NIFL Premier Intermediate League

While most people’s attention was averted to Irish Cup fifth round action on Saturday there were four matches played in the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League (PIL). I’m back for the first time this year to take a look back at all the talking points starting at Planters Park.

Dollingstown 0 Sport and Leisure Swifts 1

It’s now three defeats in a row for Dollingstown as they remain rooted to the foot of the table after Saturday’s defeat to Pat McAllister’s side, a result that leaves the mid-Ulster side trailing Moyola Park by two points. On Friday the Swifts announced the signing of former Ballymena United and Glentoran player Stephen McAlorum and the experienced midfielder went straight into McAllister’s starting eleven. A win for the Dollybirds would have seen them off the bottom and ahead of Saturday’s opponents but Michael McMullan’s goal ten minutes from the end ensured it was the visiting team that got the points and they now open up a five point safety net from the relegation zone as they remain in tenth but pull away from Moyola as well as Dollingstown.

Lurgan Celtic 1 Banbridge Town 2

Stuart King’s Banbridge side managed back to back wins in the PIL for the first time this season in what has been a mixed league campaign so far for the Bob Radcliffe Cup winners. Both sides had chances to take the lead with Gerard Rooney in particular, going close for Celtic in the first half, but it was the 68th minute before the deadlock was broken and it was substitute Neil Clydesdale that edged Town ahead. Christopher McGrath doubled the Banbridge lead almost right away and despite a late Marcus Murphy goal for Celtic, the visitors held on to win. This result moves Banbridge up a spot into fifth place. For Celtic though, it’s a sixth defeat in seven league games though they remain eight points clear of the relegation zone at the moment.

Moyola Park 2 Armagh City 3

It was an action packed first half at Mill Meadow on Saturday as Armagh came away with the spoils when the final whistle was blown. City took the lead in the ninth minute when Edison Tavares headed past Marcin Farniok. The lead didn’t last for long though as Stephen McQuillan volleyed past Declan Devine in the Armagh goal to level things up in the 15th minute. City restored their lead in the 23rd minute thanks to a goal from veteran striker Shea Campbell, now in his fifth spell with The Eagles, but McQuillan scored his second of the game to make the half-time score 2-2. The second half was a much lower scoring affair as to be expected with what proved to be the winner coming in the 54th minute, when Campbell completed his brace by finishing a Stefan McKenna free kick. Armagh lifted themselves up to seventh in the table thanks to this win, while Moyola remain in 11th.

Tobermore United 1 Newington Youth Club 1

The final game of the day on Saturday was at Fortwilliam Park were Aidan Whiteside’s Tobermore side welcomed North Belfast side Newington. Whiteside’s men took the lead in the 12th minute when Ryan Winton finished after a pass from Daibhbd McIvor. Both sides had chances in an open game with the woodwork and ‘keeper Lukasz Bednarz denying Newington an equaliser. The linesman’s offside flag brought a halt to celebrations when McIvor though he’d doubled United’s lead. Newington got their equaliser with a little over 15 minutes to play when Robbie McVarnock made the most of a defensive lapse to score the final goal of the game.

After Saturday’s action here’s what the full table looks like:-

Pos P P W D L F A GD P
1 Queens University 9 7 1 1 15 7 8 22
2 Annagh United 7 6 1 0 17 7 10 19
3 Tobermore United 8 5 2 1 19 8 11 17
4 Newington YC 9 4 3 2 15 9 6 15
5 Banbridge Town 9 4 3 2 14 11 3 15
6 Lisburn Distillery 9 3 4 2 18 13 5 13
7 Armagh City 10 3 3 4 11 14 -3 12
8 Lurgan Celtic 10 4 0 6 12 21 -9 12
9 Portstewart 10 3 2 5 11 15 -4 11
10 S&L Swifts 9 3 0 6 16 19 -3 9
11 Moyola Park 10 2 0 8 10 22 -12 6
12 Dollingstown 10 1 1 8 10 22 -12 4


Saturday sees a full set of fixtures in the PIL with the following matches taking place:

Banbridge Town v Moyola Park

Lisburn Distillery v Dollingstown

Lurgan Celtic v Annagh United

Portstewart v Sport and Leisure Swifts

Queens University v Newington Youth Club

Tobermore United v Armagh City

That’s it from me for today but if you want to check out some more lower league football you can take a look at Bryan’s Intermediate football article HERE or check out Henry’s article on promising Linfield player, Stephen Fallon, HERE.