There was also a full set of Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate League (PIL) fixtures as well on Saturday and also some changes to the top of the league table so I’m back once more to roundup all the action from Saturday’s fixtures.
Moyola Park 2 Annagh United 1
Moyola went into this game as heavy favourites against basement side Annagh and went close to taking the lead within the first 2 minutes but Tiernan Rafferty seen his effort saved by the keeper but it wasn’t long until the same player scored to give the home side the lead. Moyola were on the front foot for most of the half but were unable to extend their lead any further by the half-time whistle. Annagh went close to equalising on the hour mark but Ben McAuley tipped the headed effort from a corner onto the crossbar. United thought they had secured a point when Elliot Rea scored an effort from long range in the 87th minute but Moyola had no intention of leaving the pitch with anything less than a win and after piling on plenty of pressure Oran McAuley was able to snatch a last gasp winner. Victory maintains Moyola’s recent good form in all competitions and they sit in 4th place with games in hand against all the sides above them, Annagh unfortunately remain rooted to the foot of the table.
Newington Youth Club 1 Queens University 2
Queens now lead the way at the top of the PIL as victory at Seaview on Saturday moved them into 1st place, albeit they are level on points with 2nd and 3rd but have a strong goal difference. Ciaran O’Hare and Jake Moore were on target for the students on Saturday as Newington’s winless run in the league stretched to 6 games but they do have a Steel and Sons Cup final to look forward to on Christmas morning against Linfield Swifts.
Lisburn Distillery 1 Armagh City 2
Lisburn Distillery dropped two placed to 3rd in the table after this pre-Christmas defeat at home to Armagh, the Whites remain level on points with Queens and Dundela but with both of those teams having games in hand this defeat will be a heavy blow to the Ballyskeagh men. The Whites controlled much of the game but still went in trailing at half-time to a Nedas Macuilaitis strike. It wasn’t long into the second half before the Whites were back on level terms when Alan McMurtry was upended in the penalty area the linesman had no hesitation in signalling for a penalty and McMurtry dusted himself down and dispatched the spot kick. The Whites continued to control the game but created few clear cut chances, threatening mostly through set pieces. In the 87th the Whites were reduced to ten men when Barry Moore was shown a red card for an off the ball incident and in the 5th minute of added time Armagh broke Distillery hearts as when the Whites couldn’t clear the ball from a corner Ultan Lennon forced the ball home.
Portstewart 2 Donegal Celtic 1
3 points for Portstewart on Saturday was a welcome early Christmas present as it seen them move above their opponents on Saturday into 9th place in the league and has put some distance between themselves and the danger area. Eoghan Quigg (yes the former X Factor finalist) gave the Seahawks the lead in the game when he took advantage of a defensive mix-up but Daniel Wilson brought the West Belfast side back on level terms. James Pedan scored what proved to be the winner in the second half from the penalty spot. DC dropped a place but remain 3 and 4 points ahead of the sides below them in the table respectively.
Sport and Leisure Swifts 2 Banbridge Town 0
Sport and Leisure remain in 7th place despite this victory but will be pleased to have brought a run of six league games without a win to an end and moved level on points with their opponents. Both goals for Pat McAllister’s side came in the second half with Kevin Lynch opening the scoring after 55 minutes with a finish from the edge of the box and soon after Stephen O’Neill broke from midfield and lobbed the keeper to seal the win.
Tobermore United 1 Dundela 2
Dundela moved into 2nd spot with this victory while Tobermore fall one spot to 5th. Tobermore made the Duns work for their three points though after breaking the deadlock in the game but goals from the two Jordan’s, Morrison and Hughes, seen the Duns seal the 3 points and they now sit in the promotion/relegation spot over Christmas.
There are no PIL games over the Christmas period but the league will return to action on Saturday the 30th December with a full programme of matches schedules to take place.