Belfast Telegraph

Down Area Winter Football League round-up, December 20

With four teams sharing top-spot at the start of play on Saturday, the title race in the DAWFL Premier Division is closer than it has ever been at this point of the season.

Brentwood may still be favourites to lift the trophy, but Comber Young Men were the only top side in action this week and, with a 3-1 win in their game at Willowfield Parish, claimed the outright lead going into the Christmas Break.

At the other end of the table, Vision Athletic hosted Abbey Villa III with both sides desperate for points as they battle to avoid the drop. Vision took a 3-1 lead into half-time, but Abbey Villa came out firing in the second half and the game ended in a 4-3 away win for the men from Millisle.

It seems Vision are incapable of holding onto a lead and so, with half the season now behind them, they must hope to find a solution soon or face the realistic possibility of life in the second tier next season.

A team that seem to be finding their feet in the Premier Division are North Down. They were promoted to the top-tier as Division One champions and, as is to be expected, initially struggled to compete against the division's more established teams.

They have since adapted their game and went into their match-up against Moat Park Rangers in eighth position and nine points above the dreaded relegation zone. Both sides created enough chances to win the match but, on this occasion, Moat Park came away with the three points after a hard-fought 5-3 victory.

North Down will take a lot of positives from the encounter and know that, if they continue to perform like this for the remainder of the season, they will continue to climb to a comfortable position come May.

In the Premier Division's remaining fixtures, 8th OB were 4-0 winners in their game against Oakfield Breda and Ravenhill YM humbled Comber Star 8-1 at Billy Neill.

3rd Bangor OB's unbeaten run at the top of Division One continued with a 5-2 win over Queen's Graduates, Agapé defeated 43rd OB 4-3, Bangor Rangers III defeated Ards Rangers III 5-3 and Bangor YM III were 5-3 winners in their game at Bryansburn Rangers III.

In Division 2A, Moat Park II defeated Comber YM II 4-0 and Newtown Forest II played out a 3-3 draw with Brentwood II, while in Division 2B, Bangor Rangers IV and Oakfield Breda II both won 3-1 as Comber Star drew 1-1 with 82nd II.

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