With the Match Intermediate Cup Round Two taking place across the weekend, this meant we enjoyed a slightly reduced schedule across the four leagues. However, the nine games saw 40 goals scored meaning another exciting week in the Intermediate game.
In the NAFL, Shankill United hit the summit for the first time in what has been a very productive season so far, under new Player/Manager, Gareth McKeown. After eight games they have dropped just five points, and their latest victory saw them jump from 4th spot to top. This week they made the short journey two miles west to Paisley Park to take on Albert Foundry and came back across Lanark Way with a hard-earned 3-2 win.
It was a 3-2 win in North Down that allowed United to jump into top spot, as two clubs even closer together geographically than Shankill Utd and Albert Foundry clashed. 1st Bangor had led the table until the weekend, but defeat at home to their next-door neighbours saw them leapfrogged on the day. Ards Rangers have had a rocky start to the season so far, but Saturdays win over their rivals will give them a boost as they look to push up the table.
In the final game of the day, eight goals were shared at Rosconnor as rock-bottom Downpatrick were on the wrong side of a 5-3 defeat to Drumaness Mills. In another battle between two near neighbours, a grand total of four miles separate these two sides, goals from Feenan (2), Stones (2) & Magee saw Mills open up a five-point gap on Downpatrick.
Onto Mid Ulster now, and Hanover retained their grip on top spot, thanks to a 3-2 win over lowly St. Marys in another game where there was little travelling to be done. The Brownstown Park side made the short journey through Portadown to Annagh Park, and this win saw them open a four-point gap on pacesetters Crewe, albeit having played three games more.
Elsewhere, Windmill Sars hosted Richhill AFC at Derryleckagh, and the two sides fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw, a result which does neither side any favours. Meanwhile, Bourneview Mill welcomed Ballymacash Rangers to Pepperton Park but it was the visitors who took the points thanks to a 1-0 win to go within a point of their hosts.
Just one game this week in the BPIL, and it saw Donegal Celtic ease to a 3-0 win at Celtic Park over managerless Desertmartin. Paddy Keely, Stephen Flanagan & Michael McClory with the goals to move Celtic up to 7th spot.
Onto the NI Intermediate League now, and reigning champions Magherafelt Sky Blues kept up their perfect record thanks to a thumping 5-1 win over bottom side Oxford United Stars. Sean Monaghan, Eoghan Hawe, Anthony O’Neill, Ciaran Monaghan and own goal saw the champions move to 12 points and a +12 goal difference as their title defence continues to gather pace.
Ardstraw continue to find their form following the departure of Ivan Sproule, and they doubled their points tally for the season thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 win at home to Dungiven Celtic. Samuel McKelvey & Lee McCullagh netted for the Newtownstewart side and this allowed them to leapfrog their opponents into 4th place in the table.
Northern Amateur Football League Premier Division
Albert Foundry F.C. 2-3 Shankill United
1st Bangor Old Boys 2-3 Ards Rangers
Downpatrick F.C. 3-5 Drumaness Mills
|2||1st Bangor Old Boys||11||5||2||4||26||15||11||17|
|9||Albert Foundry F.C.||10||2||4||4||16||19||-3||10|
|13||Derriaghy C C||9||1||2||6||9||31||-22||5|
Mid Ulster Football League Intermediate A
Bourneview Mill 0-1 Ballymacash Rangers
Hanover 3-2 St Marys
Windmill Stars 2-2 Richhill AFC
Ballymena & Provincial Intermediate League
Donegal Celtic 3-0 Desertmartin
|2||St James Swifts||8||7||0||1||41||8||33||21|
NI Intermediate League
Ardstraw 2-1 Dungiven
Magherafelt Sky Blues 5-1 Oxford United Stars
|1||Magherafelt Sky Blues||4||4||0||0||15||3||12||12|
|8||Oxford United Stars||4||0||0||4||2||11||-9||0|