Championship and PIL Roundup: Stute Extend Championship Lead With Win Against Police

NIFL Championship

There was just the two matches in the Bluefin Sport Championship on Saturday so, as well as looking at the Welders game against PSNI and Knockbreda’s clash with Newry, we’ll also be looking at the single Championship game that took place last night and the sole Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League (PIL) match from Saturday.

The Championship

Harland and Wolff Welders 2 PSNI 1 (Saturday)

PSNI had the chance to jump two places into 8th place and went close to opening the scoring within the first 15 minutes when they saw an effort come back off the woodwork; this was to be one of the few chances for either side in the first half as they went in scoreless at the break. As the game approached its closing stages a trademark Gareth McKeown long throw was only cleared as far as defender William Armstrong who struck a superb effort into the back of the net to give the home side the lead. PSNI thought they had snatched a late draw in added time when new signing Tyler Waide tried his luck from outside the box and beat keeper Ben McCauley at his near post, but PSNI hearts were broken just 60 seconds later when a free kick from Armstrong bobbled around the box and the PSNI keeper Jordan Williamson saved a Welders effort on goal but Jordan Malone, nephew of PSNI manager Colin Malone, was on hand to fire home the rebound and keep the Welders in 4th, now just 5 points off top spot; PSNI remain 10th.

Knockbreda 0 Newry City 1 (Saturday)

Knockbreda started the brighter of the two teams at Breda Park on Saturday but despite being on top in the opening stages they couldn’t test Newry keeper Steven Maguire. Newry began to grow into the game and when James Walker’s effort on goal was deflected behind, the visitors forced a series of corners and it was from one of these that Mark McCabe would score the decisive goal; when he reacted quickest after Dara Noonan’s header was blocked. Both sides had opportunities to add to the scoreline in the second half but neither way could find a way past their opponent’s keeper and in the end Newry hung on to secure another three points. This result keeps Newry well in the title chase, while Breda are still seeking to bring an end to their winless run.

Institute 1 PSNI 0 (Tuesday)

Institute continued their lead at the top of the Championship to six points last night at the Limavady Showgrounds in one of their games in hand against 10th placed PSNI. Stute dominated the opening 30 minutes of the game but couldn’t find a way past an in-form Jordan Williamson in goal, PSNI did come more into the game in the closing stages of the half but created very few chances of note. Whatever Colin Malone and Iain Campbell said to their players at half-time worked as PSNI came out much more positively in the second half but it was Stute who scored the only goal of the game just before the hour mark through Michael McCrudden. The rest of the half was played out as a fairly scrappy affair and Stute managed to hold out for the win.


Donegal Celtic 2 Annagh United 3

Three points for Annagh means they now trial Newington by just one point, and have a game in hand, in the battle to beat the drop. Gareth Rees put United in front after 15 minutes but Conor Glenholmes and Ciaran Murray goals turned the game on its head, and things seemed to be looking good for Stephen Hatfield’s side when Annagh were reduced to ten men when Barry Black was dismissed. Annagh weren’t beaten yet though and goals from Mark Whitten and Taylor seen the visitors secure a vital victory.