Danske Bank Premiership

Today was originally meant to be the first round in this season’s reduced Irish Cup but due to the competition not being deemed ‘elite’ by the Northern Ireland Executive it is more league action today with the games that were to be played on Boxing Day now taking place.

Unfortunately, events over the past few days have impacted the fixture list with three of tomorrow’s games being postponed in line with the Northern Ireland Football League’s Covid Case Policy with the scheduled fixtures involving Larne and Ballymena being the first to full victim and was followed later in the week by Linfield v Glentoran and Portadown v Glenavon.

This left just two fixtures taking place today but Carrick and Coleraine will now play each other in a fixture that was postponed earlier in the season. The full fixture list for today is as follows, all games kick off at 15:00 unless otherwise stated: –

Carrick Rangers v Coleraine

Cliftonville v Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town v Dungannon Swifts

Last week in the top flight Larne’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end as the went down 1-0 against the leagues form team, Ballymena, who made it seven games without defeat, Kofi Balmer scored the only goal of the game at Inver Park with ten minutes to go.

Meanwhile at Mourneview Park Linfield were able to take advantage of the Larne slip up to move back into top spot, Daniel Purkis opened the scoring for the home side but David Healy’s men bounced back with second half goals from Niall Quinn and Jordan Stewart, with the latter’s winner no doubt due to feature in the Goal of the Season competition.

Glentoran continued their recent upturn in form with a win at home against Portadown, this saw Mick McDermott’s side climb into 7th spot while the Ports remain 10th with Dungannon and Carrick occupying the relegation spots below them.

Here is how the full table currently stands: –

POS TEAM P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Linfield 12 9 1 2 29 14 15 28
2 Larne 11 8 2 1 18 6 12 26
3 Crusaders 11 8 0 3 24 9 15 24
4 Ballymena United 12 6 2 4 19 13 6 20
5 Cliftonville 12 5 1 6 16 14 2 16
6 Coleraine 11 5 1 5 16 14 2 16
7 Glentoran 11 3 5 3 19 12 7 14
8 Glenavon 11 3 4 4 17 18 -1 13
9 Warrenpoint Town 12 3 3 6 11 18 -7 12
10 Portadown 10 2 2 6 11 24 -13 8
11 Dungannon Swifts 12 2 2 8 8 28 -20 8
12 Carrick Rangers 9 1 1 7 7 25 -18 4

 

Despite it being a reduced fixture list the guys are still here with their fixtures as our Writer’s Prediction League continues, up first this week is Darren: –

Darren

Cliftonville 0-1 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

Carrick Rangers 0-2 Coleraine

Richard

Cliftonville 1-2 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

Carrick Rangers 0-3 Coleraine

Cameron

Cliftonville 2-2 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 2-1 Dungannon Swifts

Carrick Rangers 0-3 Coleraine

Keith

Cliftonville 0-0 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 1-0 Dungannon Swifts

Carrick Rangers 1-1 Coleraine

Rodney

Cliftonville 2-2 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 2-1 Dungannon Swifts

Carrick Rangers 1-2 Coleraine

Adrian

Cliftonville 1-2 Crusaders

Warrenpoint Town 2-0 Dungannon Swifts

Carrick Rangers 1-3 Coleraine

Last week was a high scoring one for Cameron who correctly predicted the results in the Dungannon v Cliftonville and Glentoran v Portadown games and wins for Coleraine, Crusaders and Linfield. The nine points secured kept him in 2nd place but he has now closed Rodney’s lead at the top to just the four points.

Rodney himself had a decent week as he seeks to secure a League of Ireland/Danske Bank Premiership prediction league double. Rodney correctly guessed Coleraine would beat Carrick 3-0 and also backed Crusaders, Linfield and Glentoran to win their respective games.

Here is the current leaderboard: –

1. Rodney 49
2. Cameron 45
3. Adrian 36
4. Richard 32
5. Darren 31
6. Keith 30

 

It has also been announced just last night that after today’s fixtures the Danske Bank Premiership will take a two week break until the 23rd January due to the recent rise in Covid fixtures. Crucially though NIFL have committed to testing of all players, staff and officials when the league does resume.

As always stay safe everyone and we will be back with you next week.