47th minute header.