In this week’s intermediate roundup we will have a closer look at the race at the top of Mid Ulster Intermediate A, with both of the current top two having applied to enter the Premier Intermediate league next season.
The Mid Ulster league was the most active of the four intermediate divisions this week, with a number of games falling victim to the weather across the country. The only game off in Intermediate A was the match between Richhill AFC and Fivemiletown Utd at Richhill Recreation centre.
Leaders Dollingstown are no strangers to the NIFL set up, having played in what was Division Two from 2014 to 2016. The Dolly Birds were promoted to the NIFL pyramid in 2014 after seeing off BPIL side Brantwood 6-4 on aggregate in the promotion playoff, having missed out the year before vs NAFL kingpins Newington YC.
They then enjoyed a respectable 7th place finish in their first season in the 14 team division, and followed that up with a 10th place finish the following year. However, the restructuring of the leagues meant that five teams were to be removed from the league before it became the NIFL Premier Intermediate league for the beginning of the 2016/17 season, meaning the Planters Park side were relegated back to the Mid Ulster league.
Dollingstown are one of the most successful sides in Mid Ulster, having won the Intermediate A division four times in the last ten years, along with four Marshall cups, two Premier cups and a Bob Radcliffe cup as well.
Hot on their tails are Crewe United, with the Glenavy men seven points adrift but with three games in hand on Dollingstown. Crewe have had a topsy-turvy few seasons, finishing bottom of the division in 2014/15, however, they are now under the management of former Northern Ireland international Peter Kennedy and having won the Marshall Cup last season, they are well placed to challenge for the promotion playoff at the season’s end.
Third place Banbridge Rangers are also well poised in the title mix up, though they have not applied for promotion to the PIL. The Cheney Park men, managed by Lee Feeney, were due to be in Intermediate Cup action against Sport & Leisure but that game also fell to the conditions. They recently fell to a 2-1 defeat to Dollingstown in the league, but are ten points behind with five games in hand.
Let’s hope for some better weather heading into this weekends games, next week we will be looking at the NI Intermediate League sides who have made their applications for the promotion picture, Maiden City and Strabane Athletic.
Ballymena Provincial Intermediate League
Chimney Corner 2-1 Ballynure OB
Cookstown RBL P-P Coagh Utd
Desertmartin P-P Cookstown Youth
|8||St James Swifts||8||4||2||2||18||10||8||14|
Northern Amateur Football League
Albert Foudry 2-0 Derriaghy
Ards Rangers P-P Downpatrick
1st Bangor P-P Drumaness Mills
Malachians P-P Lisburn Rangers
|3||1st Bangor Old Boys||15||7||2||6||28||28||0||23|
|6||Albert Foundry F.C.||10||5||1||4||18||17||1||16|
|11||Derriaghy C C||11||3||2||6||20||23||-3||11|
NI Intermediate League
Magherafelt Sky Blues P-P Trojans
Ardstraw P-P Ballymoney Utd
Dungiven P-P Strabane Athletic
Maiden City P-P Oxford Utd Stars
|1||M’felt Sky Blues||8||7||1||0||18||9||9||22|
|9||Oxford United Stars||5||0||0||5||7||22||-15||0|
Mid Ulster Intermediate A
Dollingstown 5-0 Valley Rangers
Hanover 3-0 AFC Silverwood
Moneyslane 4-1 Camlough Rovers
Richhill AFC P-P Fivemiletown United
St Marys 0-2 Ballymacash Rangers