Which Championship Club Now Find Themselves Managerless?

NIFL Championship

There’s a full round of fixtures to look back on in the Bluefin Sport Championship and another managerial departure following Saturday’s results.

Dergview 3 Limavady United 2

Dergview secured a big win on Saturday to move them further clear of bottom spot and they now sit 4 points adrift of guaranteed safety, with a game in hand against all the teams above them. Dergview took the lead after 5 minutes when striker Ryan Campbell put them ahead and the same player scored twice more in the first half to put the home side comfortably ahead at the break. Dergview held onto their three goal lead until the last ten minutes when Zach Barr and Lee Harkin scored goals to set up a nervy closing few minutes for Dergview.

Institute 1 Ballyclare Comrades 0

After victory against Portadown last week Ballyclare’s chances of automatic promotion took a huge hit on Saturday as Stute secured victory at the Limavady Showgrounds to move 10 points clear of Clifford Adams’ side. Both sides had chances in the first half but it was the Comrades who perhaps edged the game, though ultimately it was scoreless at half-time. In the second half Stute came out firing and Gareth Brown forced a save from Alan Blayney after just one minute of play. The key moment in the game came after 53 minutes when Comrades defender Chris Rodgers was adjudged to have brought down Brown in the box, Ballyclare thought there should have been an offside flag but the penalty was given and Michael McCrudden scored and Stute held on to their slender lead.

Larne 1 PSNI 1

Larne extended their unbeaten run to 13 games on Saturday with a draw at home against the PSNI on Saturday. David McDaid fired wide for Larne early on before visiting players Lukasz Adamczyk and Jake McNeill called keeper Conor Devlin into action. Larne took the lead after 36 minutes when PSNI keeper Jordan Williamson couldn’t keep hold of a corner and McDaid took advantage to score from close range. In the second half Larne were unable to add to their tally any further, David Scullion and McDaid were both denied by Williamson, and after 85 minutes were hit by a sucker punch when Charlie Martyn equalised following a corner, this result keeps both sides as they were in the league standings in 7th and 8th respectively.

Loughgall 1 Newry City 1

Newry lost some ground at the top of the table on Saturday but remain in second place in the table, Loughgall also remain in 6th place in the table. Newry had the first chance of the game after six minutes when Declan Carville brought a good save from Gareth Buchanan, just over ten minutes later the home side took the lead when Marcus Dallas’ deflected shot from range and found its way over Newry keeper Steven Maguire. Despite going behind Newry were largely in control of the game and went close again when James Walker’s header from a corner was cleared off the line by Peter Campbell. Newry did level seven minutes into the second half when Mark Hughes was fouled by Mark Stewart inside the penalty area and Carville sent Buchanan the  wrong way to get the equaliser.

Lurgan Celtic 1 Knockbreda 1

Lurgan Celtic put last week’s heavy defeat against PSNI behind them to get their first point of 2018 against Knockbreda. The first half was a rather poor affair with not many chances for either side but Knockbreda did have the ball in the net a few minutes before the break but the referee blew his whistle for a foul on Celtic keeper Shane McPartlan. In the second half Celtic played some nice football but lacked a cutting edge and McPartlan was called into action on a number of occasions but 15 minutes from time it was Celtic who took the lead when Ruairi McDonald scored from the penalty spot after Kevin McAlinden was fouled. Celtic were unable to hold onto their lead as they later lost the ball in their own area and the ball found its way past McPartlan, Celtic knew a point was not enough but almost lost the game when in an attempt to push forward and find a winner they were caught short at the back but when McPartlan was rounded by an opposition striker Zac Wilson was on hand to clear off the line and preserve a point.

Portadown 0 Harland and Wolff Welders 0

Portadown and the Welders played out a goalless draw at Shamrock Park on Saturday, the Ports were perhaps the team with the most chances in the game but neither side was able to find a way past the opposition keeper. After the game it was announced that Portadown have parted company with manager Niall Currie and coach Trevor Williamson has taken charge of team affairs in the interim period.

The following games take place in the Championship this week:-

Portadown v Newry City

Harland and Wolff Welders v Ballyclare Comrades

Knockbreda v PSNI

Lurgan Celtic v Limavady United