Danske Bank Premiership

There were just three games that took place in the Danske Bank Premiership at the weekend, as Glenavon v Glentoran, Ballymena v Cliftonville and Carrick v Portadown fell victim to the freezing conditions that have hit Northern Ireland in recent days.

There were three teams that were seeking to claim top spot going into Saturday’s fixtures, with Crusaders and Larne hoping leapfrog Linfield in the lunchtime kick off and put some pressure on David Healy’s side before their home tie with Warrenpoint later in the day.

The early kick off between 2nd and 3rd was shown live on Sky Sports and what an advert it proved to be for the Irish League, as a Ronan Hale double put Larne 2-0 ahead and on course to claim top spot. Crusaders have rarely known when their beaten in recent years though and goals from Jamie McGonigle and Chris Hegarty levelled the game up before substitute Jonathan McMurray restored the visitors. More drama was to come as in the 89th minute Ben Kennedy brought the Crues level again from the penalty spot after Dean Jarvis handled in the area to secure Stephen Baxter’s team a point.

A point was not enough for either side to overtake Linfield though, who remained a point clear of Larne and two points ahead of Crusaders. This was before there game against Warrenpoint, which they won comfortably thanks to four goals from Andy Waterworth and further strikes from Jordan Stewart and Navid Nasseri secured a 6-0 win and moved them four points clear at the top.

In the third and final game to take place on Saturday goals from Aaron Jarvis and Eoin Bradley sealed a 2-0 win for Coleraine against Dungannon. The win for Oran Kearney’s side saw them overtake Cliftonville and move into 5th place, a point behind Ballymena, and was also their fourth win in a row. Kris Lindsay’s Dungannon remain 11th in the table but Saturday’s game was their fifth defeat in a row and their upcoming fixtures are not looking too favourable.

Here is the current league table: –

POS TEAM P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Linfield 13 10 1 2 35 14 21 31
2 Larne 12 8 3 1 21 9 12 27
3 Crusaders 13 8 2 3 29 14 15 26
4 Ballymena United 12 6 2 4 19 13 6 20
5 Coleraine 12 6 1 5 18 14 4 19
6 Cliftonville 13 5 2 6 18 16 2 17
7 Glentoran 11 3 5 3 19 12 7 14
8 Glenavon 11 3 4 4 17 18 -1 13
9 Warrenpoint Town 13 3 3 7 11 24 -13 12
10 Portadown 10 2 2 6 11 24 -13 8
11 Dungannon Swifts 13 2 2 9 8 30 -22 8
12 Carrick Rangers 9 1 1 7 7 25 -18 4

 

Tonight, weather permitting, there is another full programme of fixtures set to take place in the Danske Bank Premiership.

At Solitude Cliftonville host Linfield in a game being shown on the BBC Sport NI website and while this is a fixture that rarely disappoints perhaps the game of the night is at Inver Park were in form Coleraine travel to 2nd placed Larne. Coleraine are looking for their fifth win in a row and if they achieve that and Ballymena fail to beat Warrenpoint they could move up another spot into 4th place.

Tiernan Lynch’s side are seeking a return to winning ways after losing their unbeaten record immediately prior to the recent break and letting a lead slip twice against Crusaders on Saturday, failure to win tomorrow could see them fall seven points off top spot.

Here is tonight’s full fixture list, all games kick off at 19:45: –

Cliftonville v Linfield (live stream on BBC Sport NI website)

Dungannon Swifts v Glenavon

Glentoran v Carrick Rangers

Larne v Coleraine

Portadown v Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town v Ballymena United

Our first writer up to give his predictions for tonight’s games is Linfield fan, Rodney, and just a reminder that it is three points for predicting a correct result and a point for a correct outcome: –

Rodney

Cliftonville 1-2 Linfield

Dungannon Swifts 2-2 Glenavon

Glentoran 2-0 Carrick Rangers

Larne 2-0 Coleraine

Portadown 0-2 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 1-2 Ballymena United

Richard

Cliftonville 1-2 Linfield

Dungannon Swifts 1-0 Glenavon

Glentoran 1-0 Carrick Rangers

Larne 1-0 Coleraine

Portadown 1-3 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 2-1 Ballymena United

Darren

Cliftonville 0-2 Linfield

Dungannon Swifts 0-1 Glenavon

Glentoran 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Larne 2-1 Coleraine

Portadown 1-2 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 0-1 Ballymena United

Cameron

Cliftonville 0-2 Linfield

Dungannon Swifts 0-2 Glenavon

Glentoran 2-0 Carrick Rangers

Larne 3-1 Coleraine

Portadown 0-2 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 0-2 Ballymena United

Adrian

Cliftonville 0-2 Linfield

Dungannon Swifts 1-2 Glenavon

Glentoran 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Larne 2-2 Coleraine

Portadown 0-3 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 0-2 Ballymena United

On Saturday current leader, Rodney, only managed two points out of a possible nine after backing wins for Linfield and Coleraine. This saw his lead cut from four points to two after Cameron predicted a 2-0 Coleraine win and a victory for Linfield to seal four points.

Darren, Adrian and Keith were the weekend’s top scorers with five points each and unfortunately for Richard he has fallen into bottom spot.

Here is the full Prediction League leaderboard: –

1. Rodney 54
2. Cameron 52
3. Adrian 41
4. Darren/Keith 36
6. Richard 32

 

Current Covid restrictions in Northern Ireland mean that it is not possible for supporters to attend games in Northern Ireland and while we are certainly grateful to have the coverage of BBC and Sky Sports it is just not the same as being there, Adrian explains why this is HERE.