The Northern Ireland Intermediate League got off and running this weekend, and reigning champions, Magherafelt Sky Blues got their defence off to a great start.
Beginning the campaign on the road, the Sky Blues secured a 3-0 win over Newbuildings United in the first league game under new player/manager Ciaran Monaghan. Monaghan was the clubs captain during last seasons first ever title win under Brian Taylor. His management team is completed by former Reserve team boss Gary Rafferty and longtime Sky Blues player Conor Monaghan.
At Vaughans Holm, there was a meeting between last seasons second and third-placed sides, as Ardstraw welcomed Strabane Athletic to Newtownstewart. The visitors made the short journey home with three points safely secured thanks to a comfortable 4-0 win.
A third away win of the day was secured at Swilly Stadium, where hosts Oxford United Stars were also swept aside 3-0 by Dungiven. Meanwhile, in the shortest journey of the day Trojans and Maiden City, separated by just half a mile, played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Oakland Park.
In the NAFL, 1st Bangor moved back into top spot as they saw off Albert Foundry 3-1 at the Drome, while Immaculata kept up their chase of the top three as they grabbed a 3-1 win of their own over Crumlin United. Downpatrick’s woes continued as they fell to a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Drumaness Mills, making it seven defeats from seven and looking like a long hard season for the Rosconnor men.
Onto the Ballymena League now, and with the early pacesetters, St James Swifts and Bangor, both scheduled for cup action, champions Glebe Rangers took the opportunity to go back to the summit with a 3-0 home win over Donegal Celtic.
Newtowne continued to lead the chasing pack and kept their recent good form up with a 3-0 win away at Wakehurst. That made it four wins on the spin for the Limavady men, scoring 13 and keeping clean sheets in all four games.
Another side in good form are Chimney Corner. Having struggled throughout last season, the Antrim side have put together a young and talented side under new boss Kingsley Burrows, and they secured back to back wins with a 3-2 success over Dunloy.
In the day’s remaining games, Cookstown Youth picked up an impressive 3-1 win at home to new boys Ballymoney United, while Ballynure OB picked up their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Brantwood.
This week also saw new leaders in Mid Ulster, as Hanover took advantage of Crewe United’s blank week. The Portadown side welcomed Ballymacash Rangers to Brownstown Park and eased to a 2-0 win to leapfrog Crewe at the top.
At the other end of the table, bottom two Laurelvale and AFC Silverwood met at Laurel Park where the hosts picked up a 3-0 win and with it their first points of the campaign. Elsewhere St Marys welcomed Tandragee Rovers and the visitors won 3-0 to move up to eight place in the table.
Northern Amateur Football League
1st Bangor Old Boys 3-1 Albert Foundry F.C.
Immaculata F.C. 3-1 Crumlin United
Drumaness Mills 7-1 Downpatrick F.C.
|1||1st Bangor Old Boys||8||5||1||2||21||7||14||16|
|10||Albert Foundry F.C.||6||1||3||2||9||11||-2||6|
|12||Derriaghy C C||6||1||1||4||5||20||-15||4|
Mid Ulster Football League Intermediate A
Hanover 2 – 0 Ballymacash Rangers
Laurelvale 3 – 0 AFC Silverwood
St Marys 0 – 4 Tandragee Rovers
Ballymena & Provincial Intermediate League
Ballynure OB 1-1 Brantwood
Chimney Corner 3-2 Dunloy
Cookstown Youth 3-1 Ballymoney Utd
Glebe Rangers 3-0 Donegal Celtic
Wakehurst 0-3 Newtowne
|2||St James Swifts||6||6||0||0||35||5||30||18|
NI Intermediate League
Ardstraw 0-4 Strabane Athletic
Newbuildings Utd 0-3 Magherafelt Sky Blues
Oxford United Stars 0-3 Dungiven
Trojans 3-3 Maiden City
|3||Magherafelt Sky Blues||1||1||0||0||3||0||3||3|
|7||Oxford Utd Stars||1||0||0||1||0||3||-3||0|