Like most football in Northern Ireland the Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League (PIL) was completely wiped out by the Beast From the East at the weekend, one game did go ahead on Tuesday night and we’ll be looking back at that and also telling you what teams we might see promoted into the PIL next season.
Moyola Park 5 Newington Youth Club 1
Moyola were hoping to make the most of Banbridge not playing and move ahead of them into the top three and they did just that with this convincing win over Newington. It was the visitors who went closest first when Ryan Morrison’s half volley was easily claimed by Moyola keeper Martin Farniok and it wasn’t long before the home side put their noses in front, when Daniel McIlhatton supplied Tomas McCann who scored the game’s first goal. Newington responded well to going a goal down and started to attack more but it was Moyola who extended their lead before half-time, an Aaron Harris cross allowed Jack Graham to score his first goal of the season. After a slow start to the second half Moyola made it 3-0 after 54 minutes, Conor Taggart meeting a corner at the back post and heading home. If Moyola fans thought it was game over at this stage they were wrong as a Stephen Doyle penalty and a Daniel White half volley with a few minutes of each other seen Newington reduce the deficit to just the one goal. Any hopes of a comeback were put to bed though as Daniel McIlhatton added to further goals to his earlier assist. The win seen Moyola achieve their pre-game goal of moving into the top three and they have now put some distance between themselves and the bottom half, Newington remain second from bottom and worryingly have played more games than any other side.
Hopefully, weather permitting, the PIL will return on Saturday but due to the Match Intermediate Cup quarter-finals taking place there are only three fixtures to take place:-
Donegal Celtic v Portstewart
Newington Youth Club v Annagh United
Sport and Leisure Swifts v Armagh City
In other news last week the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) announced the names of the ten teams we might be seeing in the PIL next season. Firstly, just to recap on promotion and relegation from and to the division, bottom place will get relegated from the PIL with teams from the Northern Amateur Football League (NAFL), the Ballymena Premier Intermediate League (BPIL), the Mid-Ulster Intermediate A League and the Northern Ireland Intermediate League being invited to apply to take their place. NIFL announced last week that a total of ten teams have applied but ultimately only one spot in the PIL is up for grabs, applicants most win their league to get promoted and if more than one of the applying teams is successful in doing that then they will play-off to see who gets promoted. Once again this season no team from the NAFL has applied for promotion but from the BPIL, Bangor are seeking to make an immediate return to the PIL after being relegated on the last day of last season. Three other former PIL teams are bidding for a return and also hail from the BPIL and they are Coagh United, Glebe Rangers and Brantwood and these four teams are also joined in the race for promotion by relative newcomers Sofia Farmer. From the Mid-Ulster Intermediate A, Dollingstown, who lost last season’s play-off to get promoted to Portstewart, have applied again and are joined by Crewe United and Banbridge Rangers. The final two teams seeking to step up to the next level are from the Northern Ireland Intermediate League and come in the shape of Strabane Athletic and Maiden City.