Tobermore v Armagh fell victim to the weather on Saturday but there were still four games in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League (PIL).
For the time being the Premiership appears to have overtaken the third tier in terms of being the tightest of the top three divisions but there’ll still be plenty of twists and turns in the battle to win promotion to the Championship.
Limavady United 1-2 Bangor
Mark Clyde’s Limavady side went into this game looking for payback for their Irish Cup defeat against Saturday’s opponents at the end of November.
The Roesiders did put in a strong showing and took the lead through a Gareth McFadden strike just before the hour mark but a Ross Arthurs brace saw the Seasiders head back to Bangor with three points as they continue their impressive campaign.
You can read a more in-depth report on this game elsewhere on overtheturnstile.uk thanks to our roving reporter, Richard.
Banbridge Town 1-2 Newington Youth Club
Stuart King’s Banbridge side are still looking for their first league win of the season as they fell to their fifth defeat of the season to Conor Crossan’s men from North Belfast.
Anthony McGonagall scored the opening goal of the game for the visitors in the first half but Stephen Greene managed to peg them back in the 53rd minute as he headed home from a Conor Downey corner.
Town’s jubilation was shortly lived though as just three minutes after they equalised Michael Gallagher scored goal number eight of the season for himself and what proved to be the winner.
Dollingstown 3-2 Moyola Park
Dollingstown kept their hopes of reaching the promotion/relegation play-off alive with this win against Moyola at Planters Park. Last time out in the league Moyola beat basement side Tobermore 3-0 but then went on to lose the Craig Memorial Cup final 1-0 to Portstewart on Boxing Day.
Mervyn Pattison’s side took the lead in the 11th minute of the game when Connor Logue’s strike deflected off Aaron Moffett and beat Steven Maguire but it was a shortly lived lead as former Larne player Glenn Hand played in Keith Johnston who coolly finished passed Dwayne Nelson.
Stephen Uprichard’s Dollybird’s moved into the lead in the 36th minute through a Jake Redpath header but Moyola were back on level terms by half-time thanks to prolific striker Tiarnan Rafferty.
The winning goal came in the 53rd minute when Nathan McConnell won a header and inside the Moyola box and Johnston was on hand to volley home his second goal of the game.
Lisburn Distillery 1-5 Annagh United
Annagh look to be in the driving seat for automatic promotion thanks to this convincing win over Distillery at New Grosvenor, Saturday’s win makes it an incredible eight wins out of nine for Ciaran McGurgan’s team.
Annagh dominated the opening 30 minutes in terms of possession but apart from a glorious chance from Craig Taylor in the 5th minute they didn’t impose much of a threat on the home side’s goal.
United did eventually break the deadlock in the 30th minute through recently returned striker Nedas Maciulaitis and it soon became 2-0 thanks to a cracking finish from Taylor from outside the box.
Daire Rooney pulled a goal back for the Whites before the break but ten minutes into the second half Annagh’s two goal lead was restored thanks to Maciulaitis’ second goal of the game, the Lithuanian completed his hat-trick just past the hour mark and Scott McCordick made it 5-1 with just over five minutes remaining.
The PIL table now looks like this:-
Due to the third round of the Intermediate Cup taking place this week there is only one game in the third tier this weekend, Armagh host Tobermore at Holm Park with the game kicking off at 15:00 on Saturday.