Championship Roundup: Ports Beat Dergview Seven as Stute Suffer Pre-Christmas Setback

NIFL Championship

There were two games in the Championship on Wednesday night as Loughgall hosted Institute and relegation-threatened Dergview travelled to cash-strapped Portadown.

Loughgall 3 Institute 1

After Saturday’s win against Ballyclare Comrades, Stute had the chance to move level on points with the table toppers with this game in hand but made the long trip back home with nothing. The home side took the lead after just 2 minutes when Jamie Douglas converted a cross from Peter Campbell and the Villagers doubled their lead 11 minutes later when Campbell delivered again and this time it was Richard Copeland who headed home at the back post. Stute reduced Loughgall’s lead after 30 minutes when Niall Grace scored with a finish into the bottom left hand corner but try as they might Stute couldn’t get back on level terms and Mark McConnell sealed the points with a third goal for the home side 3 minutes from time. While this win may come as a blow to Stute they do still have two games in hand over the Comrades, Loughgall meanwhile hold onto 6th position in the table.

Portadown 7 Dergview 0

It’s been a tough week off the pitch for Portadown supporters, as on Monday night a statement was released and a supporters meeting was held where it was revealed that the club is struggling financially. Considerable debts and a drop in revenue, perhaps also not helped by what has been a disappointing season for the Shamrock Park club, have led to rumours that the club could be forced to fold but directors are working to resolve these issues and have pledged to continue paying players until the end of the season. If the news that emerged on Monday night has affected the players it certainly didn’t show on Wednesday night as they banged seven goals past Dergview to make it back to back league wins and 13 goals in their last two league games. Chris Lavery opened the scoring after 14 minutes and Kyle McVey soon made it 2-0. Lavery continued to cause problems for Richard Clarke’s side and it was his cross that Thomas Wray converted into his own goal to make it 3-0 and a rare goal from midfielder David McCullough followed. If it wasn’t already, the game was out out of Dergview’s reach when Gary Warwick converted another Lavery cross. The scoring continued after half-time when Darren Henderson and Lavery added goals six and seven respectively. The win doesn’t have any bearing on the Ports league position but they have closed the gap on the Welders and Newry who are directly above them and Dergview now face two tough games against Loughgall and Institute over Christmas.

There are three Championship games tomorrow, which are:-

Knockbreda v H&W Welders
Lurgan Celtic v Larne
PSNI v Limavady

These games are then followed by the four games that will take place on Boxing Day:-

Institute v Dergview
Ballyclare v Larne
Loughgall v Portadown
Newry v Lurgan Celtic

I’ll be returning at some stage next week to look back on the action from the above fixtures.