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Ports and Loughgall will decide Swifts fate

Published 02/05/2009

While the Big Two go chasing Gibson Cup glory this afternoon the other top flight managers will take a final look at their players in competitive action before shuffling packs in the summer.

Dungannon Swifts, though, are waiting on news from the top of the Championship to see if they will be involved in a tense play-off to maintain their Premiership status.

If Portadown defeat Donegal Celtic and Loughgall win at home to Ballinamallard, then the Swifts will still be in the Premiership next season — as the Villagers have no top flight ambition.

Ballymena United, who visit already doomed Bangor, are likely to feature plenty of fresh faces next season.

The out of contract Stuart King is attracting interest from Glenavon, Lisburn Distillery and Portadown.

Whites boss Paul Kirk takes his side to Coleraine today, singing the praises of former Linfield defender Pat McShane.

“Some people may question the appetite and quality of the Big Two players when they leave Linfield or Glentoran, but that was certainly never the case with Pat,” said Kirk.

“I can honestly say he is one of the most honest, reliable and trustworthy professionals I have ever worked with.

“He has a tremendous will to win and his commitment to the cause is phenomenal.

“People may say he was wrong to leave Linfield, but in my opinion he left Windsor Park at the right time for himself and the club.”

Today’s fixtures: JJB Sports Premiership (Section A) (kick-off 3pm): Coleraine v Lisburn Distillery, Crusaders v Linfield, Glentoran v Cliftonville. Section B (kick-off 3pm): Bangor v Ballymena United, Dungannon Swifts v Institute, Newry City v Glenavon.

Belfast Telegraph

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