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Waringstown determined to win Premier League title on the pitch


By Ian Callender

Lisburn are determined to host their final Gardiner Bros Premier League game for at least two years tomorrow but know they are in the lap of the weather gods.

The Wallace Park side's relegation to Section One has already been confirmed, but league leaders Waringstown are the scheduled visitors for the last top-flight game of the season, knowing they have only to avoid defeat for skipper Greg Thompson to lift the trophy.

It will be a 20-overs game, starting at 11.30am if the Park dries out - there were puddles on the outfield last night - but if there is no play, Waringstown will be crowned champions as they have a better run-rate than CIYMS, currently level on points.

However, the Villagers are keen to play to allow them to celebrate with a victory which, although certainly not guaranteed, will see them start as huge favourites with so much at stake.

As for Lisburn, it is a case of regrouping and going again next year in Section One where the players are certain to enjoy themselves after winning only two games this season.

They will be replaced in the top flight next year by Armagh, while the other confirmed champions are Monaghan, their victory over Ards last Sunday giving them the Section Three title, pipping Drumaness on run-rate, but both teams are promoted.

It remains deadlocked at the top of Section Two with one game to play, but Laurelvale must beat Templepatrick on Sunday to force Cregagh to win the last game of the season and take the title on run-rate on Sunday week at Saintfield.

Both Cregagh and Laurelvale will be promoted to Section One and will be replaced by Academy and one of Bangor, Cliftonville and Derriaghy.

It's play-off weekend in the North West with Beechgrove hosting the game which will decide if Fox Lodge or Ballyspallen will play in the Premiership next season, while at the bottom of the Championship, the losers of the St Johnston-Glendermott game must beat Sion Mills on Sunday to avoid swapping places in Qualifying 1.

Weekend fixtures

Today (4.30pm) Gardiner Bros Section One: Donaghcloney Mill v Cliftonville

Section Two: Larne v Ballymena

Tomorrow (11.30am) Premier League: Lisburn v Waringstown

Section One: Downpatrick v Derriaghy (11.00), Lurgan v Woodvale. Sunday: Academy v Downpatrick, Bangor v Cliftonville.

Section Two: Dundrum v Ballymena. Sunday: Templepatrick v Laurelvale.

Long's SuperValu Promotion/relegation play-off (12pm): Fox Lodge v Ballyspallen (Beechgrove)

Championship: St Johnston v Glendermott. Sunday, Relegation play-off: St Johnston or Glendermott v Sion Mills (Bleachgreen)

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