NIFL Premier Intermediate League

It was the last set of fixtures in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League (PIL) on Friday evening, everything had already been decided going into the games but there were still plenty of goals scored in the six matches played.

Annagh United 1 Portstewart 0
Both of these sides will be relatively pleased with how their respective seasons have gone. I’d tipped Annagh to finish bottom at the start of the season but this win saw them finish in 10th place and six points clear of Donegal Celtic, while Portstewart managed an impressive 7th place finish in their first season back in the PIL after promotion. This particular game was the lowest scoring one on Friday night as the only goal came in the 9th minute when Craig Taylor scored his seventh of the season to secure the points for United.

Moyola Park 0 Lisburn Distillery 2
Distillery’s play-off hopes had been ended on Tuesday night by Queens but manager Colin MacIlwaine will still have had his eyes set on a 3rd place finish, for that they would need to win and also hope that Tobermore beat Banbridge. To be honest, there was an end of season feel to this fixture with not much to talk about in the first-half, it took until the 72nd minute for the deadlock to be broken when a Distillery corner was headed goalwards by Stephen Curley and Whites’ top scorer Matthew Ferguson was on hand to convert from close range. Moyola then had a couple of chances to equalise with Whites’ ‘keeper Jonah Nicholl having to deny Stephen Greer and David Paul. There was a second goal of the game but it was for the visitors and what a superb goal it was, as midfielder Alan McMurtry spotted Marcin Farniok off his line and lobbed the ball over him from near the halfway line.

Newington Youth Club 1 Donegal Celtic 2
Donegal Celtic played their last game in the Irish League for at least a season but they signed off with their second consecutive win since their relegation was confirmed. DC went in ahead at half-time thanks to goals in the five minutes directly before the interval, the goals coming from Jordan McCoubrey and goal number six of the season for Karl Rossborough. Kevin O’Neill scored for the home side in the 60th minute but DC had already done enough to secure the points.

Banbridge Town 5 Tobermore United 1
Banbridge got the win they needed to finish 3rd place in the table, an improvement on the previous season’s 6th place finish. Town scored their first two goals of the game before the break thanks to Conor Downey and Stephen Acheson. In the second-half, Downey added his second goal of the game before 16-year-old Cameron McArthur pulled a goal back for the visitors. There would be no dramatic comeback though as Stephen Greene headed home a Downey corner for goal number four and substitute Joe Todd completed the scoring.

Queens University 2 Dundela 6
The top two sides in the league met at The Dub on Friday night in what was a dress rehearsal for tonight’s Intermediate Cup final and it was Dundela who ran out overwhelming winners on the night. First-half goals from Ben Murdock and Jordan Hughes put the Duns 2-0 up and the rout continued in the second half thanks to a Daniel Burns brace. Queens pulled two goals back through Colm Davis and Tony Tumelty but, Aaron Milligan and Murdock’s second goal of the game restored the Duns’ four-goal lead and gave them the three points.

Sport and Leisure Swifts 3 Armagh City 2
Sport and Leisure saw off Armagh in the last game of the season to end their season with three points, thus leap-frogging City into 8th place in the table. Liam Carland edged the Swifts ahead in the 16th minute but they were unable to extend their lead further and City equalised on the stroke of half-time with a Matthew Hynds free-kick. After the break, Ciaran McKissock restored the home side’s lead and this was then doubled thanks to Kevin Lynch. Taylor Huston did pull a goal back for City to set-up a nervy finish but Sport and Leisure held on for victory.

That’s it for the regular season in the Bluefin Sport PIL but I will return to look at the promotion/relegation fixtures between Queens University and Dergview, the first leg taking place at The Dub on Friday evening.