Crumlin Star put the seal on what has been another excellent season so far with a win over the remaining side who could pip them to the title, East Belfast, coming away from East Park with a 2-1 victory.
This gave the Star an unassailable lead at the summit and with that came their third Premier Division title in a row, a fantastic achievement for Paul Trainor’s men. The Star still have two league games to play. Next week sees them take on Queens at the National Stadium in the Final of the Intermediate Cup as they look to add yet more silverware to their bursting trophy cabinet.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Ballynahinch Olympic came out winners by the odd goal in nine in a cracking game at home to Crumlin United, while Rathfriland secured a 3-2 win over Islandmagee as their surge up the table continued.
On Thursday night the Star celebrated the title win in some style, as they traveled to lowly Downpatrick and romped to a 10-1 victory. Rathfriland leapfrogged Islandmagee into fifth place by virtue of another win, this one coming at home to Ballynahinch Olympic. In the final game of another busy midweek in the NAFL saw East Belfast get back to winning ways thanks to a 3-1 away win across town at Albert Foundry.
With Hanover already crowned champions in Mid Ulster, the fight for places in the top four continued this midweek, with two games taking place that would have a big say in the final shake-up. Windmill Star remain in second position following this week’s games, but they have now fulfilled their fixtures. The three sides behind them are all in with a chance of overtaking them with their games in hand.
On Tuesday night Banbridge Rangers beat Star 1-0 in a hard-fought game at Cheney Park to move within a point of their rivals. Crewe also secured full points, theirs coming in a 3-2 win at home to Richhill AFC that moved them into fourth spot. Moneyslane are the third side chasing down Windmill, sitting three points behind with two games to play.
At the bottom of the table, Laurelvale made it six without defeat as they secured an excellent 4-1 victory away at Valley Rangers to jump into 10th position. Tandragee Rovers also got three points, theirs coming with a 2-0 win at Ballymacash Rangers, a result which sees them leapfrog their opponents.
The bottom two are now locked in following these results, however, with AFC Silverwood doomed from early on. St Marys have now dropped into that second bottom spot in the Intermediate B table.
Bangor, of course, have already secured their return to the PIL but there is still plenty going on below and plenty of goals across the three midweek games in the Ballymena League. On Tuesday night Coagh United played host to Chimney Corner, and the hosts came out on top after an exciting game with a 4-2 win. Elsewhere Cookstown Youth welcomed Brantwood to the MUSA and the visitors triumphed 3-1. On Wednesday night Ballynure OB welcomed St James to Mossley Park, and the title challenging side were given a bloody nose by the ‘Nure as the hosts ran out with an impressive 4-1 victory.
Northern Amateur Football League Premier Division
Thursday 2nd May
Rathfriland Rangers 2-1 Ballynahinch Olympic
Downpatrick F.C. 1-10 Crumlin Star
Albert Foundry F.C. 1-3 East Belfast
Tuesday 30th April
Ballynahinch Olympic 5-4 Crumlin United
East Belfast 1-2 Crumlin Star
Rathfriland Rangers 3-2 Islandmagee
|10||1st Bangor Old Boys||26||8||3||15||42||53||-11||27|
|11||Derriaghy C C||25||7||4||14||30||58||-28||25|
|13||Albert Foundry F.C.||25||2||7||16||28||59||-31||13|
Mid Ulster Intermediate A
Tuesday 30th April
Ballymacash Rangers 0-2 Tandragee Rovers
Banbridge Rangers 1-0 Windmill Stars
Crewe United 3-2 Richhill AFC
Valley Rangers 1-4 Laurelvale
Ballymena & Provincial Intermediate League
Wednesday 1st May
Ballynure OB 4-1 St James Swifts
Tuesday 30th April
Coagh Utd 4-2 Chimney Corner
Cookstown Youth 1-3 Brantwood
|3||St James Swifts||26||19||0||7||95||39||56||57|
NI Intermediate League
|4||Magherafelt Sky Blues||14||8||1||5||33||28||5||25|
|8||Oxford United Stars||14||1||1||12||7||32||-25||4|