Welcome back to part two of the week one roundup of the Premier Intermediate League (PIL) were we will be previewing the three matches that were played on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
Donegal Celtic 1 Dundela 4
As those of you who read my season preview may remember I tipped Donegal Celtic (DC) as favourites for the title, however after signing strongly over the summer I believe Dundela could the season’s dark horses. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see the Duns win this as convincingly as they did and the match never seemed to be much of a contest. The first half was essentially played in the DC half, though it did take until almost thirty minutes for the scoring to open when after good work from Curtis Brown down the left-hand side, Jordan Morrison scored from the resulting cross. The floodgates opened and five minutes later Morrison got on the end of a free kick and headed home for 2-0. Before DC could recover it was 3-0 when captain Mark McClelland scored on the rebound after the DC keeper failed to hold onto a Jordan Hughes shot. There was still time for more though before the break when Daniel Burns scored after getting on the end of Gary Irwin’s free kick. The second half was a lot less one sided with DC having some efforts on goal, albeit most were from range and rarely troubled Ryan McBride in the Duns goal. DC did manage to reduce the deficit thanks to a long range Niall Deery effort but ultimately will have been relieved to hear the final whistle.
Sport & Leisure Swifts 1 Queens University 3
Sport & Leisure welcomed Queens to Glen Road Heights on Tuesday night, Sport & Leisure hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the students in recent times and when Darren Gallagher converted a Conor Glenholmes cross after just three minutes to give the Swifts the lead they must have been fearing the worst. The Queens goal led something of a charmed life in the first half when Glenholmes almost got on the scoresheet himself but his shot came back off the post and later Matt McManus had to be on hand to clear another effort off the line. Queens were back on level terms at the end of the half when Eamon Fyfe converted a free kick from 25 yards. After the break the Swifts still seemed to hold the upper hand with a couple of missed chances and Gallagher hitting the woodwork, eventually the inevitable happened and Queens took the lead. Glenholmes fouled Matt Hughes inside the box and while Daniel Hanna’s resulting penalty was saved by keeper Michael Magill, Ryan McCready retrieved the ball out wide and Hanna converted from his cross. The points were secured when another McCready cross from the left was met by Fyfe who fired a low shot through Magill’s legs and into the back of the net.
Newington 0 Lisburn Distillery 4
For those of you who aren’t already aware I follow the fortunes of Lisburn Distillery home and away but throughout the course of the season I hope to provide these roundups with as little bias as possible. The first half of this game was fairly even with both sides have chances to score, Newington failed to take advantage of a mix up between the Whites keeper and defence and Nick Beta seen a strike come back off the crossbar for Distillery. Distillery eventually took the lead when new signing Gary Workman, who impressed on Saturday against Ards Rangers, received the ball out wide on the right and cut inside before unleashing a shot across goal and in. Just a couple of minutes into the second half it was 2-0 with Workman adding to his tally. While most Whites fans were delighted at this stage some will have no doubt being casting their minds back to the first league game of last season when we let a 2-0 lead against Bangor slip to draw 2-2, for this reason it was a mixture of joy and relief when Paul ‘Sid’ Young made a great run down the left-hand side before cutting inside and finishing past the keeper to make it 3-0. Matthew Ferguson then put the icing on the cake with a fourth goal shortly before the end to give the Whites a perfect start to the season, following Saturday’s 3-1 Steel & Sons Cup win against Ards Rangers. WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This Saturday sees a full programme of fixtures in the PIL so will return next week to look back on; Banbridge v Annagh, Dundela v Armagh, Lisburn Distillery v Queens, Portstewart v Newington, Sport & Leisure v DC and Tobermore v Moyola.