This week saw another weather-affected set of Intermediate fixtures, with only seven games taking place across the four leagues. This was however supplemented by six games taking place in the IFA Intermediate Cup Fourth Round.
In Mid Ulster three games survived the weather, and leaders Dollingstown played their first game in three weeks as they made the trip to AFC Richhill. The leaders came away with a 4-2 win in the end after racing into a 3-0 halftime lead. Richhill came out in the second half and took the game to the Dolly Birds, clawing the score back to 3-2, but the visitors top scorer Aaron Duke put the seal on the win with the fourth goal.
Hanover took on St.Marys for the second time in three weeks, and they followed up their 6-2 home victory against their near neighbours with a 5-2 victory at Tandragee Road. This lifted Hanover over St.Marys into 6th place in the table, but such has been Hanover’s form in the various cup competitions this season that Saturday was only their 10th league game. Hanover now sit on 19 points but Stephen Hyndes men have 8 games in hand on Dollingstown on 41 points.
Moneyslane picked up a 1-0 win at Jubilee Park over AFC Silverwood, and this weekend will travel to Brownstown Park to take on Hanover. Meanwhile, second-placed Crewe United were in Marshall Cup action and they made the trip to Intermediate B leaders Laurelvale, coming away with on the right side of an exciting 5-3 scoreline.
Banbridge Rangers were on the road in the Intermediate Cup and in this tie it was them who were on the wrong end of a 5-3 defeat. A topsy-turvy game at Immaculata saw the NAFL side take a 1-0 lead before Banbridge equalised. The Belfast men then raced into a 3-1 lead but once again Lee Feeneys men fought their way level and the game sat at 3-3 until five minutes from time when Immaculata pulled two goals clear again to put the game out of reach.
IN the NAFL only one game made the cut on Saturday, and Rathfriland fought out a 1-1 draw with Albert Foundry. Rathfriland followed that up, however, on Tuesday night by inflicting the first defeat of the season on reigning league leaders Crumlin Star at the Cliff. Aaron Blacks men romped to an impressive 6-3 victory over Star, a result which will serve notice of Rathfrilands intent. Both sides have now played 9 games apiece, with Star on 22 points and Rangers on 20.
Leaders East Belfast, on 38 points from 18 games played, were also in Intermediate Cup action. They made the trip north to Fortwilliam Park to take on Tobermore Utd and the Premier Intermediate side secured a 3-1 win to move into the last 8. A massive tie awaits this Saturday as East Belfast go to the Cliff to take on Crumlin Star, a game which will have a big say in the title picture. That game is part of what is almost a full set of fixtures, with Crumlin United playing their postponed Intermediate Cup tie against Lisburn Distillery, and Immaculata travelling to take on Larne Tech in the Clarence Cup.
In the Ballymena League leaders Bangor were held to a 0-0 draw away at Brantwood, while St James Swifts were back in league action after a gap of four weeks, and they romped to a 5-0 win over Cookstown RBL. The Belfast men are enjoying their first season at this level, a club only formed in 2010 as a 7 a side team, with the aim of giving the young people in the area a sporting outlet. From there they progressed through the ranks of the Belfast and District league, rising from Division Three to the Premier League, before making the move to Intermediate football in the BPIL this summer.
They have made great headway in a number of cup competitions so far, making it to the quarterfinals of the Steel & Sons Cup while also progressing well into the Intermediate Cup, while they were unlucky to lose out 2-1 to Windmill Stars in their first ever Irish Cup tie. St James travel across the city to take on Brantwood this weekend, where a win could lift them up to 3rd spot. They currently sit on 17 points from their 9 games, 11 points behind leaders Bangor but with 5 games in hand.
In a similar situation are Glebe Rangers, also on 17 points but from just 8 games. They too have enjoyed extended cup runs, and this week they travelled to Mid Ulster where they saw off Dromara Village 2-1 to move into the last eight of the Intermediate Cup where they will host Mid Ulster side Windmill Stars. They also made it to the Irish Cup sixth round where they only fell to top-flight champions Linfield, while in the Steel & Sons they missed out on a semi-final spot after a penalty shoot-out defeat at eventual winners Newington. Bangor remain the only team to defeat Glebe in ‘domestic’ battles this season, setting us up for an interesting last few months. Like the NAFL, this weekend there is almost a full set of fixtures scheduled, while Glebe take on Sport and Leisure Swifts in the Crawford Cup.
The NI Intermediate league only managed to get one game over the line, and it ended all square at the Riada Stadium where Ballymoney Utd held Dungiven 1-1. This weekend 3rd take on 2nd as Ardstraw host Strabane, while Maiden City host Ballymoney at Swilly Stadium.
Intermediate Cup – Last 16
Queen’s University 2-0 Newtowne
Crumlin Star 0-2 Dundela
Immaculata 5-3 Banbridge Rangers
Dromara Village 1-2 Glebe Rangers
Tobermore United 3-1 East Belfast
Windmill Stars 3-1 Rosemount Rec
Ballymena Provincial Intermediate League
Brantwood 0-0 Bangor
St James Swifts 5-0 Cookstown RBL
|6||St James Swifts||9||5||2||2||23||10||13||17|
Northern Amateur Football League
Albert Foundry 1-1 Rathfriland Rangers
Tuesday 13th February
Crumlin Star 3-6 Rathfriland Rangers
|3||1st Bangor Old Boys||15||7||2||6||28||28||0||23|
|5||Albert Foundry F.C.||13||6||3||4||24||22||2||21|
|9||Derriaghy C C||13||5||2||6||25||24||1||17|
NI Intermediate League
Ballymoney Utd 1-1 Dungiven
|9||Oxford Utd Stars||7||1||0||6||10||27||-17||3|
Mid Ulster Intermediate A
Moneyslane 1-0 AFC Silverwood
Richhill AFC 2-4 Dollingstown
St Marys 2-5 Hanover