Following on from a quiet month of September, this proved to be a much busier month on the league front, with the four Intermediate divisions starting to take shape.
In the NAFL, three teams have retained their perfect records to date, with East Belfast holding the lead thanks to their fantastic goal scoring record. Ballynahinch Olympic remain on their coattails, with reigning champions Crumlin Star having played one game less than the top two.
Shankill United have seen something of a resurgence over the course of October. After finishing September with just three points, they picked up two wins from their two league games while also knocking holders Crumlin Star out of the Border Cup at Fennell Park. This followed the arrival of former Crusaders & Cliftonville defender David McAlinden to the managerial hotseat. The ex-Carrick Rangers manager took over the reins following the departure of Mark Picking, and has certainly had a positive influence on the Hammer side so far.
At the other end of the table, Drumaness Mills remain without a point having now played eleven games. The goals against column does not make good reading for the Meadowvale side, who were top-flight champions as recently as 2014.
We move on to the BPIL, where Dunloy had three wins from three to maintain their fantastic start to the season. Wins over Brantwood, Donegal Celtic and Cookstown Youth saw the McCamphill Park side extend their lead to 12 points, albeit having played more games than all of the chasing pack. Coagh United remain best placed to catch Dunloy, while Belfast Celtic & St James Swifts are only slightly further behind.
Donegal Celtic witnessed a revival in October, going from rock bottom without a point to three wins from four. The foot of the table is tight with only five points separating the bottom five. Desertmartin have now dropped to the bottom spot following a month of heavy defeats.
In Mid Ulster, Rectory Rangers have moved to the top of the division despite a heavy defeat by Moneyslane, as early pace setters Valley Rangers spent the month exclusively in cup action. Crewe United were another side who had a successful month in cup competitions, but enjoyed a winning return to league action at Laurelvale this week and now look forward to welcoming leaders Rectory Rangers to Crewe Park on Saturday.
Ballymacash Rangers’ stop-start league campaign continues, again due to their progress in the various cup competitions. It hasn’t affected their league form though, with Michael Gault’s men retaining their 100% record thanks to a resounding 5-0 over Laurelvale. Meanwhile, Laurelvale have picked up two wins from three in the league to boost their chances of survival, leaving Fivemiletown United as the only side without a win.
Finally, we go to the NI Intermediate League, a division which is still in its infancy this season. Champions Strabane Athletic have had a resounding start to the defence of their title, winning 3 from 3 with 18 goals scored along the way. With the champions as the only team to have played three games so far, it’s fair to say that this division has a long way to go before it takes shape.
Northern Amateur Football League Premier Division
|4||Derriaghy C C||8||4||3||1||12||9||3||15|
|8||Larne Tech O.B.||5||3||1||1||11||7||4||10|
|13||1st Bangor Old Boys||10||1||1||8||13||34||-21||4|
Ballymena & Provincial Intermediate League
|6||St James Swifts||8||6||0||2||27||10||17||18|
Mid Ulster Intermediate A
NI Intermediate League
|6||Magherafelt Sky Blues||1||0||0||1||1||3||-2||0|